Cocoa Griot- Let "auntie" wisdom and energy keep you uplifted!

Daisy Woods

I am a fifty-something single mom with a few ideas about life, love, and a host of other ish. There will not be any more episodes added to this podcast at this time due to the creator falling ill. Please enjoy past episodes and thank you for understanding. I offer valuable content in a short span of time, so please check out my show. Think of this podcast as a lot of bang for your buck since time is a form of currency!

Ingredients For Happiness: Love Wisely,  Live Freely, Laugh Frequently
Feb 2 2022
Ingredients For Happiness: Love Wisely, Live Freely, Laugh Frequently
00:13 Good evening and welcome to my humble podcast abode! I am Cocoa Griot, a fifty-something who is not going to keep you long but strives to keep you strong. Have you ever had one of those days that was so intense you literally wanted to rip the day off the calendar and pretend it never happened? I experienced that last week and then I had to scold myself for allowing myself to get in the negativity zone. I have ingredients that I keep on hand to enhance my happiness and when I summoned them, my blue skies dissipated and there was sun shining in my life again. Let me just say I am only speaking based on my own experience. Ithought I would share a little info about what turns me around when I am down. This evening I was to share with you my ingredients for happiness: loving wisely, giving freely, and laughing frequently. 01:18 What does love wisely mean? I believe that when you love wisely your eyes are always wide open and you don’t overlook red flags when they are paraded in your face. A couple of sayings from my mom and grandmother come to mind when I think about loving wisely. Everything that looks good to you ain’t good for you my mom used to say. That handsome man or striking woman could be the source of immeasurable trouble dear listeners. Sometimes we are fascinated by a person’s outward appearance and we don’t take into account the inside may not be attractive. This is the case with he=who=shall-not be named. He was strikingly handsome but nutty as a fruitcake. A saying my grandmother shared with me describes my situation with he-who=shall-not-be-named. “The same thing that can make you laugh can make you cry!” In my case, it would often be within the same day. There was such an emotional roller coaster ride I would teeter between elation and despair in the span of a few hours. Now what does love look like for me? Loving wisely involves making self-love a priority. Understanding that when I am healthy and whole, a relationship has a better chance of surviving than when I don’t make myself a priority. On that day when I was struggling last week, I just focused on pampering myself. That was the downpayment on elevating my mood. 03:03 Living freely is easier said than done. I have a few strategies I like to employ which support this goal. One of the most difficult things for me to do, but it is absolutely necessary, is to recognize when my cup is full. Part of me sees this as giving up, but the reality is it is a self-preservation tool. When you chain yourself to a task it can drain you. I find myself overly committed to doing things for others sometimes. This eats up my available free time and it is difficult to stay emotionally upbeat when you feel like there is always something to do. I am going to say this and please hear me out. Voicemail exists for a reason. You don’t have to answer every call, text, or email immediately. There are times when you have to liberate yourself and just be free. It seems we are conditioned to quickly respond to communication once we receive it, but that is not the ideal way to live. I unplugged for a little while last week and it was an incredibly enjoyable experience. The biggest piece of advice I am sharing is know when you are at your limit, and out of respect for your own sanity, take some downtime to re-energize yourself. Don’t get caught up in the Atlas complex. You don’t have to take on the weight of the world! 04:34 The most effective part of my trifecta of improving my mood is to laugh frequently. There is a library of material on Netflix, youtube, and old sitcoms that I consult when I need to lift myself out of the dumps. I recognize that everyone has different tastes in comedy. I enjoy clean comedy because I want to be able to recommend the subject matter to all types of people. It amazes how Lucille Ball working on the chocolate factory assembly line still makes me chuckle like it did years ago when I first saw that episode. Beyond the classics, there are clean...
Why Is Work Not Working For Millions of Americans?
Jan 12 2022
Why Is Work Not Working For Millions of Americans?
Please visit the sponsor of tonight's show at www.pair.com/free. My mistakes are not edited out of this podcast, because they remind me I am human. So many people want everything to be perfect, that is not the place where I choose to live and I am happy! 00:12 Good evening and welcome to my humble podcast abode! I am Cocoa Griot an enthusiastic fifty-something who is delighted to talk to you about life, love, and a smattering of other topics. I feel very confident when I share information about topics I am very familiar with on this show. Tonight’s topic is a little different for me because I love my job! Many of you know I work as a professional mentor and I absolutely feel like it is purpose-driven work. I don’t just make a living, I make a difference! I know I am one of the lucky ones when it comes to the work I am blessed to do. Something very interesting happened during the pandemic and many people have separated themselves from employment. This phenomenon is known as the Great Resignation. I decided to check out what the experts are saying caused the Great Resignation. Tonight I am going to share three main reasons some experts say that work is not working for millions of Americans. 01:19 According to Dave Ramsey, one reason people quit their jobs was that the pandemic caused a philosophical reset. People literally realized that life was too short to spend it doing something they did not enjoy. Let's think about how work changed for so many people. There were layoffs, furloughs, working from home hybrid models of work, and the list goes on and on when it comes to the district disruption of the hamster wheel many of us lived on for years. the past gave some individuals time to rethink what work meant to them. After some of us thought deeply about our work. We let it go. Yep, pulled up an Elsa moment right out of the hat. In September 2021 Alone 4.4 million individuals quit their jobs. That is a staggering number. And it's hard to comprehend that many people just said I quit. The reality is that in the first seven months of 2021 25 million Americans separated themselves from their employer. It made me think about this quote. " Never be afraid to try something new. Remember, amateurs built the ark and professionals build the Titanic Titanic. Okay, I cannot talk tonight. 02:27 Beyond the philosophical reasons, there are other reasons people quit their jobs. Andrew Flowers, a labor economist, offers insight as to why some workers are quitting their jobs and it really boils down to money matters. Mr. Flowers compared the wages of job switchers and people who remained in jobs. Interestingly enough he noted there was significant earnings for people who chose to switch jobs. The fact is that many companies realize that in this current economy wages have to increase to attract and hire new employees. Mr. Flowers stated that companies have to start looking at their salary scales more frequently than on an annual basis in order to stay competitive in the job hiring sphere. Evidence of this is all around in my community. When I saw pizza chains offering $3,000 sign-on bonuses I was shocked! Before I reveal the final reason some experts are saying work isn’t working for millions of Americans, I want to share a word from tonight's exciting sponsor of this episode. 03:31 "If you have a business, you need a website. What’s the best way to get a website up and running? Choose a website hosting company that makes it simple, like Pair Networks. Pair has over 20 years of experience managing the entire digital ecosystem for thousands of online businesses, all around the world. Pair makes it easy for you, with do-it-yourself website building tools and features, including simple drag and drop page design. And they have guaranteed US-based support technicians ready to help you whenever you need it – 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Right now, when you sign up with Pair Networks, you’ll receive one free month of web hosting. See...
