Grown Zone

How To Get Better in Life and Love

Credit: Shutterstock

Welcome to the Grown Zone at We look forward to providing tools, advice and a reliable framework to help you to achieve honor, esteem, respect, prosperity, health (mental, physical and emotional), good relationships and self-loving behaviors for your life.

Too many people accept neglect, abuse, disrespect, conflict, deceit and manipulation as natural, unavoidable characteristics of love, romance, and even marriage. This idea is reinforced by what we see in popular culture (for example, television shows such as the hit series Scandal). In essence, you are presented with a choice: Relationships that don’t last, and relationships that do, as long as you are willing to endure inevitable drama, mistreatment and victimization, usually at the hands of the person you love and/or who claims to love you. The message, both subtle and not so subtle: The price of lasting love is suffering, and the willingness to suffer is proof of love.

In the Grown Zone, we reject that thinking. While there may be no such thing as a perfect relationship, that does not justify accepting anything less than healthy relationships. No one is required to accept mistreatment as the price of a loving, safe and sustainable relationship of honor, esteem, respect. Furthermore, establishing such healthy, loving, resilient relationships are not a matter of luck or chance, but of intention, learnable skills and practices, and commitment to personal growth. Start with these three requirements to get better for yourself in life and love:

1. Know yourself—be your favorite subject. You should be both your favorite teacher and the teacher’s pet when it comes to the subject of you—not as an act of self-indulgence and ego, but of self-care and self-love. Listen to, don’t just hear, YOU. Study, don’t just live with, YOU. See, don’t just look at, YOU. Celebrate, don’t just tolerate, YOU. (To get started, register for our upcoming webinar, Ignite Your Individuality: How to Harness the Amazing Power of Your Hidden Motives.)

Unconditionally accept and honestly explore every aspect of you, your life and your personality, including your temperament and environmental influences. Face up to the good, bad and ugly, without shame, guilt or judging yourself or others. Focus on understanding why you feel what you do, what makes you feel that way, how you respond to specific people and situations, and the real motivations behind your habits and choices. What is your priority? How does this drive your decisions and behavior? This process will require you to give your past selves the gifts of forgiveness, acceptance and compassion—you must be firm with yourself, but also tender. This will lay the foundation for healthy self-love and personal growth, absolute prerequisites to your being qualified to pursue and maintain healthy, loving relationships. Don’t expect others to provide the love you do not give to yourself.

2. Become the No. 1 expert in the healthful care and treatment of you. Your goal: to learn how to live according to your own design, not according to the desires of others. Your standard: What enhances your sense of safety and security, of joy and good health (physically, mentally, financially and emotionally), of hope and personal growth.

Some of the things you will need for your optimal care and treatment will be unique to your individual personality and experiences, which is why knowing your temperament, priorities, motivations and environmental influences is so important. Then there are those things that all human beings require for healthy personal growth, including honesty, acceptance, forgiveness and compassion—things you must require from others as well as gift to yourself. Recognize that the love you seek from others can never exceed the love you have for yourself. If you believe anyone loves you more than you love yourself, you have some personal growth work to do. You need to step up your self-love game, because it is your job to set the standard for your treatment. Never entrust that responsibility to others.

3. Establish and enforce the standard for your care and treatment by others—unconditionally and unapologetically. It’s not enough to know and accept yourself completely, and to be expert on what constitutes healthy treatment for you. To be Grown means to accept responsibility for communicating and teaching those standards (what you require) and boundaries (what you will not tolerate) to others. Your willingness to draw clear, hard lines for what you will and will not accept must be without regard to the approval and disapproval of others. (This includes your parents, relatives, friends and others who will question why this or that person is not acceptable to you.) Once you become expert in your own treatment, you must share and teach that expertise, selectively identifying willing students—i.e. those who would qualify for the privilege of caring for you.

“No.” is a complete sentence. But it’s your job—and no one else’s—to put the period on it. Those who object to you accepting only what is good, healthy and loving for you, cannot—and should not—matter to you. (Get used to hearing terms like “stuck-up,” “conceited,” and “picky.”) Only those ready, willing and able to be taught how to treat you, according to your standard, should be embraced as part of your life. Those unwilling or unable to be taught should be kept at a distance, if not outright evicted from your life. Removing the unqualified will make it easier for you to recognize the most likely candidates for healthy relationships. Remember, anyone who has to be convinced or coerced to care for you in the manner that you require is not the one for you. Wish them well, but release them and keep it moving.

Self-knowledge and awareness are critical components of self-love—whom you would not know, including yourself, you cannot love. Without a healthy standard of self-love, anything (including infidelity and domestic abuse) can pass for love. And if you cannot love yourself, you will not have the courage to accept nothing less than loving treatment from others, nor will you have the confidence to teach others how to love you.

A healthy, sustainable, loving relationship requires two people committed to knowing and treating one another according to their respective designs, not their selfish desires.We challenge you to believe that you can have—and are indeed entitled to—better in life and love, with no strings attached and no suffering required. We believe that such loving relationships of honor, esteem and respect are what you were created for. To claim that birthright, you only have to accept it unconditionally and embrace it without compromise. Live in the Grown Zone.

Join us in October for our LIVE, interactive webinar, Ignite Your Individuality: How to Harness the Amazing Power of Your Hidden Motives!

For a FREE copy of 9 Keys To Living In The Grown Zoneclick here.

About GrownZone



Zara Green and Alfred Edmond Jr., named to Black Love Forum’s “14 Most Inspiring Black Couples” list for 2014, are co-principals of A2Z Personal Growth Enterprises, producer of The Grown Zone. Zara is a speaker/trainer & author. Alfred is an award-winning journalist and expert on business and personal finance. The couple, both “Do-Better Fanatics”, lead sessions on personal growth, self-love and resiliency, healthy relationships and “grown” decision-making at live events across the country.

For a daily dose of Grown, Join us in The Grown Zone!

Connect with us on these platforms:

Twitter: @GrownZone

Facebook: /GrownZone

Blog Talk Radio: /GrownZone

Instagram: @GrownZone

Google+: +GrownZone