November 5, 2014 marked the second anniversary of the launch of our Grown Zone initiative in 2012, marking the beginning of our third year of providing a path to Grown and healthy success with a minimum of adult messiness. The past year has been a banner one for the Grown Zone, with our mission of “More Self Love, Better Decisions and Healthier Relationships” resonating with more people than ever before. We have plenty to celebrate as we enter the brand new year of 2015. But before we move deeper into the third year of the Grown Zone, we wanted to stop, in the spirit of gratitude and celebration, to share some of the highlights of the past year.

Without further ado, here are the 13 Great Grown Zone Moments of 2014:

Black Love Forum names Grown Zone to its “14 Most Inspiring Black Couples” list for 2014. We got a great surprise for Valentine’s Day when Black Love Forum released its annual list of most inspiring African American couples. Tagging us “The Advocates,” the recognition described the Grown Zone as “exploding on the scene with their one of a kind advice for ‘grown folks’. “ See the entire “14 Most Inspiring Black Couples (2014 Edition)” list here.

Zara named one of “5 People Who Actually Give Sound Relationship Advice” by ClutchMagOnline. Less than 2 weeks after our recognition by Black Love Forum, ClutchMagOnline Contributor Demetria Irwin named Zara to an elite group including Paul C. Brunson as sources of credible relationship advice. Said Irwin, “Zara and Edmond are not afraid to be very frank when it comes to sex, love and recognizing the signs of healthy (and unhealthy) relationships.” Read Irwin’s entire post here.

Grown Zone featured on Paul C. Brunson’s Mentor Monday. Speaking of Brunson, we had a ball being interviewed by him for his popular, entertaining and empowering Mentor Monday Live Spreecast in April. A highlight of the night: introducing and defining the word fuquitable to the Mentor Monday audience. If you’re a Grown Zone regular, you know what it means. If you’re not, check out our entire Mentor Monday interview here.

Alfred conducts one-on-one on-stage interview with Bishop T.D Jakes. A headliner event of the 2014 Black Enterprise Entrepreneurs Conference in Columbus, Ohio, in May, Alfred’s inspiring and insightful conversation with Bishop Jakes was focused on the lessons of Jakes’ latest book, Instinct: The Power to Unleash Your Inborn Drive. (Alfred was also a panelist for the opening session of Jakes’ 2014 Pastors & Leaders Conference in Orlando, Fla. earlier this year.) We cite Instinct as one of the books that helped to influence and inspire our new book, Loving In The Grown Zone. If you haven’t read it yet, buy your copy of Instinct here. Go here to see video of Alfred’s interview with Bishop Jakes.

Zara and Alfred meet Dr. Wayne W. Dyer in Baltimore, MD. Another major influence on the Grown Zone, and on Zara in particular, is Dr. Wayne Dyer. So when we ran into him outside our hotel in Baltimore (we were in town for the city’s annual African American Festival; he was there for his I Can Do It! Conference series) it was both a thrill and powerful inspiration for our efforts with the Grown Zone. Dr. Dyer personally invited Zara to attend the I Can Do It! Conference as his guest; of course, she was thrilled to accept his invitation. Dr. Dyer’s book The Power of Intention: Learning to Co-Create Your World Your Way is also cited as a source of inspiration in our book Loving In The Grown Zone. Buy your copy of The Power of Intention here.

Zara featured guest for Dr. Darnise Martin’s For Love and Money Tele-summit. 2014 marked a year of increasing demand for the Grown Zone at telesummits and other online events, especially on the topics of relationship choices and their impact on finances. Zara was part of an expert line-up, including authors Brunson, Meriflor Toneatto and Kenny Pugh, addressing financial decision making in relationships, a primary area of focus in the Grown Zone. Get access to the complete Love and Money Tele-summit here.

Zara and Fab New You Tele-summit: Zara joined a powerful line-up of 15 women for the Fabulous New Life Tele-Summit, hosted by Aprille Franks-Hunt, author of Confessions of an Independent Woman: Truth, Lies & Relationships. Hunt organized the tele-summit “for every woman – the busy mom trying to figure it out and find balance to the woman who is looking for her ‘next thing’ or the professional who is wanting a deeper sense of purpose.” Gain access to the complete audio library of the Fabulous New Life Tele-Summit here.

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