Looking for an Empowerment Coach?

There’s a Jamaican phrase, “Good friend better than pocket money.” I’m so grateful to have divine connections that support and expand me….

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If you haven’t read my previous post, you may be wondering where I’ve been. The short version is that “they” locked my social media accounts. I just got back a few days ago. (I tell the full story in my most recent blog post, “What Happened to Marlene Dillon Empowerment Specialist?

It’s funny because I actually wanted to take a 21-day fast from social media (as I typically do in January), but lately my engagement has increased so dramatically that I was afraid to step away. One thing I learned over the years is that they reward you for posting daily and penalize you for missing days. Their goal is to keep people in the app longer so if you post consistently for 30 days or more they begin to funnel viewers to your page. But if you miss just one day, you can lose your audience. I’ve had it happen before and it was so deflating because I was being so consistent (which is really challenging for me dealing with #ADHD). I missed a day or two and I immediately was getting zero likes and comments. Navigating social media was so frustrating until I met my amazing friend, sister, and SISTAMoms business partner, Yvonne Livingston. She’s a social media genius. She taught me so much last year that my engagement soared.

I was so happy to finally have eyes on my content. I know I have great things to offer and it’s exciting to have people watching, listening, and engaging. I didn’t know how I was going to back away and do my annual fast. I didn’t want to lose that engagement. I wanted to keep my traffic flowing.

I am aware of the addictive nature of these apps. That’s why I do my annual fast and periodically take breaks to reset when I find myself going straight to the apps automatically without thought. If you’ve never seen the #Netflix documentary The Social Dilemma, make it a priority (and have your teens and tweens watch with you) because I was shocked at what I learned. I saw the impact personally, but when I watched that film (interviews of a group of former software engineers from the most well known social media companies—like the guy who designed the Like button sharing how they intentionally designed the apps to be incredibly addictive, and to mimic our mind’s natural needs for stimulation and a sense of accomplishment), I was floored. They use psychology to keep us constantly checking and scrolling. And it’s deeper than you think.

Despite watching this eye-opening film, I still fell prey to it because I was desperate. I’ve been working so hard at this business for so long without seeing results. I wasn’t connecting with my audience. I wasn’t making any money. After watching a million webinars and attending a bazillion free masterclasses, the takeaway was always that I need better content, I need to post on a regular basis, and that increasing social media engagement was the only way to ensure a successful business. So when I finally started being rewarded for my content and people who I don’t know organically began engaging with my work, I was all in. My engagement was up by over 1000%! And I’m not exaggerating. I was over here doing my version of Sally Field at the Academy Awards. “They like me. They really like me!” 🤣 I was so happy. I was going to do what it took to keep that traffic flowing. I wasn’t even allowing myself to sleep until I shared some content on my page and replied to comments from that day. So can you imagine how conflicted I felt knowing at the height of my engagement it was time to back away for 21 days?!!!

I was trying to figure out how I was going to honor my intuition and need for connecting with my inner “higher self.” How was I going to distance myself… without really distancing myself?

Well… as they say, “God works in mysterious ways.” 🤣 The Book decided I needed an empowerment hiatus and locked me down. I was locked out of my accounts for 21+ days. My personal page was disabled and although my @Marlene Dillon Empowerment Specialist page was still visible, I couldn’t access it. Many friends and supporters came looking for me and I found that out when I returned because people couldn’t send me messages. It was as if I just no longer existed. They took my presence away. It was hard, and I was hurt, because I love connecting with my people and I love the empowering work I do. I would never just leave my audience, at this point, without some type of message to say I was taking a break. So it was not voluntary. I didn’t block anyone (unless you did something to earn it. You know who you are. 🤣). It was out of my control. I just got back a few days ago, and I’m so touched and grateful for all the messages welcoming me back. It is beautiful to see how many people noticed that I was gone and who truly appreciate my work. This experience has helped me to better recognize my value and to feel safe to begin to share more of my own content and focus more on sharing the messages I am here to share. I get to be more intentional with my content and stop catering to what I think the app wants me to do. Them telling me I share too much in other groups was a gift. No problem. I’ll share more of my own work in my own spaces. And as much as I hate email, Sunshine warned me this could happen, so I’ll be creating an email list so I don’t have to lose you again. When I post my blogs here, I also post them to my website. So if you want to ensure we stay connected, visit my website today and subscribe to my blog. You’ll be alerted each time I post. You can even send me a message from my website. I just put a link for that on my homepage.…

I missed y’all. I’m happy to be back. But you know I had to find a blessing in that time off. So let me tell you what I gained from the forced hiatus….

