This week on the show, we're joined by Leah Forney, CEO of Purposely Faithful and host of Hey Queen Thrive Podcast. Leah is a woman on a mission to use her voice and her story to help anyone needing affirmation that they are purposeful. She opens up about the moment that changed her life – when she realized that she needed to use her voice to speak her truth. Leah shares her story of overcoming abuse and rape and offers advice to others who are struggling with
- Leah's story of self-discovery
- The moment that changed her life
- Overcoming abuse and rape
- Offering advice to others
- The power of writing to heal
- Creating new rules for herself
- Breaking the generational cycle of abuse
[0:0:32] What led Leah to her "Aha!" moment was her understanding that she could use her voice to empower others who have been through similar experiences. By sharing her story, she provides strength and hopes to those who need it.
[0:3:33] Writing provided Leah with a way to process her emotions and trauma in a healthy way. It also allowed her to connect with others who had similar experiences. Writing served as a form of therapy that helped her heal and grow.
[0:5:28] 3. Be open to how God wants to heal you and trust that the process is worth it.
[0:9:2] 2. Be intentional about making changes in your life and seeking out help when needed.
#thyme4teawithmikita #manifest #purposefulliving #liveunapplogectically #freedom #podcast #womeninpodcast #podcastlife #empoweringwomen
Time for Tea with Mikita is a podcast about redefining self care. It's about looking at every aspect of our life from music, career, family, relationships, and everything in between. It's about spilling tea on those conversations that are sometime hard to have. Well, we're not afraid to have those conversations, right. Join me as we spill tea on every conversation you ever thought about, dreamed about, or whispered about. Hey y'all, it's definitely time for some tea. This episode of Time for Tea with Mikita is brought to you by l and s Music Group professional recording, personalized to fit your unique sound. Welcome back. Thank you so much for sharing your time and space and your energy with me. Today I am super excited to be joined by the one and only Leah Forney. Leah is the friend that you want at your book club meetings because she's always gonna bring that meaningful conversation, that realness, that rawness, the conversations that keep you thinking. But as Leah says, she's more than just the ceo, purposely faithful, and the host of Hate Queen Through Thrive Podcast, she is a woman on a mission to use her voice and her story to anyone needing affirmation that you are purpose. This is time for I'm Mikita, and this is Leah's. So many accolades I have to ask you in all the accomplishments, can you tell us my five words, Leah isLeah M Forney:
without the titles. Ooh, that's so good. So without the titles, the thing that I could say is that I'm a woman of God and I put God first in everything I do. And outside of that, I'm an aunt of 12. Nieces and nephews, but I'm just, I'm your everyday friend that will cheerlead you on, that will root for you that wants to see you win. And I try to, you know, bring that in. Everything I do and the people that I connect with. When IMikita:
asked Leah to share her backstory, I never could have guessed the emotions that would play through me. I felt like I had experienced everything that she had at one point in my. The anger, the hurt, the resentment. We've all felt it before. It's just amazing how our childhood experiences can shape us. It led you to the journey that gave you that aha moment that like it was time to take the pain, take the hurt, and it turned that, you know, that message into something thatLeah M Forney:
offers. So I always tell people my backstory is I'm a daughter of two addicts. My mom has been a drug addict since she gave, had me in her room. My dad was an alcoholic and then outta prison. So I grew up being raised by my maternal grandparents and my aunt. You know, as a young kid growing up in Queens, New York, mostly your friends had mom and dad, and I had grandpa, grandma, and auntie, right? So immediately I felt like a, a sore thumb. I kind of stuck out. It was kinda like, why am I so different than everybody else? Um, and I struggled with that. Like I struggled with it for a very long time. I felt abandoned, I felt rejected. And so I took it out on other people, so I was either fighting. You know, or lashing out on people. And my grandmother's biggest, biggest fear at the time was that I was gonna either end up dead really early or in prison like my father. Uh, so I had to find a different outlet. And that outlet for me at a young age was writing. So I just started walking around with a paper, with a notebook and pen. Just writing.Mikita:
Writing would create a domino effect for. Used us one way to escape from the life she wished she had to creating the life that was meant for herLeah M Forney:
to. And so I would craft stories, fictional stories about who my parents were in my mind, so that way when people would ask me about my parents, I, uh, had some elaborate story, like my dad was a CIA agent on some top secret mission. You know, it was easier to create the fantasy world than it was to step into the realities of both my parents' battle and addiction, and my daddy's locked up. We allMikita:
have that moment. We have to be heard. We have to use our voice to speak for something, to give meaning to something. And that's what Leah learned. This was her moment to use her voice. What got you to the point where you were like, I'm okay with sharing that story cuz so many people, like you said, there's so much guilt why people don't wanna say, you know, In a relationship that I was abused or I was raped because of the stigma, because of what they're afraid, what people would say. So what do you say to those people and, andLeah M Forney:
