Month: November 2015

Don’t Fight The Process


There is a quote from one of my favorite wordsmiths Rumi where she says:

“Sorrow prepares you for joy. It violently sweeps everything out of your house, so that new joy can find space to enter. It shakes the yellow leaves from the bough of your heart, so that fresh, green leaves can grow in their place. It pulls up the rotten roots, so that new roots hidden beneath have room to grow. Whatever sorrow shakes from your heart, far better things will take their place.”
What does this mean to you?  Have you ever lost something that you held so dear to your heart and felt as if you didn’t know how you were going to make it through the day? Have you ever been so in love and when the relationship failed you couldn’t see the light of day? You didn’t know whether to shit or go blind? You didn’t know which way was up? Don’t nobody wanna hear about how great it’s going to be later. Nobody wants to hear the same old “it’s going to be okay” bullshit.  Nobody wants to hear that. We are hurting now and we want to know why NOW we want the pain to go away NOW NOW NOW NOW!
But let’s think for a second.  Did you not bring this pain on to yourself? Hold on! Before you blame anybody else, think about what you allowed.  Think for a second.  Against your better judgement think about how you hold on to things that you knew you needed to let go of. Think about being in the wrong relationship, wrong job, wrong friendship, wrong place.  Think about how tight you held on to it because you wanted it to work so bad.  When something is “right” for you, you don’t have to work that hard to keep it.  It is only when things aren’t right for us that we go all out to maintain it, right?  But the Universe has other plans for you my dear and so when that “thing” that you hold on so tightly to gets ripped from your grasp, it has to be done so in a way that makes you stop and say, No More, I have no more in me to chase or hold on to this thing.   It’s violent, its sudden, it’s shocking it leaves you wondering WTF? Why?

Continue reading “Don’t Fight The Process”

INTERVIEW: Vikki S. Ziegler Bravo’s Hit Show “Untying the Knot”

vikki ziegler, divorce dating

Vikki S. Ziegler Payne, Esq. is a multi-layered talent: a practicing attorney of matrimonial law and civil litigation; a television personality known for her commentaries on high-profile cases; an active volunteer for women’s and children’s charities; and the innovator of a unique and realistic approach to “divorce management.” She is often called on to give her expert advice on television, radio and print for the past several years. She is on HLN/CNN, Fox News and Fox Business Channel weekly. She has been on CNBC, MSNBC, Fox 5, TAlk Soup on E!, WPIX, CBS, ESPN and many other networks. She was featured in a Documentary for HBO called “BROKE” featuring her commentary on athletes and divorce. She has contributed to top publication such as People Magazine, Ok!, US Weekly, Life and Styles and most recently Bravo’s hit show, Untying The Knot. Vikki S. Ziegler Payne, Esq. is a multi-faceted, Educated, Accomplished woman.

Ayana: Vikki, thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to sit with me!
Vikki: Thank you for having me, its my pleasure.
Ayana: You wear so many different hats! What was your motivation behind practicing matrimonial law and what do you believe makes you an expert?
Vikki: My parents divorce at age 12 triggered a strong urge to assist children going through divorce as well as litigants. I have been affected by divorce and can tell my clients I have walked in their shoes literally. I truly understand how difficult it is to go through a family break up and can use my vast knowledge and experience to help clients in tremendous need.
Ayana: Does your passion for the betterment of women derive from personal experiences?
Vikki: I am a humanitarian at heart. I love helping people – both male and females. I do have a strong sense of self and have gone through my trial and tribulations which have taught me the best way to help you is to give back. I feel compelled to better my clients and society as a whole and feel as though I can do that with my experience in the underbelly of the family law world. Women tend to gravitate to me as role model and take that very seriously. I want to be sure that can help those looking for guidance in a righteous and ethical manner.
Ayana: That is so commendable, its very important for young women to have a role model to look up to. Please tell us a bit about your book “The Premarital Planner” and what you would like your readers to learn from this book.
Vikki: It is a book that has taken me many years to cull as a way to help couples before they decide to wed – pre marital planning is a key element to safe guarding a couples longevity which is greatly missing in today’s culture. The divorce rate is 50% for first time couples in part due to the fact that many do not discuss the pressing issues BEFORE they wed. My book has interactive charts for both partners to fill out, pointers and statistics to help couples navigate through the murky marital waters so that they are open and honest with one another and step into marital bliss with their eyes wide open. I discuss topics such as commitment, children, second marriages, timetable to plan a wedding, sample vendor contracts, cohabitation agreements, prenups, same sex marriage and much much more!