As you may recall, one of my favorite things to do is public speaking. I LOVE doing empowerment talks! However, due to extreme social anxiety, I have not been speaking publicly…. for years. 😔 The anxiety isn’t about the audience. I have no problem with public speaking. The anxiety is about booking… the selling myself part. That’s what terrifies me, and that’s what I’ve avoided doing for years. A little secret I’m going to share with you is that I only do speaking events I was invited to. 😬 I absolutely abhor and avoid cold calling like the plague. Speaking of plagues… I had just decided to press through this paralyzing fear and do it anyway right before the pandemic hit. 😑

I am grateful to be blessed with phenomenal friends, with phenomenal callings, who provide me with phenomenal opportunities. I have friends who believe in me wholeheartedly—and I mean friends who believe in me more than I believe in myself.

Just prior to my unexpected social media hiatus, my dear friend Megan Barella—positive parenting coach and Happy Home Guide—invited me to speak to one of her private groups! 🤩 And it was via Zoom! 😱 Okaaay… so, for me, video chat means booking-speaking-events-level anxiety.

However, one of the many things I love about Megan is that she honors my experience of life, while gently pushing me to do things she knows will expand my business. She offers empathy and acceptance, and allows me to show up in ways that feel safer for me. She agreed to let me come speak when I had enough time to panic and gather myself. 🤣 She gave me a 3-week buffer. And I needed all of that time. She invited me to speak on a topic I’ve never taught to a group before. I’ve only coached people on it privately.

So my first time back speaking for an audience was during my hiatus and I got to teach on healing the inner child! It was such a beautiful experience. Her group was so warm and welcoming. I was amazed at how eagerly they engaged with the work and immediately began to connect with that part of them that so many of us don’t acknowledge. It reminded me why I love teaching and speaking to audiences. It reminded me of my gift for this and how powerful my talks always are. It reminded me that when I let go of the thoughts that interfere and focus on what I truly want to offer the world, that amazing things happen.

I am so grateful for Megan. I am so grateful for the warm reception from her group. And I am so grateful I said, “Yes.”

Inner child healing may seem super “woo woo” (unconventional and a bit spiritually odd) to you. I admittedly felt that way about it when I first heard of it. I didn’t understand it. I thought it was nonsense. I had no idea how powerful and helpful it’s been for so many people. However, after many years of hearing people talk of the benefits of healing their inner child, I finally hit enough rock bottom moments to get curious. I did a Google search, found a top rated book and Amazon and began my journey of learning. Now, I know for myself that inner child healing is legit and can be tremendously helpful for shifting beliefs that no longer serve us. I use it regularly and have made it a part of my daily life. I’ve been blessed to teach others and it’s helping them, too. ☺️

As a result of my speaking opportunity with Megan’s group, I am now offering inner child coaching! Currently, I am offering 30 minute intro sessions to help you get an understanding of how it works and begin the journey of connecting with your inner child!

If you’ve ever been curious about inner child work and think it may be helpful for you, I’d love to be your guide and support you on your journey. Sign up today for an Inner Child Intro Session with me, Marlene Dillon Empowerment Specialist!

I am currently offering 30-minute introductory inner child coaching sessions for ONLY $50!!! That is a very temporary price, so visit my website and get on my schedule!

Other coaching options now available. Visit my Coaching page to schedule.


Marlene Dillon Empowerment Specialist

Co-Founder of SISTAMoms

What Happened to Marlene Dillon Empowerment Specialist?