through your own journey, what have you learned? So I think the, the freedom to open up my mouth came probably starting around 2016 when I wrote the very first book that I have unapologetically me, and I wrote that book really to talk about the tumultuous relationship with my mom and how I have this love hate relationship. Like I love her for giving me life, but I struggled to like, And in most days I hated her because of her addiction. Right. Um, so it started there and it, I think at that time, God was really trying to groom me to where I am today, where I, I helped other women to step into that truth for themselves. But I would say the catalyst that really was like, okay, moved up to where I am now in Maryland. and I almost died. I had literally had a near death experience where I blacked out behind the wheel of my car. And what brought me back was literally hearing the, the horn, the, the slamming of the brakes and the horn from the other car. Like I was inches away from a head on collision. And it was in that moment that God said to me, are you gonna deal with it? Cause it's dealing with you. ListeningMikita:
to this reminds me so much of myself. And I'm sure you can relate to, to a point in your life where you had to say, okay, I can't do this anymore. I have to deal with this.Leah M Forney:
We've all been there. And that was the moment that I was like, God, I don't even know how to deal with it. I think for me, the first step in anything is just acknowledging the fact that you may not even have the tools.Mikita:
In most of our communities, we are taught to be tough. To be strong. Never let 'em see you cry. Show no weakness. But what happens when all you can do is cry? Like you said, bring it back. You said something about earlier, about when God said like You are the purpose. People forget, you know, we get wrapped up in trying to find our purpose. So they keep saying, well, you know, I'm looking for my purpose. I wanna know what my purpose is in life. You know, you are the purpose. It's not about that. It's about, to me, I always say, it's all aboutLeah M Forney:
using your voice. You know, in the black community, it's okay. Get over it. You know, that's not our mantra and I've had to unlearn that. Even now, you know, I, I'm, I am daily practicing unlearning behaviors because there's so much that we're taught. That we don't even realize is so detrimental to our growth. And because grandma taught us, or Big Mama taught us, or auntie and them taught us, you know what I'm saying? Like, then we, then we take that as Bible, like that's gold, right? And then it isn't until you are in your healing journey and God begins to help you peel back the layers and you're. Yeah, no, that's not, that's not helpful. You know, like, and having to implement new rules, you know, me getting over it. For me, I have replaced that with no, I allow myself 24 to 48 hours to feel like. Sit in it, let's do what it, cause I understand that emotions, energy, all of that is, is cohesive. Right? And so even as a entrepreneur and a business owner, that's like, if I'm not feeling it, I'm not touching my business that day. Because you can transfer that energy into what it is that you're doing. So I have gone from the get over it to, okay, sit. Here's 24, 48 hours. Feel it, cry, kid, scream, yell, whatever you gotta do. And then when that 48 hours is up, now let's come approach this logically and, and, and come up with a solution. Surprisingly,Mikita:
it's not hard for me to imagine young Leah taking out her magic pin, rewriting her destiny. And even to this day, that writing helped transcend her life. It changed her life. It gave her an outlet of healing. and it also gave others an insight to let them know that you're not alone. You're not alone in your childhood trauma, you're not alone in your relationship trauma. You're not alone. So my question to Leah was how did writing provide you therapy for the journey of.Leah M Forney:
My writing is definitely have been therapeutic journey for me. Um, but when I started my writing journey, I believed that I was at a time where God wanted me to show other women like me that there is life after pain. There is life after loss. Um, and so each one of my books has kind of been like a building block of what it has been like to go through the pain. And so with my most recent book, I call it the Eighth and Final, people don't think I'm gonna stop writing, but I I'm like, I'm taking a break for a minute. Um, but it's not, the eighth and final book has been called Born to Be Unbound, and that book really gives a clear. Um, insight of what it has been like for me to heal. And so it has those practical steps, but the way I ha, the way God allowed me to close it out was so beautifully because it. Way different than any other book I've written. You know, majority of my books have shown the pain shown, the scars shown. You know what? I was going through one of my books, defining Moments I wrote right in the middle of grieving five people. Like God was clear like. You gotta write this book. And I'm sitting here like, dude, I just wanna grieve like, what do you mean you want me on this book? You know? And it, and it was really one of the rawest books I've ever wrote. And so to come full circle to this moment, I feel like God used me in my writing to show other women that yes, there will be pain. Yes, there will be trials. Yes, you are going to have seasons where you're going to feel like God, where are you? Do you not hear me? Do. See me. But if you continue to trust him, continue to trust the process, continue to be open to how he wants to heal you in your life, that you two will get to this place where you discover that God has granted you this freedom and that you don't have to live bound anymore. And that you don't have to live in guilt and shame. And that once you get a taste of that freedom, I promise you, mck, you don't wanna go back. you like, mm-hmm. I'm cool on this side. And so. It was therapy for me, but I feel like it was, it was the catalyst that a lot of women that read my books needed to start their own healing journey. AsMikita:
women, we can break generational curses. We can start the healing process from one conversation at a time. Building families, building communities, building women that are not afraid to be vulnerable and say, I need help. It's.Leah M Forney:
Yeah. And I don't think that we realize that, that especially as women, because we are the givers of life, that everything starts with us. That we truly can not only shift the, the atmosphere in our homes, but we can change a whole nation because it starts with us like, and I feel like that has been the reason why God has allowed me. So vocal and transparent about my journey, because I want other women to see that it does start with you. That you literally can break every generational curse when you make a decision that it stops here, that it's not gonna plague, not one more generation or one more bloodline like that. It stops there. And then the challenge is to do something different. You know, like, and that's hard because when you don't know d. You know, even just trying to have healthy relationships, right? Cause most of us don't have healthy relationship pools. Right. But having to be intentional, you know, I tell people all the time, my relationship I'm have now is different because I'm different and I'm being intentional about. Okay. I can't shut this person out. I gotta be vulnerable. I gotta communicate things that we weren't really taught to do. And so healing really requires you to do something different. Cause when you do different, you'll start to see different and you'll start to hear different. And that's what I really have learned as I've been on my journey to heal.Mikita:
Um, if you had to tell people like three things that they can do to, to, to start being intentional, to start leaning into that vulnerability. What would you say would be, you know, just a greatLeah M Forney:
starting point for. So I would say the first thing I would say is practice forgiveness, um, and self-forgiveness, because I think a lot of our guilt and shame and pain really stays stuck in because we haven't forgiven ourselves, we haven't taken the moment to let ourselves off the hook. It's easy to be like, oh, I forgave so and so, but the hardest person to forgive a lot of times is, And so I would say start practicing some self-forgiveness and, and be just be honest with yourself. Like, girl, you know, I didn't know what I was doing child, I thought I was doing the right thing. I didn't know. Right. And really just have that honest conversation with yourself. Um, the other thing I would say is definitely positive affirmations. Like I am huge on affirming. Self, because you're not gonna always have someone in your corner to say, girl, great job. You know what I mean? Like, you did that. Yes. Like, you're not gonna always have that. So get in the habit of daily affirming yourself. You know, I, I have, if you're a person like me who's ever had body image issues, like I've grown to the place. Literally, my daily routine starts with prayer, and then when I'm getting ready for the day, I play Mary j Blige. Good morning, gorgeous. And I stand in the mirror in all my glory. And I affirm me and I just look at me. Cuz we haven't been taught to do that. We've been, especially as women of color, we've been taught to like, hell girl, you got some roles, you shouldn't be doing this. Like, you know what I mean? And so getting a habit of building you up, affirming you, reminding you of how just amazing and dope and creative and innovative that you are, you know? And then the last thing I would probably say is be okay with having courageous convers. Like change your wording around how you have conversa. Cause I used to be like, ah, I hate having difficult conversations. And then when my own coach said to me, why do they have to be difficult? Why can't they just be courageous? And so now I call 'em courageous conversations, and that is just being honest about what it is that you feel. I think when you start those three things, it will help you to build the confidence you need to continue on in your.Mikita:
Leah is a true testament that your voice is your most powerful weapon, and sometimes it requires you to sit in silence. Now, if you wanna connect with Leah, then hit her up on Facebook and Instagram at Leah m Forney. All right, you guys. You know what time it is. It is time for those key takeaways, and that was a lot to unpack. So many gyms were being dropped. Oh my goodness. But the most important one, Was remembering that it's okay to be vulnerable and say, I need help. I need help to heal. Remember, you are never alone even in silence. All right. If you love this conversation, please share. Go over to my Instagram, let me know what you think. You can also send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. All right you guys, that is all the tea that I have to spill today. But don't forget to join me next Tuesday for more delicious hot tea. Until next time, namaste.