Ayana: Awesome! And you also have a movie coming out, “Love, Lies and Litigation.” What is the movie about? Are there any famous co-stars?
Vikki: This started off as fictional book and now turned into a screen play – the movie is in the works and cast members will be revealed in early 2013. Sasha Green Is the main character looking for love through the eyes of her clients- she is practicing divorce attorney in a big firm in NYC. Romance, divorce and scandals are playing out for the audience- it’s a devils wears prada meets sex in the city type of chick lit flick.
Ayana: The world is indeed in need of another chick flick let me tell you and who doesn’t love Sex In the City and the Devil Wears Prada! Now, you have accomplished so many things, but what are you most passionate about?

Vikki: – my site that I created for clients who could not get back into the dating world. It will be all over shortly and warms my heart to know that people all over the county are finding true love.
Ayana: You give single people hope all over the world (laughs) With all of the notoriety and fame that you’ve gained as a result of loaning your legal and professional expertise through media, magazines, public speaking at Universities, I also understand you are a Adjunct Professor at Fordham Law School and have also appeared on several reputable news stations such as CNBC, MSNBC, Fox 5, TAlk Soup on E!, WPIX, CBS, ESPN and many other networks and appearing on HLN/CNN, Fox News and Fox Business Channel weekly, you still manage to give back by volunteering for victims of Domestic Violence as well as the Make A Wish Foundation and Toys for Tots amongst many other organizations, do you have time to date?
Vikki: I believe that we are put on this earth to give back- better your community and less fortunate- it is incumbent upon each of us to find the time. I try to manage my day and fit time for charitable organizations. I was just helping Sandy victims in NYC at an amazing location handing out food, water and blankets to those in need. What I do is such a small part in the grand scheme but every little bit helps.
Ayana: Indeed it does. Now shifting the interview into Diva mode a little bit lets talk about today’s woman. What major attribute do you believe that today’s woman is lacking when it comes to dating and trying to find a mate?
Vikki: Fixing mistakes from prior relationships. Instead of rebounding its crucial to look in the mirror and be honest with yourself and correct those things that you do not want to repeat in your next relationship. Characteristic traits, bad habits and modifying you communicate. It’s easier to say to someone you love when you said ___ it hurt my feelings vs. you jerk- why did you say that to me- small languaging changes can really impact a relationship for the better, But it takes work and repetition. If you want to be happy you need the proper tools to get you there!
Ayana: I agree, because honey this mouth of mines???? My verbal intercourse is crazy but I’ve learned to say, ”What you did hurt my feelings,” as opposed to saying, “Your an asshole you know that?” (laughter) What are some mistakes you believe some women make in terms of choosing a mate?
Vikki: Going after the wrong guy- attracted to the bad boy- instead of a good guy that treats them nicely- be attracted to a person for who they are and what they stand for vs. what they look like or their bank account- those things can fade fast!
Ayana: Do you believe that a person isn’t trust worthy if they aren’t willing to sign a pre-nup?
Vikki: No sometimes people don’t understand the reason behind signing a prenup – they are to protect a person’s assets in the event of death or divorce. You can exempt what was earned before the marriage and pool assets together after the marriage by putting them in joint name. I think people are misinformed about what a prenup is and how it can help both parties if crafted properly.
Ayana: Why do you believe that signing a pre-nup is necessary in marriage?
Vikki: If you have a family owned business, out earn your partner, have real estate before you wed, take care of family members, have a great deal of debt these are all reasons that a person may think about preparing prenup – it can help reduce acrimony and legal costs down the road in the event of divorce. Parties are able to sculpt their own divorce without the laws of the state dictating who gets what. I know I would rather create my own deal now in a prenup that I can live with vs. a Judge ordering a decision that I cannot.
Ayana: Can a person that doesn’t have much to lose financially benefit from signing a pre-nup or should this practice only be reserved for the wealthy and beyond?
Vikki: Prenups can be for couples where either may inherit wealth in the future such as a business, property etc or where they believe one will out earn down the road- you can draft a prenup that keeps assets and income separate but if they decide to pool money jointly then can certainly do that as well. It gives couples more control over their personal income and assets rather than once your wed following the laws of the state as they define them.
Ayana: What is some advice you can offer to the single woman who is “looking?”
Vikki: Make sure you are over your ex. Get a makeover- mentally and physically. Clean your skeletons out of your closet. Start exercising. Write in a journal- what are you looking for in man? why are you appealing? What must you still work on? Get referrals from family and friends- go online and create a stellar profile – go out and be active- never say no to an invite… EVER! You never know when or where you will meet your match.
Ayana: Awesome tips! I’m definitely going to take heed to the working out and not turning down invites! ahahaa! Do you think today’s woman is overly dependent? Is there such a thing?
Vikki: Some – yes- I am very independent but I think it’s a factor in the way you are raised. I believe you should depend on yourself first and foremost- then some one else- start a list of goals that you alone want to obtain- you will feel great when you can accomplish them on your own!
Ayana: What qualities do you think men appreciate and are looking for in women?
Vikki: Strong, independent, successful, sexy, go getter who is smart and funny and doesn’t mind poking fun at herself
Ayana: What are 3 things that every woman should look for in a man, when considering seriously dating or marriage?
Vikki: Every woman should want a man who is kind, stable and interesting!
Ayana: What are your beliefs about the entire institution of marriage?
Vikki: It is a wonderful thing if two people want to make it work. Its like a paycheck- you must work hard and continue to reinvent and recreate yourself to stay fresh and employed. Be interested in your partner, put your partnership first, never fight in public, love unconditionally, communicate kindly,…honor the sanctity of marriage
Ayana: Vikki, you are definitely the epitome of a Diva and it was my pleasure to have interviewed you so that I may share with our readers all that you do! I hope that someone out there who is reading this can benefit from your services, I know I can! Please leave our readers with some advice on love, life and money.
Vikki: Respect your partner, focus on your partners happiness, compliment your partner often, support your partner in good and bad times, don’t ignore red flags, work on them as no one is perfect- accept that the only person you can change is yourself, hold monthly meetings about money, air out your financial laundry- the good, the bad and the ugly, do not make financial assumptions- talk to one another about your attitudes towards money and hire experts to consult with to help you invest and grow your money together.

