Wednesday, April 27, 2011
If there is one thing in life that Shontaye was born to do, it is to inspire and help guide others to be the best they can possibly be. She has taken an especially active interest and role in helping to empower other women. Whether she is providing eye-opening insights as a keynote speaker, writing motivational articles, or providing some one-on-one coaching, her vibrant approach to life rubs off on everyone with whom she interacts.
Shontaye believes that being single should not be something that people look down upon, question, or try to remedy. Quite the contrary, she has found that singlehood provides her with the time to get to know herself, work on becoming the person she wants to be, and enjoy life on her own terms. It has given her a sense of self-confidence that most people strive for their entire life. And she wants to help other women see all of this in themselves, too.
As the founder of Single Is, she brings with her a wealth of business experience and education, including a Master of Business Administration. Her career success, educational attainment and positive outlook on life have helped shape her into the picture of female empowerment she is today.
I was really excited to talk to Shontaye more about Single Is, and her thoughts on being an empowered woman!
Shelly Rachanow: Tell us more about Single Is.
Shontaye Hawkins: Single Is…, is the online destination where single women come together to be inspired and redefine what it means to be single, happy and loving it! The website, an inspirational resource and community, is designed to inspire and empower single women to live their best lives. We choose to live happily ever after right now, at this very moment and not a second later. We are pioneering the universal acceptance of having a satisfying relationship with one’s self. Our community was created so that single women could interact, connect and share the joys of single living and discuss the challenges that affect their daily lives.
In addition to the online community, the Single Is…store will soon offer a selection of products donning the company tagline: “Living Happily Ever After Right Now!”
Single Is...hopes to reinvent what it means to be ‘single and loving it’ for all single women.
Shelly Rachanow: What inspired you to start Single Is?
Shontaye Hawkins: During a night out on the town one Valentine’s Day, a gentleman asked me if I was happy immediately after I told him that I was single. At that moment, I realized just how judgmental and unfriendly society can be toward single women. I happen to be a happy, complete, single woman and believe that that’s the best thing I can do for myself, at this very moment. I want other single women to see that being single isn’t a disease that has to be cured. We all entered this world as one, and we all leave as one.
I created Single Is because of the negativity, judgment and pressure society places on single women to be wives and mothers. I believe single women need a resource that empowers and inspires them to live their best lives now! I think single women finally have the opportunity to design, create and choose the life they truly desire. I want them to understand that they can and should be happy right now rather than later.
With Single Is I’ve created an environment that embraces being single and one that celebrates the joy that comes with that distinction.
Shelly Rachanow: Like many people, there have been times in my life when I was single and wishing I was in a relationship. What do you say to women who feel bad, especially about themselves, because they are single?
Shontaye Hawkins: I explain to them that there’s no reason to feel bad about being single. This is the perfect time to do a self evaluation and learn who you are and what’s most important to you. Once you determine that, then you don’t waste your time with those things or people that aren’t in alignment with your desires. Furthermore, if you can’t be happy with where you are in your life at this moment, being in a relationship isn’t going to change that. You have to take responsibility for your feelings rather than expecting a relationship to make you feel good. It’s more powerful to choose your life than live it by default.
I understand that people perceive women to be lonely and unhappy if they’re single. Loneliness is an emotion that isn’t tied to any particular status. Married and single people alike experience loneliness. I’ve learned to love myself anyway during the times when I feel lonely. I think the quickest and easiest way to free yourself from feeling lonely or feeling bad about being single is with laughter and human touch. A simple laugh or hug from a friend will melt away those negative emotions.
Women have been programmed to believe that our lives don’t start until we’re married. I don’t agree with that. Women don’t have to wait until marriage to live the life of their dreams…you can live your dreams right now!
Shontaye Hawkins: For me, being empowered is absolutely liberating. We spend so much time wanting to please others - our parents, family, and friends - that we lose sight of what’s really important to us. We’re programmed to please others at a very young age. Think about it. As children, we worked hard to do well in school because we wanted to please our parents. Many people start college with the intent of becoming a lawyer or doctor because that’s what their parents decided they’d become, only to drop out after one year.
Once you sit back and decide what you want in life, it’s much easier to live that life. If you’re trying to live the life someone else wants you to live then you’re living a powerless life. Empowerment is about giving yourself permission to believe in your dreams and live them, regardless of what others think. It’s not that their opinion doesn’t matter, it just means that living the life you desire is more important. When you become empowered, it opens the door for the real you to finally show up. The stage is yours.
Shelly Rachanow: And last, the 'If Women Ran the World Blog' question for everyone - What would you do if you ran the world?
Shontaye Hawkins: If I ran the world, I’d teach people to love more, make peace and spread happiness. The world is filled with so much negativity that we’re literally killing ourselves because we don’t love, make peace and smile more. Our bodies are a direct reflection of how we feel on the inside. Sadly enough, some people aren’t aware of the battle going on in their minds and heart.
We live in a world filled with hurt, depression and sadness that can be healed with love. Love for others and love for ourselves. Each of us is more alike than we are different, if we learned to look past the exterior. Simply put, we live and we die. Loving more, making peace and spreading happiness may seem unrealistic but it’s not. Love, peace and happiness is easily expressed with a smile. All it takes is one smile and two hearts are healed, instantly.
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