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about the columnist

Shonda Mayes was born and raised in the Hampton Roads/757 area of Virginia. Considered a “Jackie of all Trades,” Shonda has many talents. Shonda is the CEO and Founder of Grit, Grind, and Grace Publications. Gifted in writing and public speaking, Shonda decided to answer the call on her life and use her experiences to help other people. She’s down-to-earth-and relatable due to the many life experiences that have molded her into the woman she is today. Her authenticity and transparency has allowed her to connect with others on a different level. Shonda also has a huge love for acting and was cast as Yvette from the popular “Pitbulls in a Skirt” book series by Mikal Malone. This was her first major acting role and she fell in love with the art of bringing characters to life. Shonda hopes to further pursue her dreams of acting.

Shonda also writes under the pen name, Ten Santana, and has released one book under that name.

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Issue 20

I’m an 80s baby who grew up in the 90s, so much of my life was shaped by that era. We had the best tv shows like the iconic A Different World, The Cosby Show, Martin, and Living Single. And, in my opinion, some of the best music came out in the 90s, too. It was an all-around vibe! The summers seemed longer and being outside with your friends until the streetlights came on was the thing to do. Life just hit differently back then and I often long for that feeling that the 90s brought with it.

Issue 18

Being a creative is amazing! Having the ability and God-given talent to create things that others enjoy is super rewarding. It also, however, can be draining. Sometimes, we don’t even realize that our cups are depleted, and we need to reset and refocus. However, implementing strategies to re-fill our cups can do wonders for our creative minds and get us back in the game to create the magic that we love to share with others.


So, what can we do to make sure we take the time to reset before exhaustion sets in and disturbs our gift? Well, I’m glad you asked! I have a few tips that I’ve used to help me whenever my mind is blocked, and I need to shift.


April 2022

Do you ever remember when you were a kid, and you had your entire life mapped out? You had all these plans for your future. Maybe you wanted to be married by twenty, have your first child by twenty-three, and be a homeowner by thirty. Or maybe you wanted to be a New York Times best-selling author by twenty-five. But then life happened, and you aren’t quite where you planned to be. It can be a hard pill to swallow sometimes, but things rarely go exactly as we plan them.

Feb 2022

It’s the month of love, and although I’m not a big fan of Valentine’s Day, I am a big fan of love. I’m talking about love on all levels and from all types of relationships. Being loved is a euphoric feeling that releases the feel-good hormone dopamine into your system, and that’s why I am encouraging you all to go where the love is.

Vlogging from Home Office

Jan 2022

Happy New Year fam! We made it!


I’m not going to bore you with any of my resolutions for the New Year. I don’t even have any, but I do have a few goals I’ve set for myself this year. If you’re anything like me, I’m sure you have some, too. It can be difficult to stay the course especially when day-to-day issues of life arise. To help you and me see our goals manifest in our lives, I’d like to see them manifest this year, and I’d love to share a few tips for making that process.

Dec 2021

What a year it has been! Here we are preparing to celebrate a new year, and I can’t help but be thankful for all that we’ve made it through and accomplished. There’s still such a sense of loss around us. From losing our “normal” way of living to the loss of our loved ones, the last two years are something I never thought I’d experience in my lifetime. Yet, there is still so much to be thankful for, and so many lessons learned that will shape how I dominate 2022.


I’d like to share a few valuable lessons I’ve learned on this journey in the hopes that maybe there’s something that will help you master your mind and spirit as you move into the new year.

Christmas Market Stall
Hatha Class

Oct 2021

Self-Love is the Best Love


Too many times do we as women allow the wrong men to enter our lives and stay. These men influence and unfortunately is not real. It is indeed a trauma bond. Not too long ago, I recently ended what was a long-term relationship with someone that I trusted and loved. What I realize is that the love was not reciprocated. He tolerated me, and I fought for us to remain a couple even though we did not do couple things. I felt if I did things that he enjoyed that he would love me more than he showed. He did not. What he did was cause me to believe that he would always be there and that the love that I knew I was missing was all in my head. There was hardly affection, there was no communication, and all in all, no intimacy.

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