That’s a great question. For the last few weeks, Marlene Dillon Empowerment Specialist has been silent on social media. It’s odd because she typically shares empowering posts every day, and publishes a blog post roughly once a week. However, for weeks her social media presence has been… absent.

So where did Marlene go? Why would she suddenly with no warning stop posting? Why did Marlene Dillon Empowerment Specialist go silent?

Simple. Facebook locked her account.

If you follow me on social media you know that my motto is “I.U.S.E. people. Inspire. Uplift. Support. Encourage/Empower.” That’s my standard for all my posts. They have to fall into one of those categories. And even when I write one of my venting posts, I warn you that I’m venting, and still try to find a way to make it empowering at least by the end.

Apparently Facebook is unaware of my intentions, as “they” started to flag random posts warning me for being inappropriate. Posts that said things like, “You deserve to be happy,” were getting taken down for going “against community standards.” Posts that could in no way be misconstrued as inappropriate—that I shared with my audience after being flagged and everyone commented on how confused on why I was being reprimanded. Then, on January 13, 2023, when I went to do my usual scrolling, I was met with the words, “Marlene, we locked your account. We take this step to keep your account safe when we detect unusual activity…. To protect you, your profile is not visible to people on Facebook and you can’t use your account.”

Apparently, the frequently mentioned “algorithms” (computerized processes and protocols programmed to decide if human posts are appropriate for social media) have chosen to incorrectly flag, block, and “jail” certain positive accounts for non-offenses—while spammers, hackers, and purveyors of hate, violence, and pornography get to post freely. I was pissed, and really sad.

The blocked me from doing what I love to do. It brings me joy to share uplifting content. It brings me peace to check on people when I read between the lines of their posts and wonder if they are truly okay. It makes me smile to share songs and stories and personal development practices with my friends via Messenger. I was blocked from from connecting in my way and that hurt.

I have friends all over the world who I connect with primarily via Messenger. it was just weeks prior that one of my business coach friends cautioned me about using Facebook exclusively for my business. She warned that I could lose all my contacts if the algorithm ever boxed me out. She was right. (I should’ve listened to her, but I hate email. Ewww!) I actually requested a download of all my content after her warning, but I didn’t follow up and make sure I received it. I didn’t make it urgent, because I didn’t see this coming…. well not so soon. (FYI – If you choose to do request your content, make sure you go back to download it. They don’t just email it to you in a huge ZIP file. You have to download it from Facebook within a certain time period after they tell you your files are ready or you have to make the request all over again. I digress.)

Like I said, they’ve been flagging me for non-offenses on and off for a while. That was annoying. When they put me on probation from running ads because I refused to show them my government ID, I waited them out. When they fully blocked me from running ads because I didn’t resolve the issue in a timely manner, I let that go. But when they not only locked me out of my account, but made my page invisible so people couldn’t even visit and check out old content, that hurt.

Honestly, it took me out emotionally for the first week and a half or so. I have old classmates and international friends that I connect with exclusively via Messenger. I have people I regularly check on because I know they’re going through hard times. I coach people via Messenger. My gratitude partner and I connect daily before bed to share what we’re grateful for each day. As an introvert, social media is my social life. I don’t go out. I spend quality time with my daughter, go grocery shopping, and buy gas so I can do it all over again.

Getting shut down by Facebook made me a legit recluse. I was devastated. I couldn’t even create content. I was coming off of one of the toughest years of my life and I just couldn’t take another blow. I couldn’t just keep going like usual. I had to sit and process life, slow down, and make peace with what happened….

So that’s where I’ve been. I took a woosah. Honestly, I still haven’t unlocked my account. They want me to show ID and all that and I don’t want to, but that’s the only way to unlock it, and I don’t want to lose all my connections…. Facebook hasn’t provided any specific reasons for locking my account, but one interesting thing a friend noted is that, including me, she knows only three people who’ve had locked accounts. All three are empowering, Black female coaches.

Now, let’s get to the empowerment….