Is It Time To Cancel the Subscription Mentality Of Love?
Jan 5 2022
Is It Time To Cancel the Subscription Mentality Of Love?
0:05 Good evening and welcome to my humble podcast bold I am Cocoa Griot, just a 50 something who is so excited to talk to you dear listener about life love, and a plethora of other topics. I don't know about you but every month when I look at my credit card bill, I examine the number of subscriptions that I have like subscriptions to Netflix and I think about how am I ever going to let these things go? Then I remember the reason that I get these services is because of the way they are finite in my mind. I don't think I'm going to be paying for Netflix forever. There's a kind of temporariness to the relationship between me and the company I'm subscribed to. So that started me thinking about how love is today when everybody is swiping to shop for love like you shop for a premium video streaming service or you shop for your groceries through a delivery service. Does love deserve more than what we give to our subscription services? 01:25 Tonight I want to ask a question, is it time to cancel the subscription mentality of love? The reason I believe we have a subscription mentality of love is based on three aspects of the current mindset about relationships. Number one, when you are shopping for love, you are making comparisons between people to say what amenities do I get over here as opposed to getting over there? Now that's fine when you talk about a video streaming service or even how you're going to get your groceries, but are we really being fair to ourselves if we are searching for love that way? Now I'm not knocking online dating if that's your thing, my personal experience with it has not been that great, but I am a 50 something so that might account for the slim pickings that I had to go through. But all kidding aside, I really do wonder if in our mind when we go through these catalogs of men or women or whatever we're shopping for, we just think this is not necessarily Mr. or Mrs. Right, but Mr. and Mrs. Right now until I'm offered a better deal. And it really concerns me because I think we sell ourselves short and relationships short because we're so hung up on this fear of missing out. This FOMO mental battle of if I go with Choice a choice B might come along and there's probably more of that for me than I'm going to get with Choice a. That is like comparing what's on Netflix and Hulu and deciding who you're going to go with based on the offerings of that particular subscription service.  02:32 Another way that I truly believe we are treating love like a subscription service is when it comes to commitment. Now what I said in the last Point kind of addresses it but I want to drill down even more. Someone told me that do you know you can look at marriage or marriages as just a series of events that you participate in your lifetime? I sat back and thought about that and I said there was nothing in my marriage vows that said until you feel like flipping to another Channel go ahead and focus on this channel. But that was kind of the equivalent of it. In other words when you get bored with this program, just call up another program. Call up another service and you're good. That is not how I view marriage. The vows are pretty clear if you choose to take them. In sickness and health And for richer or poorer really means something to me. I can't look at marriage as just an event I attended because it was something to do at the time. It's deeper for me than that. It means connecting with another individual and being there for one another throughout all of life's challenges no matter what comes along. Nothing could have prepared me for what happened in the end before my husband passed away. I had no idea that I will be changing his diapers before he left this planet. But I did that because of those words in sickness and in health and I also knew that if the shoe was on the other foot he wouldn't hesitate to do the same thing for me. We have to know that who we couple ourselves with is not just with us for who we are...
Happy You Year!
Dec 29 2021
Happy You Year!