INTERVIEW: Karen Gravano of Mob Wives

Karen Gravano

She’s the star of Mob Wives, Author of New York Times Bestseller “MobDaughter,” and daughter of Sammy “The Bull” Gravano, underboss of the Gambino Crime Family a.k.a the man who helped bring down John Gotti.  Though her demeanor is laid back and she’s always smiling, giving you that home girl from around the way vibe, you can tell that Karen Gravano will pop off on you for disrespecting her and she doesn’t need the cameras nearby to capture it.  Her story, her struggle and ultimate triumph is one for the books.  I had the honor of sitting down with the ultimate Mob Daughter and star of VH1’s Mob Wives, as she shared with me intimate details of her past, present, future, her love and respect for her father and her views on him “cooperating.”  Ladies and gentleman, Karen Gravano.

Ayana: Karen, my girl how are you darling?

Karen: I’m wonderful Ayana thank you  for having me.

Ayana: Absolutely it’s our pleasure and thank you for allowing me to ask you such intimate questions and being so honest and candid with myself and our readers.

Karen: Not a problem.

Ayana: Good! Okay so first things first, your father, Sammy The Bull, has the reputation of being “a rat.” He is notoriously known for cooperating with the government and bringing John Gotti down. Tell us about that moment when you learned of this and how it made you feel?

