BLOOM readers, I would like to introduce Arlene Henderson.  Motivational Speaker, Author, Empowerment Coach, and Blogger, Arlene has blazed the Birmingham, Alabama community.

With her warm personality, she imparts wisdom to those around her; striving to be a light in a world filled with darkness!

BLOOM SPOTLIGHT:  Arlene Henderson

  • When you think of the word “successful,” who’s the first person who comes to mind and why?

When it comes to a “successful” relationship I think first about Barak & Michelle Obama. Together they managed to lead with strength, grace, and dignity during their eight years in the White House as the first African American First Family. This is something that I will treasure forever. The Obamas were real friends. They enjoyed life. They expressed love while encouraging all of us to take the high road when faced with adversity. The couple was often criticized for being President and First Lady which is what I believe they were always destined to be.

  • What is the number one way we can make a difference in our community?

We can make a difference in our community by communicating with each other. The bible tells us to seek wisdom and get an understanding of all that we do. We cannot do that unless we have an open and honest conversation. We will never conquer hard topics until we address them head-on. It is time to talk about the big elephant in the room. We all love our country but we must do the hard work for the love to shine through. This also requires us to listen to each other even when it is a topic we don’t really want to discuss. Its time to do some deep cleaning/communicating of our hearts and minds to make a difference.

  • What has helped you get to where you are and what advice would you give to others on the same path?

My path has been very rocky, so my first piece of advice would be to get a clear understanding of who you are through God’s word. Establishing a personal relationship with God and staying connected to him will help when life comes at you from all directions. If you do not know who you are, you will end up trying to be something that was not purposed for your life.

My advice to others on the same path would be to get connected with like-minded people who are willing to help and encourage you along the way. You will need someone to journey with you in life if you are going to ever accomplish something great. I do not mean great in the monetary sense, but great in the sense of what did you to do help or inspire others. Think about what legacy are you leaving?

  • Do you have a specific experience where you wish you had done things differently?

Absolutely. I wish I would have taken time to be focused on what I wanted out of life for me. Instead of trying to be what the person I was with at the time wanted me to be. I feel like I lost my identity at such a young age in a relationship and it has taken over two decades for me to find my true self. Sharing all my challenging experiences helped me find my strength and my voice.

  • What advice would you give to your 20-, 25-, or 30-year-old self? And please place where you were at the time, and what you were doing.

I would not go back to my twenties even if I had the chance. I was so naive and gullible to life and people. I trusted everyone and was hurt by so many. I thought that if I were the best friend and girlfriend then that would make people love me. I was so wrong. I was looking for something in other people instead of finding it in myself first. It was a case of the blind leading the blind. But I was so blind and immature I thought everyone had it together but me. I would tell my 20-, 25-, or 30-year-old self, to learn to love yourself. Unconditional love will only be found in you through Jesus Christ. I would advise that it cannot be purchased or manipulated into being something it is not. Slow down and plan for your future. Be prepared for your future – mentally, physically, and financially.

  • How has a failure, or apparent failure, set you up for later success? Or, do you have a favorite failure of yours?

Failure has humbled me. Failure has made me grow up. Failure has taught me that I cannot leave anything to happen by chance. It has taught me that I am responsible for my own happiness and wellbeing. I must be connected to good and healthy people but I cannot require more from them than I require from myself.

All of this has taught me that I can do things that I once dreamed of. My failures taught me to believe in me and stop counting myself out. Why not me is the question I as now!

Do you have a quote you live your life by or think of often? I have scripture and quote.

One of my favorite scriptures is: Psalms 46:5 “God is within her, she will not fall, God will help her at the break of day.”

Break of day means everything is new each morning. So, if I can make it through the midnight, I know morning restores me to full capacity to start all over again.

And my quote is “Hear My Cry, We Are Better Together”. Every great movement begins with a sound. I want to be a sound that is everlasting, long after I am gone.

Follow Arlene Henderson and learn more about her platform on social media:  FacebookInstagramTwitter, and LinkedIn.