Chakayla Taylor on Finding Her Divine Purpose through Food and Love
Written by Chakayla Taylor for The Bronze Hustle
Relationship (transitioning from my old to my new)
After seven years, I decided to call it quits with the father of my two beautiful boys. Before making the decision to pack all of our things and drive over 19 hours from Dallas, Texas to Charlotte, North Carolina, I talked myself out of leaving plenty of times before.
Who the hell do you think you are, Chakayla? How are you going to support your children on one income? Where will you live? What type of job do you plan to find in 30 days or less? You can’t do this, turn around.
This time felt different. I was spiritually and emotionally underwhelmed. It was time to explore what life would be like as a single mother. Honestly, I didn’t think I would ever CHOOSE to become a single mother, let alone a single mother of two young children. There were many reasons why I should have stayed, but they were not greater than me gaining the peace of mind, abundance and tranquility that I had been praying for. I wanted my space to create. I wanted my space to be who CHAKAYLA was, unapologetically. I wanted the time to figure out who I was as a mother.
What is my divine purpose? Why was I put here?
Fast forward after spending six months as a single mother, I was trying to figure out my finances, my sanity and honestly, trying to figure out how the hell I was going to continue to put food on the table, clothe my babies and continue to pay the ENORMOUS weekly daycare fees for my boys. I was truly fed up.
I was FED UP with being fed up. It was time for a change.
Shay Duriel, Creator of The Bronze Hustle, and Chakayla Taylor at The Power Plate’s Brunch Chaser event in Charlotte, North Carolina
Then, BOOM. I started The Power Plate. At the time, it was a company solely dedicated to putting on intimate dinner gatherings for creatives to connect under one roof and where good food and good vibes were present. I was committed to using food as a healing agent to help create safe spaces for creatives in all types of industries. I believe that food is a common denominator to what makes us more alike than we are different. While on this marathon, I made it a point to include all walks of life. I wanted to be the brand that was inclusive, a brand that others could identify with, without FORCING themselves to fit in. I was the lock and my guests were my keys to survival. I thank them every chance I get because many of them have no idea how they saved me and rejuvenated me.
My love for food started when I was 8 years old growing up in Englewood, New Jersey. My mother taught me the importance of making homestyle and homemade foods when she was faced with the task of raising two young girls, with a husband who didn't work due to two strokes to the brain (and honestly, an alcoholism problem as well) and working 2-3 jobs to support a two-parent, two-child household.
That was far from easy, so I became my mother’s wingwoman. I did what she was unable to do. Through this experience, I learned the importance of cooking to nourish those that I truly love. Food was more than just a means to stay alive, but it was a means to communicate love and happiness, especially in the type of environment I grew up in. Despite losing my mother in July 2005, and eight months later my father would join her, my mother didn’t want for us to mature as quickly as we did, but she knew that this experience would lay down the foundation for us to lead successful lives with healthy, happy families (of course with obstacles in between).
With the launch of The Power Plate and our new Spyce Collection, featuring our headlining spyce, Gemini, we have had quite the successful 2019. With this crazy success, it was also followed by an unexpected love story.
During this time, I had given up on finding my king in shining armor. It was crazy, I was searching for love in places where they never existed. So, instead of wasting time changing a man who never deserved my time, I placed ALL of my love and energy into my children and The Power Plate. I was determined (and still very much so as I type this) in growing a brand that generates generational wealth. So honestly, where was love going to fit? Where did it have time to grow? And it is during these moments of restrictive thinking that a blessing comes or when a guardian angel comes and blesses YOU, personally.
Then, here comes cupid being obnoxious and LOUD:
It was Tuesday, November 6 at 6:23am, the day before my son’s 5th birthday. I sent a Facebook message to an old classmate which said, “I see you stunting ,Sykes! Keep it going papa.” After what seemed like an eternity, my classmate responded with, “Thanks beautiful! I’m trying lol I see you’re doing an amazing job raising a king, you keep that up.”
After death staring the screen, one major thing ran through my mind: This man believes I only have one son, but in fact, I have two: one rising 5 year old and another 10 month-old-son. We started to talk back and forth and I automatically started thinking negative thoughts, “Why in hell would this man want a woman with two young children?” And it was in that moment that I walked away from the idea with being with my king, let alone go on a simple date.
So, just like that, I stopped talking to him. I started dodging his messages by punking out and only leaving emoji hearts when I should have responded to him. And then finally, he sends me a message on Instagram asking me out to coffee. Hmm, that was a first. A man asking me out somewhere during the work day and on my lunch break? I was like “this guy ain’t gone let up” (hey baby, I know you are reading this), so I said “let me respond to this man.” I told him I would love to go out for coffee. Real coffee that you put in a cup and mix with cream and sugar and NO FUNNY BUSINESS.
Fast forward, we are nearly 7 months into our relationship and I am the happiest I have ever been. Folks always ask me how we make our relationship work and there are many obstacles we face as a young couple with two children to raise. In order for this to truly work, communication is in the forefront. Without that, there really is nothing that we can accomplish. We make it a point to discuss our feelings, miscommunications, our happiness, our sadness and ultimately, effective ways that we can create the building blocks for a fruitful future. I know this sounds very strategic, but it isn’t at all because love is the reason. It is the reason why after 11 years after high school, and nearly the same amount of time since we have spoken, that this relationship has come into existence.
Love is truly the reason for everything. I knew my heart was capable of loving again, when I saw how his love poured into my children and into me. If my children did not approve, I knew I would have to call it off. There are many things my children do not understand, especially when it comes to explaining why we are no longer living with their father, but I need my boys to see how a MAN truly and devotedly loves a WOMAN. After years of searching for myself, this relationship has not only encouraged me to try love, real love, again, but it has encouraged me to unwrap Chakayla and truly find myself and love who I am inside and out. Now, when you find a love like this, hold on tight, do it justice. I found out that during my first year of being a single mother, now a single mother in a brand new relationship and a mother to growing boys, I am stronger than I have ever realized. I want to thank my man for continuing to remind me of who I TRULY AM and encouraging me to stay who I am, flaws and all.
How this shift in my life has changed my life and my business
If anyone had told me 10 years ago that my life would be like this, I would have said, “Hell, NO.” After a seven year emotional drought, I decided that enough was enough. I was ready to spread my wings and fly. I always imagined when my days wouldn’t be filled with sadness and sorrow. And, here I am. My experience in life and business have truly prepared me for brand new beginnings and new levels of success. I am so glad I am in a space where my family is doing well, my business is expanding and thriving and love has ascended and won again. My story is one of triumphs, if I can do it baby, you definitely can!
About the Author
Chakayla is a self-taught chef and owner of The Power Plate who uses the healing properties of food to create safe-spaces for creatives to connect and build in a delicious, unconventional way. She has created a brand focused on helping dynamic people create stability and purpose in their professional, entrepreneurial and personal lives. Keep up with Chakayla online at passthepowerplate.com and @thepowerplate.