Since I was a child, I’ve been a dreamer.

I used to lay outside on the grass in my yard and stare up at the clouds passing me by. As early as five, I contemplated those big questions, “Why am I here?” “What am I supposed to do with my life?” “What does this all mean?” As you can imagine, asking those kinds of questions to yourself as a child could lead to tons of deep thinking and alone time.

I remember spending a significant amount of time alone with my thoughts when I was younger. Most of my time was spent thinking, writing, and reading. It’s funny how when you start to replay your childhood, you realize that you were doing exactly what you were created to do. I was a born writer, thinker, visionary, and lifelong learner.
Can you go back in your childhood and recall those things that you most enjoyed? Connecting back to our childlike innocence it often the first step in realizing our purpose.

So what happens then? How do we get sidetracked and disconnected as we grow up? Here, allow me to give you the raw, uncut, and real of my adult life in a nutshell…

One of the things that I started to realize was no matter what kind of situation I found myself in that I thought would be a better fit for me, it was never enough, it was never JUST RIGHT. I looked around and had the house, husband, kids, education, and a professional job, and I realized something… this SUCKED!

I know many of you can relate to this, you wake up, get the kids ready for school, rush out the door without breakfast, work at a job eight hours a day just to barely pay your bills, rush to get the kids, run them to their activities, try and cook a decent meal, homework, shower and bed. My house, which I pay a mortgage on remains a mess because we’re always on the go, and laundry stays in the baskets because I’m too tired to actually fold them on the weekends when I should be relaxing and actually enjoying my life.

Now nowhere in that long list of responsibilities did I mention spending any quality time with my husband, friends, or hey, MYSELF!!! I found myself tired, stressed, angry, and completely disillusioned by this whole thing called life. But I began to realize something, life was RUNNING me! I had fallen in that trap that so many of us become a victim to. We think that this is the way it’s supposed to be, after all, my parents put their 30 years in at their job, I guess it’s my turn. But what if it didn’t have to be that way? What if things could be done differently? I mean, my heart was telling me that it had to be different. There was this fire in my heart that knew that I was NOT supposed to take the conventional route.
So I started asking the questions. What is the conventional route?
Says who? Why do I have to conduct my life “like everyone else?”
What is success? Who defines it?

I shouldn’t say that I STARTED to ask the questions, I just began reconnecting with these questions that I asked myself as a child lying on the grass in my yard. I began connecting back to myself, my wants, my needs, my desires, what was important to me, without the help of society, educational institutions, or the opinions of others. This was the fork in the road for me, stay on the path of discontent, disconnection, and disillusionment, or move toward my truth, my purpose, and the essence of who I am.

This is when ISH got real!

I started asking myself those hard questions, re-evaluating my life and the choices I’ve made, and really coming to terms with what’s most important to me. What I found out was that I was making things way too hard for myself and by simply submitting to the will of God and getting into alignment with myself and Him, every need, want, and desire simply manifested in my life. Now although I am a believer and have given my life over to God, I don’t want you to think that’s all there is and all is perfect in the world. I’m also a realist and have learned to balance my deep spirituality with practical actions in alignment with my faith to help CREATE my life. Which brings me here, to my purpose, what I have been gifted with to in turn, gift to the world      

My mission is to help you fully align your thoughts and desires with soul-inspired actions
to create a life of freedom.

Freedom is what I crave and I can imagine you crave it too, but with all the competing responsibilities you have, it can seem like a pretty hard reality to create. But can I tell you that it can be done? Can I tell you that not only can it be done, but you are incredibly worthy of having the life of your dreams?

I want to see YOU fall in love and connect with yourself again, reclaim YOUR strength, celebrate YOUR authenticity, and be unapologetic about who YOU are and what YOU want!
I want you to tear yourself away from that lie that you’ve allowed yourself to think about your talents, gifts, abilities, and dreams.

NO ONE, let me say this again, NO ONE can hold you back from anything but you!

You may not believe that now, but don’t worry, I will hold that belief for you until you do.
I want you to start thinking differently about yourself, to start focusing on the possibilities
and those hidden gems about yourself that you’ve kept away from people.

Does this kind of change happen overnight…of course it doesn’t. It’s a PROCESS, not a destination. But then again, so isn’t life? But I ask you to commit to the process. When you simply make the choice to create exactly what it is that makes your heart sing, the struggles will seem like tiny hiccups. And in those present moments constantly creating your life, that’s when you will truly experience freedom.

Fun tidbits about me:

I love asparagus! No seriously, I could eat it every day!

Speaking of eating, I love food in general and swear I was a food critic in my former life

I’m a native Midwesterner, but I left the Midwest at 18 and my life experiences have shaped who I am today. So at any given moment, I could sound like a New Yorker, West Indian, Southern, or I could blurt out something in Haitian-Creole. I’m extremely proud of my eclectic style, it encompasses the richness of experiences I have had in my life.

Speaking of eclectic style, you could catch me in a sexy dress and heels one day, jeans and sneakers others, and a professional look another. I truly dress how I feel.

I love to dance and just knew I was going to grow up and be a fly girl on In Living Color (the 90s were the best!)

Here’s all the official stuff:

Toneka R. Etienne is a lover of the written word. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science, a Master’s Degree in School Psychology, and a Ph.D in Educational Psychology. For the past ten years, Toneka has been working in the educational setting as a school psychologist. Although the primary focus on her work includes working directly with children, she most enjoys working with the parents, teachers, and administrators in her schools. Her background in psychology, counseling, and motivation, has led her to discover her passion of working with women.

Toneka is a keen listener, and enjoys being that ear for women to discuss their fears, anxieties, and frustrations with their current lifestyle. She enjoys offering support, guidance, and strategies to help women connect back to their essence, and regain confidence in their own knowing.

Toneka lives in suburban Atlanta with her husband and two young daughters.