00:08 Good evening and welcome to my humble podcast abode. I am Cocoa Griot, a fifty-something who is so ecstatic to share my thoughts with you about life, love, and a host of other topics. It seems that I blinked and 2021 is just about done! This is the time of year when many people start to think about how they want to live differently in the new year than they did in 2021. I want to share a few plans on how to make 2022 Happy You Year! This topic came to me because so many of my friends are really not living for themselves. I have to beg them to do for themselves and it makes me sad. I believe you can make yourself a priority without neglecting the people you love. In fact, making yourself a priority will often improve your relationships with those you love. Three areas of life can make a huge difference in 2022 being Happy You Year.  1:05 The first domain is time. Commit to giving yourself at least one uninterrupted hour of each day to do something you want to do! It could be reading, watching a tv program, exercising, writing, or any activity you enjoy. When I say one hour, I mean one solid hour! Do not bargain and take two thirty-minute sessions, or 4 15 minute sessions. You are totally worth taking at least one hour for yourself. This is something I do the first hour of the day upon waking. It is my time to meditate and be in tune with how I am feeling. Nothing can interrupt this time! It is my job to protect this time and honor it. In doing so, I feel that I am putting a down payment on an amazing day! There are times when I have had to wake up an hour earlier than I normally would in order to have this protected time. To be clear, this is the minimum you should give yourself each day. If you can find more time, that is wonderful. 2:08 The second path to Happy You Year is developing a relationship with the word no. That’s right, learn to use this word without guilt. You have a right to refuse anything that compromises your peace, sanity, or financial health. When people call you and invite you into the latest chaos in their lives, you have a right to say no. Exit the conversation and focus on something positive that will help to lift your spirits. When people ask you to correct financial misdeeds they have made and funding them will make you financially vulnerable, say no. People often finance their wants and expect you to finance their needs. Sometimes you can say no without saying a word. Voicemail was invented for a reason. Allow people to go to voicemail if you don’t feel up to dealing with a conversation that you know will drain you. It is not a given that you have to respond to every text message you receive. Sometimes we are so caught up in being nice people that we are not nice to ourselves. We contort ourselves into incredibly uncomfortable positions to appease others. The irony is that we will cross oceans for people that would not hop over a puddle for us. Know your limits and respect them by using the word no when an occasion calls for it. 03:19 I am saving one of the most difficult habits to adapt for last. Do not argue with anyone! I am going to say that again. Do not argue with anyone. I struggle with this probably more than I should, but I am going to tell you how I get out of the you will hear my perspective zone. I have talked about this before and I want to reiterate the importance of respecting your truth. The core of many differences I have had with others is because I stopped respecting my truth and recognizing that others have their truth. When I respect and own my truth, I will not try to ram it down your throat. There is no need because I am comfortable with my own truth. When I make it my business to get you to honor my truth, I have lost sight of what really matters. I don’t have to fight about something that is my truth. The saddest thing in the world is to watch two people who are just going at it and neither person is listening to the other to understand. They are just...
'Twas The Night Before My Credit Card Payment Was Due
Dec 22 2021
'Twas The Night Before My Credit Card Payment Was Due
"There is something about Christmas that is magical. Money just seems to disappear into thin air." Melanie White 00:12 Good evening and welcome to my humble podcast abode. I am Cocoa Griot, just a fifty-something who is super amped to talk to you dear listener about life, love, and a throng of other topics. It is the most wonderful time of the year and it is also the time that many of us sink deep into debt to provide a magical Christmas experience for friends and loved ones. In honor of this special time, I wrote a poem that summarizes what many people will experience after Christmas is over. 00:37 “Twas the night before my credit card payment was due, No holly jolly feeling, just up to my ears in debt blue. A stocking was hung by the chimney with care,  Now I have got a balance from the things I put in there. My children are all nestled in their beds, while visions of a second job dance in my head. I heard a sound it was a concerning matter, I had turned down the thermostat so my teeth began to chatter. I glanced quickly around the room for things I could sell, Christmas was great, but now I am not feeling so well. I grudgingly decided to add up the receipts, it took incredible courage to accomplish this feat. The Christmas spirit must have had a hold on me, my balance exploded because of all the gifts under the tree. I tried to focus on the gleam in my children’s eyes, Wasn’t all this worth it to see their joy and surprise? Well actually not knowing that I will have to be away from them more, because of my overzealous shopping spirit and presents galore. They might not remember what they opened on Christmas Day, I will never forget because of the debt I have to pay. 2:58 I made this poem because for many years this was my reality. I would strain myself to buy gifts I could not afford with money I did not have. I worked two jobs for many years to try to climb out of debt. Now if I don’t have the money for it, I will not buy it. I am not saying parents should not give their kids gifts. I just know that I made the holiday about the gifts for a long time. In doing so, I wore myself down trying to outdo one year by what I purchased the next year. I hope that if you celebrate Christmas you are able to do so with those you love. Thanks for listening this evening and as always I wish you good health, good fortune, and a goodnight.. Cocoa Griot out!
