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behind the why

Latika S. Vines

CEO, Visionary Initiatives, LLC

Hi, I'm Latika Vines, the Working Mom Empowerer on a mission to help you finally be fulfilled and live abundantly by aligning your career and work-life balance with God!  As a working mom of 4 girls, wife, ministry leader, Corporate Trainer, and more, I fully understand the challenges, joys, and in between trying to do everything with excellence (or in other words, perfection), and keeping my sanity. It took being diagnosed with post-partum depression for me to stop everything in my life,  analyze what was important, and gain the perspective, support, and guidance to experience the abundance God destined for me. And, I want to help you get there! 

With three young girls, I struggled to balance a full-time job, ministry work, and a career that was not fulfilling. Then, I found out that I was pregnant with our fourth child. I became anxious in having her because I didn't know how I was going to manage having four children and everything I had on my plate. My employer was not able to be flexible with me in managing my doctor's appointments and taking off from work because of my three other children being sick (daycare and elementary had so many germs that my girls continued to spread to each other). Although my husband was available to help, I didn't ask for his support. I felt like I was a superwoman and needed to do everything by myself. But, the truth was - I was drowning. I was struggling trying to do it all. Not to mention, the degrading comments I received from colleagues and my employer did not help my already anxious mind. But, I kept on going. By the time I was nine months pregnant, I secured a new position, which allowed for flexibility and a better work environment.  And, then I had my daughter.

Before I could process having another child, I was back at work again, joining the hustle and bustle of commuting on most days, teleworking other days, and caring for my children, husband, and home. Not too long after, I fell really sick. After being sick for over a week, I made an appointment with my primary care physician. After running numerous tests, it was discovered that I have really bad sinuses (as do many people who live in the Washington, DC area), but that wasn't the only issue. She diagnosed me with post-partum depression. (Per the March of Dimes, post-partum depression is a medical condition that many mothers get after having a baby. It's strong feelings of sadness, anxiety, and tiredness that last  for a long time after giving birth. Those feelings can make it hard for a mother to take care of herself and her baby.) I am grateful to God that my doctor saw past the sinus affection and decided to ask me questions per her post-partum questionnaire. She wrote a letter to my employer explaining that I needed two-weeks of paid time off (or telework). She advised me to seek a therapist so that I can discuss the anxiousness that I was feeling and gain strategies to overcome. And, she recommended that I seek a career coach or mentor - in that order. I did just as the doctor ordered. 

In the time I spent with a therapist and career coach, I realized that there was one element that was missing from the equation - God! Throughout the ministry work I was doing, I didn't acknowledge God. I didn't ask Him for strength. I didn't ask Him for guidance. I didn't allow His input in my life. When I became aware that I left Him out of the work-life balance I desired, I had no other choice but to include Him. And, it was from that moment that I felt liberated to create the work-life balance that would work for me and my family. 

But, the story doesn't end there. 

I had to gain the clarity to identify what I wanted in my life and for my life. I had to identify my life vision. I needed to understand what I was going to do in my career, how I was going to move up the leadership ladder (it has always been my goal to do so), be a role model for my children (I have all girls), teach my children fundamental and foundational life lessons, and nourish a relationship with my husband. Not to mention, cooking, cleaning, and organizing, for my family. It was clear that I never involved God in the decision-making of my career or life. I would accept positions because of the salary increase and exposure, but those positions were never strategic in my growth. I would respond yes when asked to take on an additional ministry role. I would respond yes whenever someone asked me to help them do something. But, I was never fulfilled in doing any of it. Until, I sat with God and He told me during my devotion time with Him that He is the Visionary of my life, He would provide for me, He would give me strength and capacity, and that all things work together for MY GOOD! When I understood that, and began operating with Him as my Visionary - planner of my future -  my life and career gained clarity, strategy, peace, and abundance. And, in that moment, God clearly told me to use the same clarity and strategies, I gained to pursue my career vision while balancing family life, to help working moms gain the same fulfillment and abundance I did and continue to experience. 

And, that is why I started Visionary Initiatives, LLC (VIL) in September 2018. VIL was initially intended to support working moms in being strategic with their Career Visions and have a healthy work-life balance. Although we continue to support working moms, through our coaching and training initiatives, we have expanded VIL to include organizational consulting, to ensure that CEO's, leaders, and managers can strategically develop their workforce to be more inclusive of their working moms, retain their working moms, and engage their working moms for a better bottom line/profit and culture.

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