Believe That You Can
with Linda Arrey
Introduce yourself! Who are you?
My name is Lindamira Arrey-Mbi Nkwenti. Most people call me Linda Arrey. I’m a wife to my loving husband, Tse, and mother to two of God’s greatest creations, our daughters, Angel and Ariel. I was born and raised in Cameroon, West Africa. My parents migrated to the U.S. when I was a teenager, and as a young adult, Jonesboro, GA became my home, away from the motherland. I’m blessed to have the best parents and siblings in the world, and a tribe of women I call friends.
As a Certified Life Coach, I help women who are feeling stuck in their personal and professional lives find clarity. I further equip them with the necessary tools and strategies needed to breakthrough and live a life of fulfillment if they are willing to trust the process and put in the work. As a Nonprofit Startup Consultant, I help individuals become successful Nonprofit Entrepreneurs, by transforming their ideas into thriving, sustainable and impactful 501(c)(3) organizations, even if they have zero experience. Consider me your GPS. I am your guide, mentor and accountability partner.
I’m also the President of ‘Women in Leadership Development and Empowerment, Inc., (WILDE), a professional women’s membership charity, and the organizers of the annual Women’s Wellness and Business Conference that brings together women from diverse industries to share and grow together. We focus on four pillars: Mental, Physical, Spiritual and Financial wellness.
I’m a professional speaker and published author. My recent TEDx talk was a call to action for women to be present and live in fulfillment daily. Self-care is not an option, it’s a priority. My book ‘Memoirs of a Working Mother: Fighting for Balance, Managing Expectations and Channeling Love’, is packed with motivation, life lessons, strategies and self-help tools for women to thrive at home and work.
Among other things, I am a Medical Service Corps Captain in the U.S. Air Force serving as the Chief Information Officer at Dover, AFB.
Do you remember a specific time you overcame adversity?
I have two beautiful daughters and I thank God daily for trusting my Tse and I to be their parents. I also went through two very complicated pregnancies dealing with Uterine Fibroids. On my first pregnancy, I was forced on bedrest at 24 weeks because one of the fibroids had grown bigger than the size of my baby’s head and blocked my uterus. Prior to bedrest, I worked a lot. It was hard for me to remain still, but I knew I needed the rest as ordered in order to stay healthy and bring forth my healthy baby to this world. The early days of bedrest were trying, both mentally and physically, but I needed to do a mind shift and focus on what was more important. It wasn’t work, it was my baby, and staying healthy. When I accepted and recognized that I needed bedrest, I became intentional about making the best of it. I started journaling and communicating with my daughter constantly through the movement, hiccups and quiet moments. These stories from my journey, coupled with other life lessons, motivation and strategies became the brainchild of my book ‘Memoirs of a Working Mother.’ I know many women go through mental health issues, and 21 million women worldwide have uterine fibroids. We don’t discuss these issues enough. It is time we encourage each other and create a safe space for more women to be able to come together, get showered with love and get the tools and help needed to navigate through these challenges, judgement free.
What message do you think every woman should hear?
You are wonderfully made in God’s image, and you are enough! You deserve to live a life of fulfillment and should let go of anyone or anything that no longer serves you in your purpose. You have all that is needed to live the life you desire. Stop looking at another woman’s life. You are YOU-nique. Believe that you can and stay in faith even when things get tough, because challenges will come. Commit to working on your goals or plan for your life daily until you attain desired results. Remain consistent, and do not give up. Celebrate little accomplishments along the way, and enjoy life daily.
What do you love most about yourself?
I am intentional about what and who I want in my life. That means I’m selective about who and how I spend my time. I am also very determined and consistent. I have failed many times, but I have also I picked myself up each time and kept moving until I attained the desired result.
What motivates you most?
Building a legacy for our daughters and my desire to be a positive impact in the lives of the young girls, women and underserved communities I encounter.
No mother should work tirelessly, yet fail to enjoy the very life and people that she works hard for. On those mornings when I drop my kids off at daycare and they cry as I leave for the office, I wish I didn’t have to go to work. I wish I could take my baby home and have a playdate instead. I want every woman to have the financial flexibility and time to be able to choose her family and still leave the lights on, or take that vacation when she wants. I want every woman to make her family her number one client and be unapologetic about her decision if there’s ever a need to choose.
What do you do on a daily basis to grow and move forward?
I believe in growing both personally and professionally. I take care of my mind, body and soul. I meditate on a regular basis and listen to a lot of gospel and African music. I say it is food for the soul. We seldom eat out as a family and eat healthy home cooked meals, most of the time. Cooking as a family is a great time to bond and eat together. I also workout on a regular basis, and I do most of my meditation during my morning runs. It is through personal growth that we can grow professionally. That said, I also do a lot of research in my field to stay competitive in the market space. How can I create better programs and strategies that will be accessible, cost effective and exceed the needs of my clients? I also surround myself with mentors and a coach with whom I continue to grow with.
As a woman who wears many hats, some of which are: Author, Speaker, Air Force Captain, Life Coach, Wife, and Mother, how do you manage your work-life balance?
Over the years I have mastered the art of prioritizing tasks. Not everything is important right now, and some things can wait. I have also been able to better manage my schedule based on order of importance, and time needed for completion. I truly make every second count. I’m a big advocate for rest and self- care, so that’s top on my list. I believe it is through taking care of my mental, physical and spiritual wellbeing that I can effectively perform at my best, be it at home with my family or at the workplace. If you feel mediocre, you will perform mediocrely. I use my balance formula below as a daily guide:
Family: 5 hours
Work: 9 hours
Self-care/Medication: 2 hours
Rest/Sleep: 8 hours
There are days I follow the about formula strictly, but I also know that life happens and somedays things don’t go as planned. So it’s a guide, and I make adjustments as needed, but it’s there to keep me on track. If I find myself working for 12 hours every day, I know that there are other areas in my life such as time with my family or rest that I am missing out on. My philosophy of balance is that don’t expect things to be stagnant. Free your mind from the stressors of a perfect and unwavering schedule. There will be days when you have your schedule all figured out, and days when you will have to make some adjustments. Balance is being able to effectively move things around to fit your needs at a given point and time, and also trusting that you are doing the best you can.
What is something on your bucket list?
When Tse and I first met, we travelled a lot. We were blessed with our daughters and slowed down on overseas travels. We have not left the country together in over two years. Well, we are discussing our next overseas trip to Santorini Greece, which happens to be one vacation destination on my bucket list.
Where do you find inspiration?
I find inspiration from my loved ones. For example, the smile on my daughters face when I pick them up from daycare after a long day, or the kiss from my husband when we part ways for work in the mornings. I also have the most amazing parents and siblings, and a small, but powerful tribe of women I call friends. My loved ones inspire me to be better and do better. I’m inspired that I have people in my life that I love dearly who love me back equally. Little things about life also inspire me, such as waking up to a beautiful morning and stepping out to breathe clean fresh air and listen to the sounds of nature. Things like this make me appreciate life and have gratitude in my heart that I have been blessed to see another day and to make a difference.
More About Linda
Lindamira Arrey-Mbi Nkwenti, most people call her Linda Arrey, is a Certified Life Coach, Nonprofit Consultant, Speaker and Author. She is a Captain in the U.S. Air Force. She is a wife to her loving husband, Tse, and mother to two of God’s greatest creations, their daughters, Angel and Ariel. Linda was born and raised in Cameroon, West Africa. Her parents migrated to the U.S. when she was a teenager, and as a young adult, Jonesboro, GA became her home, away from the motherland. Linda is blessed to have the best parents and siblings in the world, and tribe of women she calls friends.