"You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.-A.A. Milne
Dec 15 2021
"You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.-A.A. Milne
00:11 Good evening and welcome to my humble podcast abode. I am Cocoa Griot. just a 50 something who enjoys sharing stories with you about life, love, and a smattering of other topics. Last week I talked to you guys about the stress that can creep up on you during the holidays. The title of this show is one of my favorite quotes in the world. I think it is time to embrace this quote during this stressful time of the year or any time. One of the uncomfortable truths about life is it is easy to default to the negative and develop a pattern of stinking thinking in times of self distress. I like to reflect upon simple quotes that really rev up my sense of self-worth. Tonight, I'm going to talk to you about a famous quote from Winnie the Pooh's Christopher Robin, and how it applies to my life. I hope you can apply this important sentiment in your life as well. "You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think." 1:06 Let's start with the bravery part. A couple of years ago I was on my way to work. I checked my GPS to estimate the time it would take me to get to work that morning. It was going to be a beautiful day since my drive would only be about 45 minutes. according to my trusty navigator. But halfway to my destination, the defecation struck the rotary oscillator, so 45 minutes became an hour and a half due to a car wreck. My mouth became the Sahara's twin and my heart started racing as if I was five paces away from some imaginary finish line. Then, a pain ran through my chest that let me know it was time to exit the freeway because I was probably exiting life's freeway. When I arrived at the nearby clinic quickly explained my symptoms. Immediately they gave me nitroglycerin because my blood pressure was dangerously high. The pensive looks on the staff's faces were enough to convince me of my biggest fear. I was going to have a heart attack. The doctor called me to have me transported to a hospital to handle my condition. When I arrived at the hospital my blood pressure was lower, but I was not totally in the clear. I gathered enough strength to text my family to tell them where I was. but I failed to do so. As the fear gripped me, I kept waiting for the tsunami of death to wash over me. After what seemed like days, but was just a matter of hours, doctors told me I needed to go through some crucial tests. I didn't cry or feel sorry for myself. The truth is I was going to face some difficult decisions by myself and I had to be a big girl for them. I was overwhelmed when they asked me to sign a particular form. If they found blockages in my heart, triple bypass surgery would be performed immediately. No one was with me. I mean no one. The nurses who prepped me for the angiogram had a round face and kind eyes. Was this the last face I would see before leaving this phase of existence? I pondered. upon I glanced at the monitor that was some kind of medical Jumbotron projecting an image of my heart. "Your heart is perfect." These words from the doctor were welcomed with a huge sigh of relief. So what happened and why did I end up on this table expecting to have my chest cracked open? Stress was responsible for this terrifying experience. But I faced it briefly and I was proud of myself for doing so. What have you faced that is evidence of your bravery? Give yourself credit for your fearlessness. 3:18 Moving on to stronger than you seem I can think of one experience that highlights my strength more than any other in my life!  June 27, 1995, was the day I had to talk to Cameron about his dad’s grave medical condition. He had just turned seven the day prior and he was an astute little guy. I knew that he knew something was wrong because we had been visiting James in the hospital for a few weeks. We celebrated Father’s Day and Cameron’s birthday next to James’ hospital bed. James had whispered in my ear during the birthday visit that he wanted to die at home. He didn’t want to be hooked up
My Game Plan For Surviving the Most Wonderful Time of the Year
Dec 8 2021
My Game Plan For Surviving the Most Wonderful Time of the Year
“How we perceive a situation and how we react to it is the basis of our stress. If you focus on the negative in any situation, you can expect high-stress levels. However, if you try and see the good in the situation, your stress levels will greatly diminish.”- Catherine Pulsifer 00:05 Good evening and welcome to my humble podcast abode. I am Cocoa Griot, just a 50 something who's super excited to have a few moments of your time to talk about life love, and a hodgepodge of other topics. Let's face it, the holidays are the most wonderful time of the year for added stress. In this episode, I share tips on how to maintain your sanity while navigating dealing with family and friends. Holidays, the time period between Thanksgiving and New Year's day can be a delight or a disaster. I want to share a sobering fact with you. About 40% of adults are plagued with anxiety around the holidays. Why? What is it about this time that should be joyous that propels so many of us into a tizzy as the country folk say. Expectations about how our holidays should be are a major culprit of anxiety for a lot of people. Tonight, I'm going to show you three strategies that I am using to help reduce my holiday anxiety. I hope these will help you if you tend to experience anxiety during the holiday season. 1:13 The first area and one that is always hanging overhead is money. I found myself singing this tune the other day. It's beginning to cost a lot like Christmas! Then I thought to myself, you are the gatekeeper of your finances. Spend what you can afford to buy and with what you have in hand right now. I say this as I'm just paying off Christmas gifts from two years ago, I saw an intriguing article that said give to someone that your relative supports. Like any kind of cause and then donate in your relative's name. That is such a novel thought and I can tell you if you are searching for a nonprofit to give to, Friends of the Children in Austin Texas positively impacts vulnerable youth and their families. Ask your family members directly what causes do you support? Let them know that you provided a donation to their cause on their behalf. That is truly a gift worth giving. If you are crafty, there are tons of videos on YouTube about how to make personalized gifts with supplies from the Dollar and 25 cent tree. Yes, prices have gone up in my favorite store so I'm no longer calling it the Dollar Tree. Just keeping it real here. These are just a couple of strategies I'm using this year to save my stress level and let it down because I'm not going to float Christmas gift debt for years anymore. 2:39 My second strategy to reduce anxiety around the holidays is to not hold people hostage for who they are. There are family members that I have who can push my buttons and I go from zero to ziggity boom when they do! Instead of allowing these people to essentially have a joystick in my back and control my emotions, I'm employing some stress reduction strategies I teach my mentees. Number one, I will respond and not react. If something is said that I don't agree with. I will acknowledge that this individual has a right to their truth. At the same time, I will honor my truth and not participate in heated exchanges. Number two, I will take deep breaths and trace my fingers to invite my body to return to a state of calm. Number three, if all this fails, I will remove myself from the situation in a grown-up timeout. During that time I will review my behavior and make sure I was operating as my best self in that situation. 4:06 The third strategy I'm going to use is being open to modifying traditions or creating new ones. I spent time with my son on Thanksgiving at his home instead of mine. At first, I felt guilty about it. But I realized how much more relaxed the day was when I was not responsible for a ton of cooking and cleaning. The essence of the holiday, being with family really was the focus of the day. I think expecting matriarchs or patriarchs to...
When Did The Milk of Human Kindness Spoil?
Dec 1 2021
When Did The Milk of Human Kindness Spoil?