Two core beliefs I’ve adopted over the last few years, are “things happens for me, not to me,” and “all things work together for good.” These beliefs have helped me navigate this time. Although it’s been hard not being able to connect in the ways I’m used to, I chose to look for the blessings in this situation. And it’s pushed me to grow and evolve. As much as I don’t enjoy email, maybe I will find a way to maintain my audience with a low maintenance email list. I know for sure, I’m gathering contact info for the people I don’t want to accidentally lose again.

I learned from this. No outside entity should be able to shut down my work and my whole network with one unexpected move. This irritating experience has helped me to recognize a problem in my current setup that I need to rectify immediately. Sometimes unexpected calamities help us make better choices moving forward. Some people say to make lemonade from lemons. I choose to look for the blessings in every situation.

When life throws us challenges, it’s normal, and natural, to have human reactions. Some things take us a while to overcome, while others may take a lifetime. For me, I find it empowering to give myself a minute to process, then I look for the blessings. That habit didn’t come easy. It’s a practice. I really struggled with being grateful and positive when it came to my own life. I can easily find the silver lining in other people’s situations. This is how my daily gratitude practice began. My friend and I decided that we would start small, and find just one thing in our entire day to be grateful for and share it with each other. We’ve been doing it for years, now. That small practice got me in the habit of looking for blessings in my day.

So now, when things go wrong, I have my human reactions, then, I pause and look for the blessings. It doesn’t matter what the situation is. I still look for the blessings. When the toxic relationship with my ex ended, I wasn’t excited. I was hurt. I thought we’d be together forever. After a few days of processing, it still hurt, but I began to see how much worse our relationship would’ve gotten over time. And I realized I was blessed it was over. I still had hurt to process, but it was a blessing to know I was free. When my Mom got really sick—and I mean, ICU “Is she going to make it?” sick—I was confused and devastated. Then, I was grateful for my friend who advised me to call the ambulance. I was grateful for the kind nurses who treated her respectfully, and treated us with kindness. I was grateful for the bouquet of artificial flowers I made for her that brought her so much joy (since real flowers aren’t allowed in the Intensive Care Unit of many hospitals). And when my dear friend was tragically killed and her kids went to live with their dad, it took me a while to find blessings. However, in time I heard stories of their faith and positivity, and how they made peace with her passing, on a level that still baffles me. Their serenity, despite all that was going on, blessed me….

Life can throw us some unexpected blows, and we get to feel how we feel. We get to process. And then, we get to look for the blessings.

(See. Found some already. 😂)

Marlene Dillon Empowerment Specialist

*** In an upcoming post, I’ll share another blessing of this season of social media silence.***

Positive Expectations

Can I tell you a secret?

Marlene Dillon Empowerment Specialist is a closet pessimist. I know! Gasp! Okay, that might not be the full truth. I believe in the possibilities for everyone… except myself.

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I unfortunately gained a lot of…. conditioning over my lifetime to not believe that good things happen for me. I can believe for everyone, with ease. I can celebrate other people’s great fortune, with sincerity. I can see it for them and say, “Girl, you deserve that.” But if the same opportunities came to me, I’d say, “Man, I’m grateful and so blessed.” But the words, “I deserve it,” whew, those are hard words to say.

I was conditioned to believe that I only deserve what I worked hard for, and not just any kind of working hard. I had to work hard for it in specific ways…. like at a government job that pays a pension and benefits… at a job where you sweat and get your nails dirty…. in a high level position that you could only get by having a doctorate and decades of seniority.

I am shifting my beliefs this year because that crap has held me back because I am naturally driven toward purpose and ease. I don’t like doing anything that makes me sweat…. or get dirt under my finger nails. I hate working in an office setting, cubicles make me want to gag, and having someone dictate my schedule sends me running for the hills. I have too many ideas of my own to be someone’s employee. I’m just not wired that way. I have only once in my life worked for someone else more than 6 months. I just can’t. Ewww.

I had some real talks with myself over the last few days entering this year. And I have to let it be okay to not do it the way I was taught. I need both feet in entrepreneurship, and I have to believe I can succeed at it. It’s predestined. I need to let that be okay. I need to release people from their positions in my mind as more knowledgeable than me about how my life is to work. It’s time for me to take the top seat and allow guidance to fully guide me without the second thought.

