Today we’d like to introduce you to Chamar Latanja.
Chamar, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
Eight years ago, I found myself overweight, facing a divorce, facing eviction with my eight-year-old daughter, with no money and no idea what to do next. I did get divorced, I did get evicted and we were indeed homeless. It was the darkest period in my life other than having tried to commit suicide more than once as a young woman. I lived in a cheap motel room with my daughter, she had one or two dresses for church, no toys, and I could only afford to feed her from the dollar menu at McDonald’s, most nights I didn’t eat at all. I was a mess, we were a mess and I cried silently every night while I washed her uniform in the motel room sink with bar soap, and the smell of weed coming through the walls, my prayer every day was that child protective services wouldn’t get wind of our situation and remove her from me.
One night, I held her close as a fight broke out outside of the room and I promised her that she would NEVER have to deal with this again. I realized that reaching my potential and fulfilling my purpose would change our lives for the better, I owed it to the both of us to get my *bleep* up and change. Right on the wall of that motel room, I began rewriting my narrative, I put a plan together for money, a new job, my and my healing. However, I took more hits with the divorce, I filed for various reasons, but nonetheless, my marriage was over. We had to deal with more loss, and I found myself crying every day and everywhere. On top of that, I became the villain. I heard that I wouldn’t make it without him, I can’t do anything on my own, “she needs him”, I heard that I would go crawling back, I would regret it, I’d never be happy and more. Again, I realized I could say those things about myself or once again, change the narrative. So, I used all of the things that were said about me to tear me down as part of my motivation to create a life that I love inside and out! I lost the weight, a total of about 90lbs now, I had the opportunity to work at one of the best schools in the state, which I did, I started working my passion for writing again, and eventually, in October of 2017, I fulfilled my childhood dream of becoming a published author. I wrote a book about the first thirty days of rebuilding my life, what it looked like, what it felt like, and how to stay consistent, called The Thirty Day Slay.
What I hadn’t anticipated was that my drive to change my narrative, create my own life and work incredibly hard to live life on my own terms; would turn into me becoming a Transformation Coach and creating a coaching practice for women starting over. I didn’t anticipate traveling as a motivational speaker on taking your life back, rebuilding and finding yourself yet here we are and I give all glory to God. I have made it through secret alcoholism starting at 16, multiple suicide attempts, guns having been pointed at me and having jammed when the trigger was pulled and more that this article doesn’t leave room for. However, it is important to remember that you have more power than you know. Will it be easy? No way! but you are either going to fight for the life you want now, or fight against the life that you don’t want later. There is a purpose and plan for your life, and while things may happen to you that should break you; you hold the power and the pen to create a plot twist, rewrite your story and have it end the way that you want.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
It has not been easy, as I wrote in my story. The hardest decision you will make is believing in yourself because it goes against the grain. The world will tell you to not rock the boat, be very careful, are you sure you want to do that? Maybe you should do this instead, all things that will make you doubt yourself. Listen, do not doubt our abilities! I am often called hardheaded because I do things my way. is it always easy, no way, does it always work? sometimes it doesn’t but I would rather take the chance than live with regrets.
Trust yourself! Trust yourself! You will make mistakes, that is just a part of life and growth. It doesn’t mean you are a failure, it means you are living.
Set your boundaries and stick to them, this is necessary for protecting your dream and your spirit.
Don’t compare yourself or your journey to others, this will drive you insane. You are you and you are everything!
Please tell us more about your work, what you are currently focused on and most proud of.
I am an author, a speaker, and a Transformation Coach. I am often asked what a transformation coach is, I help women rebuild, transform and reclaim their power after divorce or a tough breakup. As a transformation coach, my services are not general at all. My coaching is individualized and targeted. For instance, you know you need to change but let’s break down exactly where, exactly how and what is the end goal you want to work on. If a client says she wants to be at peace, I can guarantee that we can take that from general peace to targeted areas such as healing from the past, no longer living a chaotic life, setting up financial security, building self- worth, etc. What makes me different? Well, if you ask my clients, they have often said that I am the Cookie Lyon’s of Coaching. I am blunt, to the point, no nonsense, rigorous but also loyal. My clients do not pay me to pity pat and keep them as clients forever, they pay me to guide them to a dramatic change in their life inside and out. We have no time to waste sister because we’ve already wasted enough. Let’s get it right, get happy and start living!
It would be great to hear about any apps, books, podcasts or other resources that you’ve used and would recommend to others.
Books: I love anything by Iyanla Vazant, Sarah Jakes Roberts is a fave of mine for books and podcasting, as a woman who has also had to come up from a lot I love her story. I am also a big fan of Beyonce, I love her work ethic. She has been singing for her entire life and performing for over 20 years, yet she still treats every performance and rehearsal as if it’s her first. She strives for perfection, the thing about Coachella, by the time she was done, people were calling it Beychella. I want everything I do to be like that, quality, thought out, and with my essence all over it.
Women By Choice LLC has been a constant source of inspiration and resources for me. The founder and CEO Andromeda Raheem took a chance on me eight years ago when I had no writing portfolio, just a passion. She was building a brand and should’ve gone for the best of the best. She chose me, guided me, became my family and not only watched me grow but helped me grow. When my e-book The Seven Day Slay! went number one on Amazon, it was because Women By Choice LLC and the women in it pushed my ebook there.
- Website: www.chamarlatanja.com
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/chamarlatanja/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/chamar.logan