"The supply of the milk of human kindness was short by several gallons"- PG Wodehouse 00:10 Good evening and welcome to my humble podcast abode. I'm Cocoa Griot! Just a fifty-something who is so amped to talk to you about life, love, and a boatload of other topics. Do you drink milk? I am lactose intolerant. Tonight I want to talk a little about intolerance I see today and the bad behavior it inspires. I have to say that the three stories I'm sharing tonight are designed to make you think about how awful we can be as people. No compilation of bad behavior will be complete without at least one Karen story. If you don't know about Karen's, then let me give you a brief summary. The name Karen applies to someone who exhibits outrageous and entitled behavior in situations. The drama factor is multiplied to the max. Just watching them makes me shake my head. Karens can be of any race. Karen's are everywhere, and well they have one major thing in common. They are prolific examples of how the milk of human kindness is spoiled. That's my topic for tonight. When did the milk of human kindness spoil? 1:21 Without further adieu, let me introduce you to a Karen story that went viral and I am still in awe. This first story actually happened a decade ago. But I am labeling this a Karen sighting because it fits the definition to a tee. One morning at 10:30 am. A customer pulled into the drive-thru at a McDonald's in Toledo, Ohio, and ordered chicken McNuggets well there was only one small problem that eventually grew into a larger one. Chicken McNuggets were not served at 10:30 am. Instead of ordering breakfast, Melody Dushane ordered a big cup of crazy behavior. She not only started climbing through the drive-thru window, she told them that they did not want her to assume her ultimate form. As if her trying to climb through the window was not scary enough. What is the ultimate form you might ask? She told them that they did not want her to go Super Saiyan on them. Yes. She was going to turn into a cartoon character and harm them all! Well, and to think Superman wasted his time searching for a phone booth to change, and I digress. Well, this McNugget mania Melody put the staff through didn't go well for her. Instead of getting the McNuggets she wanted, she ended up earning an indictment by the Grand Jury because she punched out the windows at McDonald's drive-thru. Man, I guess when you got to have those McNuggets you just got to have them. 2:55 My next example of how the milk of human kindness has spoiled involves McDonald's again. I am feeling so bad that the golden arches are somehow a magnet for bad behavior. Think about this. What is the one thing many people are frustrated by when they go to McDonald's? Well, the ice cream machine is always broken. I think our next customer behaving badly gave up on ice cream and moved on to slushies, but she wants to mix flavors. The clerk politely tells her they are not allowed to mix flavors. Customer's response? She goes on a profanity-laden tirade and storms behind the counter, demanding her request be honored. When she charged towards the slushie machine intent on carrying out her mission, the worker gave up on customer service and gave her some fist service. The woman seem genuinely shocked that her abuse was not tolerated. In fact, she left McDonald's in the back of a police car after she was arrested. Cherysse Helena Cleveland was charged with two counts of misdemeanor assault. You know, maybe she should have gone to Burger King where they let you have it your way. That sounds way better than having McMisdemeanors on your record if you ask me. 4:11 Now before you think I am just combing the internet for McDonald's bad behavior or that only women bug out in public, let me share the story of an airline brouhaha in Miami this past year. I'm old enough to remember the saying about flying the friendly skies. Well, it's a good thing the skies are friendly because a few months ago, a...
The Birth of Cocoa Griot
Nov 24 2021
The Birth of Cocoa Griot
“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.” ― Maya Angelou,  (I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings) 00:00 Good evening and welcome to my humble podcast abode. I am Cocoa Griot, just a 50 something single mom who delights in talking to you about life, love, and an array of other topics. This evening I'm thankful for so many things in my life. I know that many people will sit down with family and friends on Thanksgiving, and remember how blessed they are to still be here. Recent events have further polarized the United States and sometimes it's just hard to find a kernel of good news. I invite you to stop and take a few moments to think about what you are thankful for. I believe an attitude of gratitude increases our latitude. I want to take this opportunity to share something I am thankful for, the chance to reach out to others. You see Daisy is an introvert. Daisy is incredibly shy and has difficulty opening up to people. I began my journey as Cocoa Griot a few months into the pandemic. I started a blog and this podcast to help me feel connected to others. The core of who Cocoa Griot is was forged by some events in my life that don't hold the best memories for me. I am going to share my story in poem form. Thank you in advance for listening. 1:45 I was curled up in my bed, held hostage by a mental chain. The wreckage from my abuser continually permeated my brain. I decided there was only one way to get those thoughts to leave. Replacing them with new ideas was a welcome reprieve. I struggled to see my beauty and I questioned my value and worth. When I opened my mind to writing, my heart entertained joy and mirth. There was one avenue of writing most worthy of my time. I find solace and safety when I engage in rhyme. The comfort of predictable meter, some people don't understand. It is my sanctuary, a true soft place to land. I spent years in insanity with no haven or foundation. Rhyme is my security blanket, and it changed my sad situation. Now you know my story, so my name I will explain. It is important to showcase my pride since I escaped my pain. I am a historian, storyteller, and poet-griot. The hue of my skin is a deep rich cocoa. 3:14 That is the story of how Cocoa Griot was born. When you go through trials and tests in life, you should emerge with a testimony. In fact, T-E-S- T is the start of the word testimony. This platform gives me a chance to share the wisdom I gleaned from a myriad of life experiences. I am grateful for my listeners from all over the globe. If you have a journey that you want to share to help guide others, I encourage you to create content to connect with people who just might need to hear what you have to say. It doesn't have to be a podcast. It doesn't have to be a blog. It could be through art. Whatever your talent is, you can make a difference in this world. My hope is that your days ahead are peaceful, prosperous, and full of joy. Thanks for listening this evening. As always, I wish you good health good fortune, and good night. A very grateful Cocoa Griot out! Happy Thanksgiving!