I get to remove the beliefs about what other say will bring me success and follow my internal guidance. And you know what my internal guidance just reminded me? I looked up and saw these words on my wall, “Start expecting things to get better.” It’s such a simple statement, but it means so much more to me.

I get to let go of the beliefs that I can only succeed one way. I get to let go of the beliefs that, “Yeah, that worked for them because….” I get to say, “I don’t care if it offends you that I’ve got so much favor that when I want something I get it without having to work hard for it.” If I simply just drop that last belief—which I fully intend to this year—my whole life will be different.

I learned early in life that people don’t like it when you get preferential treatment. Teachers were nice to me, because I didn’t get in trouble. Classmates don’t like the “teacher’s pet.” I was just trying to avoid getting in trouble at home. But with each success, award, honor roll acknowledgment, and “Marlene, you’re in charge. Let me know if anyone’s talking,” I quickly learned that it’s not okay to have favor. When things are going better for you than those around you, people are jealous, offended, and mean.

All I’ve ever wanted was for people to like me, to treat me nicely, and see me as a good person. I spent my whole life doing all I could to ensure that was the case…. including batting away favorable opportunities and predestined blessings because I didn’t want to lose love. I didn’t want to be mistreated. I didn’t want people to say, “You don’t deserve that. I worked hard for it, and you didn’t.”

One of the most hurtful experiences of my life was when I graduated third and my best friend graduated 2nd. She was going to be the salutatorian (wow, shockingly I spelled that right), and I was so happy for her! I was doubly happy because we got to sit next to each other on stage. She, on the other hand, was not happy at all. She didn’t even want to speak to me when she found out. She was upset because she worked so hard to be second, and I didn’t even go up to look at the top 10 list because I was CERTAIN I wasn’t on it. I didn’t put forth any effort in school. I barely did homework. She would remind me every time tests were coming up or big projects were due. I would throw things together last minute and cram for tests the night before. She, on the other hand, did every assignment perfectly, studied all the time (even when there wasn’t a test coming), she did her homework, and probably extra credit. So when the announcement came, she was pissed that I came right behind her. She knew I didn’t try. That was hard for her to process.

After the fact, it was hard for me to process that my friend was unhappy for me. That accidentally succeeding could cause my dearest friend to be upset. I hated that feeling. And I’ve experienced that feeling so many times throughout my life. I think I decided at some point that it hurt to much to receive because people get mad when I get blessed….

Well…. those days are over. 😂 I’ve suffered long enough. Let ’em cry. I’m coming for all that’s mine and I’m telling you now, I have no intentions of working hard for any of it. I’m putting aligned actions, guidance, and intuition to work for me. Y’all just get ready for things to get reeeeeal good for me. Cheer with me or unfollow me…. or whatever works for you.

I’ve declared for myself that 2023 is “the year of miracles.” I’m allowing it all in. #sorrynotsorry Happy New Year!

Much love to you and thank you so much for your support and for reading my long blog posts. I just have to share it the way it flows through me. Bless you and yours!

Let’s expect it to get real good. 🌼

Marlene Dillon Empowerment Specialist

Co-Founder of SISTAMoms

Author/Designer/Illustrator I’m Proud to Be Natural Me!

Owner/Publisher/Author MDillon Designs & Publishing

#Udemy instructor of HealingOurFamilies: Healing the Parent-Child Relationship Check out the rest of my website to learn more about me. #linkinbio#sistamoms#Proud2BNaturalMe#talktomeandsee

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Marlene Dillon Empowerment Specialist is a single mom who lovingly shares her insights here for free. BuyMeACoffee offers readers a great way to support her work. You can securely send her a gift (a cup of matcha) as a thank you for this post. Simply tap the photo. Then, to the right of the screen, choose “Support” (to send her a one-time gift) or “Membership” (to give monthly). You can even add a thank you message! Blessings!

What if Playing Small is a Trauma Response?