Karen: When I was 19 I was very embarrassed that my father cooperated with the government because I was weak and cared about what other people thought. Today, I am proud of my father no matter what his decisions were because they are his decisions and not for me to judge. I also feel like this, how can I forgive him for killing 19 people and be mad at him for cooperating? I do not agree with cooperating but I understand why my father did. He felt he was betrayed by John Gotti after the government played the Gotti tapes and he heard John bad mouthing him behind his back. In that lifestyle when you are taking the way John was, it means one thing. My father was smart enough to know that John was plotting to kill him. At that point my father was still not thinking of cooperating, it wasn’t until the lawyers had come to my father and told him that John was controlling the defense and that basically John was going to use his own government recorded tapes, the ones that were recorded in the apartment above the “Ravenite Social Club,” for his own defense because on the tapes John was running his mouth about murders my father was involved in.  John felt that he can use the tapes to basically point the finger at my father as being the crazy killer that John had no control of and worst case for John he gets hit with racketeering charges and my father gets the life sentence for murder. At that point my father felt like fuck it and at first was going to kill John in jail but he changed his mind and called the government. He later told me John was playing checkers and he was playing chess, the rest is history I guess.

Ayana: Wow, you said a mouthful and there was so much detail that a lot of people did not know.  Once you’re labeled a snitch, rat, whatever, nobody wants to hear the rest of the story, they kind of turn a blind eye so thank you for clearing that up for many of us who probably judged your father without knowing what really went on behind closed doors. Do you regret being in the lifestyle?

Karen: I Have no Regrets. I feel that when you live your life with regrets you are never able to move forward.  Everything that I have ever been through in my life and everything I ever done whether good or bad made me who I am today, and I am good with that.

Ayana: Indeed, do you think your lifestyle may have affected your daughter, who is absolutely beautiful by the way.

Karen: Thank you, I do think that my lifestyle affected my daughter as did my Father’s lifestyle affect me and as any other parents lifestyle affects their children. I think the key is to teach your child from your mistakes. I never claim to be perfect but I love my daughter more than life itself, so all I can hope for is that I can teach her to be better than me.  I tell my daughter that when you are bad there is a price to pay.  I think she gets that by growing up with loved ones in prison. I don’t try to cover up anything from her I try to teach her and love her the best I can. If you ask her she has the best family in the world, all she knows is a family that has each other’s back and loves each other no matter what.

Ayana: Great jewels to teach the youngn’s that is indeed what family is about. Have you ever feared for your life because of “The Life?”

Karen: I would be a fool to say I never thought of it but there was and still are a lot of people my father never hurt or cooperated against and they always looked out for us. I think a lot of people in that world understood what happen between my father and John although they may never say it out loud. Most people heard the Gotti tapes and they knew how loyal my father was to John.

Ayana: What made your write a book?

Karen:  I just feel that there were so many stories out there and my family had been silent for so long. I just was ready to tell my version. Also I feel that there is a message in my book and the message is that no matter what you go through in life if you have a good support team and believe in yourself and stop caring what others think about you,  you can make it through anything. Forgive and be proud of yourself. I am now at the point in my life where I don’t care what people think of me because of who may father is. That’s his life if they don’t like me hopefully it’s because they tune into MobWives on Sundays and I get on their nerves or something

(Lots of laughter)

Ayana: Because you damn sure got on my nerves for a while in the beginning! But your an awesome woman, this I know for sure. (Laughs) So how did your father feel about your book?

 Karen: When my father read the book he told me he was proud of me for standing up for myself going back to NY and not letting anything stop me from writing this book. He said he admires my strength. He also apologized and said he tried to keep his world so separate from family, he said he is sorry it affected me. His apology was the last thing I expected or wanted I just wanted him to know that I love him and I don’t care about Sammy the Bull I care about my Father, a man that has always tried to teach me right from wrong even if he was doing wrong, a man throughout it all even with all my mistakes has always loved me. For that I am grateful.

Ayana: Were men intimidated by you because of who your father was? Was it difficult to date?

Karen: I don’t think men are or were intimidated by me. I have to blame that all on my father. It was a little hard for me to date and when a guy did take me out he always had me home on time (laughs)

Ayana: Right or he sleeps with the fishes, fugeddaboutit! (laughs).  How do you think your life may have been different if your father wasn’t Sammy the Bull?

 Karen: It’s hard to imagine having a different life or a different father cause then I would be someone different all together. I wouldn’t change my life for anything.