It Is Time For Me To Give Up These Three Things!
Nov 17 2021
It Is Time For Me To Give Up These Three Things!
“There are wounds that never show on the body that are deeper and more hurtful than anything that bleeds.” ― Laurell K. Hamilton,  (Mistral')s Kiss 0:07 Good evening and welcome to my humble podcast abode. I am Cocoa Griot, you know that 50 something who is delighted to talk to you about life, love, and a heaping of other topics. Today I want to discuss the lyrics of one of my favorite songs by Envogue and how it can apply to our lives. The song is entitled Give It Up, Turn It Loose. If you don't know the song, the basic gist of it is this is young lady is being strung along by her boyfriend. Her friends have tried to encourage her to give it up and turn it loose because it's not a healthy relationship for her. Tonight, I want to focus on some things that I have to give up and turn loose. There's nothing healthy about holding on to these three things. 0:52 Every now and I'm going to show a little of my nerdy side and guys just bear with me. This is one of those nights. One of the things that I've learned I have to do is let go of past trauma. I want to explain what not working through past trauma can do to us and why it's particularly harmful. Recently, I read that you can think of past trauma as shrapnel in your mind. That's right, it's leftover harmful fragments of an injury. When you don't remove physical shrapnel, it has an impact on the body. Mental shrapnel has an impact on the mind that can prevent you from experiencing your best life and happiness. I believe this problem exists among many people in our society today. It's definitely difficult to work through traumatic experiences, but healing from them offers a fuller and richer life. Negative events tend to stay in our minds 10 times longer than positive events. The implications of that just blow my mind. How many of us at the end of the day can recount more negative experiences than positive? When I think about children who are growing up in this pandemic.,I wonder how much trauma they are experiencing and absorbing? There is so much secondary trauma that piles on top of what they already are dealing with personally. I'm on a mission to give past trauma up and turn it loose. 2:16 The second thing I have committed myself to giving up and turning loose is self-doubt. Wayne Gretzky once said you miss 100% of the shots you don't take. I am super guilty of this because I often suffer from analysis paralysis. I would think through a situation so deeply that I convinced myself I don't have the tools to carry out whatever the task is at hand. Has that ever happened to you? You were presented with an opportunity and you convinced yourself that you don't have the knowledge, skills, or abilities to handle the task. Dunning Kruger effect is real, but here's the irony regarding this. People who boast about being confident and competent, often are not. People who do have the acumen for a task, often shy away from it because of self-doubt. It is important to take honest stock of what you have to offer in this situation. I'm the first to say I never want to be promoted past my competence, but you do have to give yourself credit for the things you do know and are able to do. Moving forward I'm willing to take an honest assessment of my skills and not knock myself before I even give myself a chance to prove that I can't do something. I have to give it up and turn it loose. 3:34 The last thing I need to give up and turn loose and I am so ashamed to say this ya'll is holding grudges. This is one of the most pointless and fruitless things that exist in my life. If a person angers me, the recovery period is pretty fast. Hurt my feelings and well that's when a grudge might just sneak up and appear. Voltaire said, "We are all formed of frailty and error, let us reciprocally pardon one another. "That's easier said than done, my friends! When someone injures me emotionally I must admit my first thought is not how I've been...
Deliver Me From Askholes! (Not a Typo)
Nov 10 2021
Deliver Me From Askholes! (Not a Typo)
“Normal is an illusion. What is normal for the spider is chaos for the fly.” — Morticia Addams00:07 Good evening and welcome to my humble podcast abode. I am Cocoa Griot 50 something who truly enjoys sharing my thoughts with you about life, love, and a heaping of other topics. Now being a woman of a certain age, I get a lot of calls regarding advice. I feel like since I've been on this planet for a minute, I should share wisdom if it can help someone avoid mistakes I've made. Lately, though, I've been feeling some type of way about people who ask for my help, but then do the exact opposite of what I encourage them to do. These people are lovingly known as askholes. They will ask for your advice, and then willingly not do what we advise them to do. Now you might be thinking, well, a person has a right to do what they choose. I'm the first to agree with that, but my issue is why ask if you do not intend to follow the advice? In my neck of the woods, we call that a colossal waste of time.! I'm going to share a few reasons why I'm not entertaining askholes any longer. 01:12 The first reason I'm no longer dealing with askholes is that I realized they will do nothing that is not going to confirm what they already want to hear, right? Hypothetical situation, but very plausible in the askhole realm. A friend comes to you wanting advice because her boyfriend cheated on her. He promises her he will never do it again and it was just a moment of weakness while the couple was going through a rough patch. You tell your friend Hey, a leopard does not change his spots. If he cheated on you once, he will do it again. And didn't he cheat on you with his last girlfriend?. That is how you guys ended up together. I think the best thing to do is break up with him. She looks at you with alligator tears in her eyes, and with all sincerity, she says yes, you're right. I'm going to break up with him tomorrow. You call her the next day because you are sure she is brokenhearted and sulking. Oh, no, she's not sulking. She is jubilant because he asked her to marry him, and she said yes. You gave your time and advice to someone who had no intention of doing what you recommended. She wanted to be in this relationship with the community dude. You know what I mean when I say that? No matter what he did to hurt her. We have to stop giving our energy and time to people who already know what they're going to do in a situation before they even ask us. 02:33 The second reason I'm no longer giving an audience to askholes is because not everyone has the courage to do hard things. Let's think through the scenario I posed about the girl marrying this Casanova. This is the prime setup for delayed heartache and disappointment. If a person has the courage to just deal with being down and taking the steps to get over a breakup, further heartache down the road can be avoided. I am definitely speaking from experience here. When I was involved with he who shall not be named, we split up several times. I had a friend who advised me to just have the courage to be done with it once and for all. I believe her exact words were when you get a belly full, you will stop. You better believe she was right. Was it hard when I made the decision to finally depart the Codependency Crazy Express? Yes. But my mental state stabilized as I worked through the pain. 03:28 The most compelling reason I am no longer giving askholes my time is because they subtly use you as a friend, and take you for granted. There's a pattern I recognized regarding the askholes in my life. I never hear from them when times are good. They don't talk to me about any positive news. The askholes breeze into my day, take an emotional dump and then leave. I will not hear from them again until the next crisis comes up that they want to ask me for advice for that they have no intention of taking. Let me repeat . The people already know what they are going to do. If your advice is different than what they...