I see so many posts saying, “Stop playing small,” as if people who aren’t showing up fully in their power are eagerly choosing a smaller life. 🙄 As someone who has been “living small” as a result of many disempowering beliefs, I thought it might be helpful to provide some perspective. It may prove eye-opening for people like me who are the last to volunteer for leadership roles, and for those who eagerly “step up to the plate.”

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From birth though the toddler years, we are typically very confident and feel we have a right to everything our soul desires. We’ll grab and take and cry for what we want until someone does our bidding. However, as we get older there many opportunities for us to learn that the world does not revolve around us, that people will not applaud everything we do, and that we can get in trouble for not following the rules everyone else seems to know.

These lessons can shift us from being naturally empowered, confident beings. Depending on the severity of the lessons, we may learn that it is not always safe to show up fully in our power.

This is why I believe “playing small” is a trauma response. I know that term is often overused, but it is true. If at some point in our lives (likely childhood) we were taught (directly or subliminally) that we don’t get to show up fully in our power, or that it’s not safe, we can develop a habit of choosing to take a back seat.

If you eagerly went out for the lead role in the school play, and not only did you not get the part, your classmates laughed at you for even considering yourself worthy to audition, it might leave a lesson in your mind that you don’t have the right to step into big roles. If you are the youngest of your siblings, and were constantly told “you’re not big enough” or “that’s too big for you” or “you’re too little,” you may still be holding that lesson in your mind and it will cause you to hold back and feel unworthy to step into bigger opportunities… until you address it. If your science project presentation in middle school went horribly, so horribly that even the teacher was giggling, you may have trouble speaking up in meetings at work. We often don’t realize that events in childhood, or at other significant intersections in life, are the reasons we don’t step fully into who we are meant to be.

Many, who don’t deal with these problems, can be less compassionate and say things like, “Oh, get over it. You’re grown, now. Let that go.” But for the mind, it’s not always that simple. We do the bulk of our learning between 0 and 7 years old. Then we spend the rest of our lives proving those lessons right. If you learned what a dog was at 2 years old and spent your entire life seeing dogs, and hearing people call these animals dogs, and noticing the difference between dogs and other animals, no one can come to you at 37 and tell you a dog is actually a cat. You’ve spent over 30 years solidifying that belief. The same goes for hard wired beliefs about who we are, what’s possible for us, and what we believe about how life works. We’ve been solidifying those beliefs for a long time.

However, if someone provides us with convincing evidence that what we believed is completely false, it’s possible to shift beliefs. We have to go back and override the lesson we received way back when. This is why I love inner child work. It may feel a little weird, but it is actually very effective. We can go back to those moments in our childhood where we learned a lesson that is not serving us, and reteach our inner child the new lesson. We don’t have to wait another 35 years to condition ourselves into a new belief. We can use the power of our imaginative mind, visualize having a conversation with our 6 year old self, explain the new lesson, and choose from that point forward to only affirm the new truth! Inner child work is fascinating.

When we use the term “trauma response,” people often think it’s too extreme. Trauma isn’t just a major death, abuse, a car accident, etc. To the mind #trauma can simply be the moment that what you once believed was dramatically shifted to another belief—possibly because of the actions or words of someone else. For the mind, traumatic moments are often simply the events that forever change the way we view a person, place, thing, or situation.

It is often through introspection—going back and healing these moments—that we find peace to move forward fully in our power. Inner child work is one of my favorite tools for #healing old beliefs, and figuring out what is holding us back. I highly recommend it, and if you need help with it, consider booking me for a 15-minute Empowerment Coaching Chat (Reach out to me on Facebook.) I hope this explanation has been helpful for you.


Marlene Dillon Empowerment Specialist

Co-Founder of SISTAMoms with Yvonne Monique Livingston LLC


Appreciate this post? Please send Marlene a tip.

Marlene Dillon Empowerment Specialist is a single mom who lovingly shares her insights here for free. BuyMeACoffee offers readers a great way to support her work. You can securely send her a gift (a cup of matcha) as a thank you for this post. Simply tap the photo. Then, to the right of the screen, choose “Support” (to send her a one-time gift) or “Membership” (to give monthly). You can even add a thank you message! Blessings!

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