Ayana: What advice would you give your daughter if she wound up dating a “gangsta”

Karen: I always tell my daughter that when she starts to date she better find a man that is a law abiding citizen he treats her with respect and before he can take her out he has to have a  “sit down” with the whole family  and if he does anything wrong he is gonna have to deal with papa Bull . My daughter is my father’s baby, her dating life is gonna be worse than mine.

Ayana: Do you think realityTV devalues women?

Karen: A little, I think that the network focuses a lot on the drama because that’s what society wants to see. When we are nice our rating go down. At the end of the day for me I learned to use the show as a spring board to help achieve some of my goals. I don’t feed into the negativity I just keep pushing forward and hopefully in season 3 of Mob Wives the show will focus on what we are doing when we are not kicking the shit out of each other because I have accomplished a lot in my personal life.

Ayana: Ok so let’s talk about the project you are working on, “A Pre Nup Party” tell the readers a bit about that.

Karen: A pre-nup party is a place where women can come together and have cocktails, talk, share life experiences and get advice from a professional on how to plan for your future, protect your assets and how to make the right financial decisions. I guess you can say it’s the opposite of a sex toy party cause it’s teaching you how not to get fucked (laughs)

Ayana: Yes and with all the bitchassness running rampant through these streets it’s so hard not to get fucked!  But do you think that today’s woman has become more lazy and dependent on men?

Karen:  I think  today’s woman is split in half you have the gold diggers that will do anything to latch on to a man so they can be taken care of, then you have the strong Independent women that is very career minded and successful. I like to think I am strong and independent but I don’t mind a man showering me with gifts. I just am not going to have anyone control me with money or control my money.

Ayana: Should one be offended if their mate asked them to sign a pre-nup? Why or why not?

Karen: I don’t think that you should be offended because if you truly love someone then what he or she had before you should not matter and what you guys make together after is a partnership and that’s why if you are smart a pre-nup can benefit both parties. I think couples should be a team to help each other grow.

Ayana: What kind of morals do you think today’s woman is lacking?

Karen: I think some of today’s women are lacking respect and I say some cause a lot of women I know today are strong and demand respect. But some women will do anything just to get noticed or put up with a man’s shit just to have a man to feel secure with. My advice is don’t be a doormat just to have a man to call yours. And some of these bitches need to put some clothes on leave a little for the imagination,  trust me a man  don’t want something everyone had, he may try you out but he is not gonna keep you if everyone had a piece.

Ayana: *cues Meek Mills* And I say church! Preach…. What are some qualities that every woman should want their man to have?

Karen: All women should want a man that has your back through thick & thin a loyal man that’s not gonna disrespect you.  Someone that loves you spends time with you, basically a man that treats you with the same love and respect you show him. 

Ayana: What does the future hold for Karen Gravano?

Karen: The future is looking very bright for me right now. I am developing my own line of skin care products, I am in the process of developing my book into a motion picture, I am in talks for a second book deal, I have a couple of projects that I am working on producing for TV and stay tune to season 3 of Mob Wives I might add a little music to my world.

Ayana: What legacy would you like to leave behind when it’s all said and done?

Karen:  When it’s all said and done I want people to say she was unstoppable. When she put her mind to something she achieved it no matter how much the odds was stacked against her. And that thought it all I always stood up for who I love and what I believe in.

Ayana: Thank you for your time Karen, peace and blessings to you always hon.

Karen: Thank you, likewise.

You can find Karen Gravano’s New York Times best seller “MobDaughter” everywhere fine books are sold.


You are known for always having your stuff together.  The strong one. The put together one.  The one who makes failure look like a win.

Everybody loves you, people flock around you in droves when you finally come out of hibernation to show the world your beautiful smile.  Your energy attracts a nation of millions.

You got it going on by any means necessary. You are beautiful.  You love hard.  You are in a relationship with the man of your dreams.

You live in a nice place and your children aren’t delinquents.  Even their father, though removed from the home, is supportive, mentally, emotionally, financially…  You are winning.  Some women want to be you, not that they lack self esteem, but because you carry a peace that is envied. You carry a glow that reminds others that they are not done growing.  You are admired.  The straightness of your back when you walk makes every curve on your body noticeable prompting quiet admirers to run to the gym in silence to reappear as your competition …but you ain’t listening.