I Am Officially Ending My Ride on the DNA Surprise Emotional Roller Coaster
Nov 3 2021
I Am Officially Ending My Ride on the DNA Surprise Emotional Roller Coaster
(Appreciate what you have and who you have, because the future can take it all away from you anytime.) -Unknown Tonight I am sharing the reasons I decided to back off from pursuing information about my biological father and his family. Tonight's episode is sponsored by PODGO.CO. 00:08 Hello and welcome to my humble podcast abode y'all. It is Cocoa Griot that 50 something who revels in talking to you guys about life love and a bevy of other topics. Many of you know that in September, I had a bomb dropped on me in terms of finding out that I was not my birth certificate father's biological child. Once I recovered from the initial shock, I wanted to find out everything I could about my new family. In the short time that I've had this knowledge, the ups and downs have been overwhelming. I've been hopeful and made progress in some areas, but mostly, I've just gotten a lot of disappointment and hurt. So, I decided that the only person who can remove me from this emotional roller coaster is me. It will take some steps to do that. This epiphany occurred to me when I was watching my neighbor interact with his daughter. I started thinking about all the good times I had with my dad, like going to the park with him or him reading to me at night. I know I was lucky. 01:13 The first step that I'm taking to get off the emotional roller coaster is no longer reaching out to people and asking questions. I feel like I'm supposed to remain a secret and that is what people would prefer. This is disturbing because it is essentially blaming a child for the actions of the parents. The next step I'm going to take is to stop pouring over records about the family. I have a book I've been reading, combing My Heritage,.com Ancestry.com, and Familysearch.org to find out information. I'm going to stop these activities because they make me feel even more disconnected. I never met these people and from what I can tell by the reception I'm getting, they probably wouldn't have wanted to meet me either. I am blessed. I grew up in a loving home and that's not something many people can say these days. Part of me just longed to know about the person who was my biological father. From what I can tell from other people with a similar experience, it's quite a natural desire. I'm also finding out that most people are really not open when it comes to revealing family secrets. So, before I talk about the last step in getting up the emotional roller coaster of this DNA discovery, let me share tonight's sponsor with you. 02:36 Tonight's podcast is presented by PODGO. PODGO is the easiest way for you to monetize your podcast. Providing podcasts is with a flat rate for ad space, so you always know what you're getting when you include an ad from PODGO. Apply today to become a member and immediately be connected with advertisers that fit your audience. PODGO that's P O D G O dot C O and make sure to add my podcast Cocoa Griot in the How did you hear about PODGO section of the application. 03:14 The third thing that I'm doing to get myself off the emotional roller coaster is focusing on the family I do know. I can honestly say that since I found out about the circumstances of my birth., I've not been as attentive to my siblings as I normally would be. I got caught up and wanted to meet new people instead of appreciating the people that are already in my life that love me. I know that everyone's journey is different when they find out something that turns their whole world around for them. But I've decided to make my journey a positive path and focus on the place that I've received love for years, my family! There's something I used to always tell my friends when they were complaining about people not responding to them the way they wanted them to. I always ask them," Why are you going to McDonald's and ordering for filet mignon? They say" Well, that's ridiculous." I know they don't serve...
You Can Still Win Even If The Odds Are Against You!
Oct 27 2021
You Can Still Win Even If The Odds Are Against You!
