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Childhood Influences and the Journey of Opening Your Mind


Amena Brown

Today’s episode is SO. Much.FUN as we welcome Amena Brown to the Podcast!

The fierce Amena Brown is a spoken word poet, speaker, author and event host. She and her husband, DJ Opdiggy, live in Atlanta together. Amena is the author of five spoken word CDs and two non-fiction books: Breaking Old Rhythms and her latest release How to Fix a Broken Record. She has performed and spoken at events across the nation such as Creativity World Forum, IF Gathering, and she has toured with Gungor, Ann Voskamp and MORE. She also is another girlboss podcaster and hosts her own show How to Fix a Broken Record podcast.

On the show, Amena and Kait talk about owning your story and being confident in who you are in dating. They talk about how the things of their childhood including divorce and growing up in the church influenced how they looked at men and dating. They also laugh a ton about some hilarious dating situations they have been through.

Below are the highlights from the latest Episode with Amena Brown!

Amena grew up with a distinct Christian background, a divorced family, and a home filled with strong women. All of these unique attributes played a significant role in what shaped her views on men and dating.  In some ways growing up a home with a single parent without her dad made men feel very foreign and ambiguous. Without a doubt Amena admits that “growing up in a home of divorced parents absolutely affected my views on dating.”

Amena’s upbringing in church also played a part on how she viewed sex, what she thought about the pursuit of dating and even what she thought about what a “man should do” versus “what a woman should do“. For all of these various reasons and mixed paradigms, it caused Amena to avoid dating at ALL COST until her mid 20’s. #datingbegone

Kait and Amena laughed about how much they both enjoyed reading BOUNDARIES in Dating by Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend. By reading this book, both the ladies agreed that by lowering their rigid expectations from date 1 they could get to know things about themselves, and get to know an interesting person even if it is never in the cards for them to get married. Amena said that by doing this maybe you will find out, “I will not go out again with this guy, however, but I like his body type and I did not even think I would!” Which can be amazing at opening our minds and perspectives!

The ladies also shared their love for Dr. Henry Clouds book “How to Get a Date Worth Keeping” and specifically reminisced about a story in the book where Dr. Cloud challenges a woman to get outside her small thinking… because unless she is going to marry the Fedex man, God is not going to drop the perfect package of a man on our doorsteps! #AMEN

From all this Kait and Amena agree that dating is a journey of appreciating another creation that God has created. It can actually be about being excited to meet someone new and get to know someone different and lovely all in their own. Kait could not help but lugh when Amena said, “I love me, I just don’t want to be a relationship with someone exactly like me.” Which begs the question…do you really want to date a carbon copy of yourself?

Kait and Amena laugh about hilarious date stories with “lavender pants guy” and “shower shoes guy”. Even though they would never date those men again, it was funny and a great learning experience and makes for incredible stories now!

Then, the ladies dive right on into HEARTBREAK!

Amena says that, “Because dating involves HUMAN BEINGS it is sometimes going to be heartbreaking, but the thing is, LIFE is too.. but a lot of GOOD stuff can come out of dating even though some hard stuff can happen too and you can have the tools to deal with both.”

Amena says that some of the things she cried most about was when she was head over heels in love and they did not feel the same. She says, “It’s beautiful that my heart can fall in love with someone, but it is heartbreaking when you are falling in love with someone and realize I am ALONE in this.” Heartbreak is something that can be excruciating, but can in the end teach us so much and be beautiful in ways we never thought possible.

Kait agreed with Amena and says “Heartbreak can sometimes feel like a true trauma and a LOSS in some ways…We need to build up love for ourselves so that in those moments we can know the truth about ourselves and know how god calls us and sees us and how truly worthy we are both men and woman.”

You have a choice after a heartbreak to EMBRACE the discomfort or compartmentalizing it. The box doesn’t just disappear it will never magically vanish. The harder but more beneficial part is to just embrace the box and go through it. Invite God into it with you and accept where you are at. You will have good days and you will have days you are crying your eyes out and don’t feel shame about that. “YOU ARE IN CHARGE OF YOUR OWN HEALING.”

In terms of interracial dating, Amena and Kait discuss how Amena is married to a red head… HOW COOL IS THAT? Amena mentions that her one physical quality was just to date someone who was taller than her but as she began to date she started to develop more and more aesthetic preferences. It wasn’t until she say the movie “Something New”, featuring a Caucasian male and African American female that it challenged her to realize that what she REALLY cared about was marrying a man who loved Jesus, a man who was walking in the calling He has given him.

It was at that point that she surrendered her physical aesthetic preferences! It helped her in so many ways to be open to what a man could truly be like and it allowed her to invite God into that place with her. Kait and Amena agree that God can do so much more than your little human brain can even see or fathom when it comes to the person you will end up with!

Amena’s biggest piece of hopeful advice was “Don’t miss out on WHERE YOU ARE.” She says, “There is a lot of beauty, and a lot of adventure, and a lot of fun and LIFE to life… enjoy all the hard and beautiful-ness of all it all.

Amena also is a proponent of being present wherever you are in live. She says, “BE WHERE I AM”, sometimes we tend to feel left behind that others are in another phase of life that we long for. There is a lot more life to live where you are if you are PRESENT. Amena makes a fantastic point that, “When you are single you don’t have anyone to really consult but God. You can take spontaneous trips, and have a lot of freedom!”. This is something that we should not take for granted!  SO …Don’t miss out on the fruit God wants to show you in this season!

At the very END of the episode, listen to Amena grace us with a gorgeous spoken word just for YOU (54:22)

We hope you enjoyed this treat of an episode today featuring Amena Brown!

Other Resources:

Visit Amena’s website HERE

Order her book How to Fix a Broken Record

Purchase who gorgeous spoken word poetry albums

Listen to her FIERCE Podcast, How to Fix a Broken Record

See Amena’s Upcoming Events

Follow Amena on Instagram!

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