People come to you for guidance, telling you their darkest secrets because they know that you will keep it. You are mother, sister, daughter, wife, bestie, home girl to the stars…

Men look at you with dirty thoughts… they wanna slide their knowledge between your eyes and drip hot conversation into your mouth and grope your soul…

They do not want to wife you… but instead marry everything in your world, every turn there is a promise and a vow to be the only one in your world as your protector, your guide though you need neither.. they still are honored and fight for the cause…

Perfect is what they call you as you saunter pass leaving a womanly fragrance in the air for them all to nose fight over sucking up all of your allure.. You leave people wanting more.

You are adored

But you wonder sometimes…  at night when you close your door

And the tears pour

That if you show that you are human… and that you have feelings too

Will you let the world that has shown you so much love down?

Because you are hurting over something they can’t see

Wanting something they cannot give

Needing one thing that not even you know what it is… until you get it

So you prepare your soul for it every day by being kind

By loving through the pain

By giving more than taking

By speaking positive words

By meditation

By being grateful

By being…

A woman

Just know that it is okay…

Is Social Media THAT Powerful?

Is social media that powerful or are people really that clueless and feel the need to prove themselves constantly?

I ask this because I see men posting statuses constantly like:

If you don’t need make up and a weave drop a selfie? and women do it
If you can cook drop a meal here: and women cook up a meal just to post it
If you got a fat ass drop it here: and women post stupid pics
If you good at suckin di*k on a scale of 1-10 what are you? and women actually rate themselves

I should put up the status, if you ain’t afraid to show us what your di*k look like when its soft and you just got out the shower post it here,:
If you paid that child support this month post receipts here:
If you not shacking with a chick because you can’t afford to live alone post your lease here:
If you’re faithful to your lady post a pic of you and her boo’d up here…

I would love to see how many men would oblige

Ladies stop jumping thru hoops on social media to gain approval from these men, its ludicrous *tyson vc.

The Recluse


We all have a struggle. Somewhere inside of us there is something that we would like to change, somewhere else we would rather be, something we would like to forget and something we would like to accomplish.  Why else would we get up every morning and walk out the door toward our destiny, day after day after day?

But there is nothing worse than the curse of the talented.

Every day when I wake up, my mind is running in a million different directions, thinking, wanting, creating, editing.  My life is on front street for everyone to ridicule and judge, how brave am I  to offer my life for you all to comment on, dissect, rip apart and throw away while I build a legacy with the bricks thrown at me day after day or so it seems, maybe some of you are throwing rose petals? But in my creative mind, I’m at war with the audience, I can not see, my guard is up, my slip constantly showing.  I can only feel.

I mean let’s face it… Continue reading “The Recluse”

What We Can Learn From Halle Berry

I want to talk about all of the “Halle Berry’s” in the world.

The Halle Berry’s of the world are the women who continue to be in relationship after failing relationship… according to those “Watching” from the sidelines.

Someone on Twitter made the truest statement that Halle Berry has failed marriages and is ridiculed but Steve Harvey is successful for his failed marriages, I mean wtf is that about?

Sista Erykah Badu can have 4 baby daddies and be crowned Queen Pum Pum but because Halle isn’t walking around on her god body shit she’s a failure?  Help me understand people?

Here is the thing.  NOTHING in this world is guaranteed to last forever.  Not your job, your finances, your happiness and not even this precious life you live unfortunately.

If you are mentally healthy then you will continue to grow as the years go on. Your wants change, your desires, change, your needs change.  The more you are exposed to the more you will change.  You do not have any power over the people in your life and what they decide to do with themselves.  You can only love yourself and hope that your mate loves you and loves himself just as much to grow as well.   You are not obligated to play the role of small wonder to make anybody in your life feel big or complete. You are doing yourself a MAJOR disservice if that is the route you choose to go.

There are a lot of women in the world in relationships for 5, 10, 15, 20 years that turn their noses up to women who end relationships in 3 year increments.  Even more disappointing are the men who bash the women who “can’t keep a man.”

Let’s discuss these people shall we? Continue reading “What We Can Learn From Halle Berry”