Most of us have encountered situations that challenged us to overcome incredible odds. Amanda America Dickson Toomer's story is riveting and I am sharing it with you tonight! Are you a podcaster looking for potential sponsors? Check out PODGO.CO. 00:00 Good evening and welcome to my humble podcast abode. I am Cocoa Griot, that resident fifty-something who's here to share with you ideas about life love, and a host of other topics. Tonight I want to travel back in time a little and talk about a story that is really fascinating. I don't know about you, but I've had times when the odds were stacked against me, and I felt hopeless in some situations. I feel a little ashamed right now admitting that because I've never had odds stacked against me, like the woman I'm going to talk to you guys about tonight. Can you imagine being forced to deal with a 79 to one situation, but still fighting the battle anyway? This is the story of Amanda American Dickson Toomer. This is one of those stories from history that makes me believe in the power of right. 1:03 Amanda America Dickson was born in November of 1849. Her 40-year-old father was known as the prince of southern farmers. David Dickson was one of the wealthiest planters in Hancock County, Georgia. Amanda's father owned her mother, David impregnated Julia Francis Lewis Dickson when she was just 12 years old, Julia gave birth to Amanda at the age of 13. Amanda's time with her mother was very short because of David's plans for his only child. When Amanda was fully weaned, David took her into his home with every intention of affording his daughter privileges her mother would never have. The primary female influence in Amanda's life was her grandmother, Elizabeth Sholars Dickson. Even though Amanda's father and grandmother loved her dearly by all accounts, they could not emancipate the child based on Georgia laws. 2:02 Reading, writing and piano lessons were part of Amanda's daily life as a child. She spent hours on end in the company of her doting grandmother, Elizabeth. Amanda wore fine clothing, received lessons in social graces, and was referred to as Miss Mandy by everyone on the Dickson plantation. It is mind-blowing to fathom that Julia was her daughter's house servant. Added duties for Julia involved her continuing a "relationship" with David. David married 25- year old Clara Harris when he was 61, but he still carried on his "involvement" with Julia. Some accounts say that Amanda, being prepared to enter white society was frowned upon by many Hancock County residents. The Dicksons just ignored the scandalous talks around the family's decisions regarding Amanda's upbringing and Amanda lived a pretty charmed life until a father died. Well, Amanda declared herself an orphan. Now, this is amazing to me because she clung to her father's lifeless body on February 18, 1885. And it's stunning to think that she was 44 years old at the time, and she declared herself an orphan. Despite the fact, her mother Julia was very much alive, but Amanda's mind was whitewashed. 03:28 David's relatives set out to remind her of her place. David's immediate family assumed they would inherit his vast fortune, but they were wrong. Clara Dickson preceded her husband in death. David Dickson left around $30,000 for his surviving relatives. Amanda received more, much more! More than 15,000 acres in Hancock and Washington counties, 13,000 acres in Texas railroad stock, and rights to the seeds and compound formulas that he used to increase agricultural yields. But before I tell you about the battle royale that happened over all of this wealth let me go ahead and take a moment to recognize tonight's sponsor. 4:26 Tonight's podcast is presented by PODGO.CO PODGO.CO is the easiest way for you to monetize your podcast providing podcasters with a flat rate for airspace so you always know how much you get when you include an ad from PODGO.CO. Apply today to become a member and immediately be connected...
Why Am I Still Dealing With Three of My Childhood Fears?
Oct 20 2021
Why Am I Still Dealing With Three of My Childhood Fears?
It took me a long time, but I grew out of sucking my thumb. There are remnants from my childhood I have not been able to let go of and I wonder if I ever will. PODGO.CO is tonight's amazing sponsor! 00:00 Good evening and welcome to my humble podcast abode. I am Cocoa Griot, just a 50 something who is sitting here supercharged and ready to go to share some thoughts with you about life, love, and a plethora of other topics. When I was in deep in thought the other day, well I usually a notion came to me. I realized that I'm sitting here 55 years old, and I still have some of the same fears as when I was a child. I know that sounds really out there, but bear with me. So tonight's topic is why am I still dealing with three of my childhood fears? 1:02 One of the main fears I had, when I was a little girl, was going outside of the lines. Whenever I had a coloring page, I was meticulous about making sure that I took a crayon and lined the edges of the picture, because that was my personal boundary. I don't know what I thought was gonna happen if I crossed over that line, but it must have been something disastrous for sure. It was all about the opinions of adults who would see my work. Today, the lines represent the same fear of not being accepted because I might cross a boundary. I very much care about how I'm perceived by others in my work and my personal life as well. Just being honest with myself. This strikes me as really surprising that I have held on to this same fear for over 50 years. If you have suggestions about how to cross the lines without fear, please let me know. 2:04 When I was a little girl. We went to Six Flags, I wandered away from my family. I was just talking to people and trying to hide the fact that I really didn't know where I was, and that I couldn't find my family members. I was terrified. I stopped to talk to a lady who was selling paper flowers, and she asked me where my parents where. I told her they were lost. The lady got someone from the park to reconnect me to my parents. The entire time I was full of fear, but. I thought about what Mr. Rogers always said, look for the helpers. One of my greatest fears today is losing those I love. I carry this with me, especially after I have lost so many close loved ones. I truly believe the way to overcome this fear is to accept the fact that life does have a stopping point. It's important to pack all the love we can into the time we have with our loved ones. But we cannot stop what is inevitable. My mom used to constantly preface advice with well when I'm not here, I want you to do thus and so, what whatever right. You know I think the problem was I listened but I never wanted to imagine life without her. Now though, I think about many of those pieces of advice she gave me, and I'm glad she had the courage to discuss what I needed to do when she was no longer here. This helps me. If you are fortunate enough to still have your parents, please treasure them. Before I talk about the last fear that I am still harboring, let me go ahead and talk to you about tonight's sponsor. I gotta pay the podcast bills. 3:37 So tonight's podcast is presented by PODGO. PODGOis the easiest way for you to monetize your podcasts providing podcasters with a flat rate for ad space so you always know how much you get when you include an ad from PODGO. Apply today to become a member and immediately be connected with advertisers that fit your audience. That's PODGO. Co P O D, G O. CO. Be sure to mention to add my podcast Cocoa Griot in the how did you hear about PoDGO section of your application. 4:11 Let's go ahead and talk about the last fear that I still have. This kind of connects to the first one I mentioned, but I'm going to go into it on a little deeper level. So the last fear I still have is not being understood by others. I have been different my entire life. When I was a little girl we lived next door to a college English professor. Instead of playing with...