|Ayize and Ayiana Ma'at|
I had the immense pleasure of securing an interview with the dynamic duo of Bintentional.com Ayize and Ayiana Ma'at. Their mission is to inspire couples to stop playing and keep pushing, while always keeping it %100 REAL! Check out the interview below...
HoneyCee: For those who do not know, what is the Bintentional movement all about and what was your inspiration for starting it? http://www.bintentional.com entail?
The Ma’ats: B Intentional exist to celebrate and promote intentional living in all areas of life. Our inspiration for starting the B Intentional Movement was an increasing awareness that nothing happens on accident. We all have these latent desires that need to be resurrected and revitalized but this will only occur through intentional action. We feel that it's through this intentional action that some sense of wholeness can be attained. We are an African American couple that has chosen to place intentional emphasis on improving the quality of relationships in our community. We do this because we understand that in order for greatness to be cultivated and manifested in our community their needs to be a radical shift in how parents relate to each other. We believe, "where the head goes the body will follow,"therefore we choose to focus on the adults and their relationships because they are ultimately responsible for redirecting their families toward more successful outcomes. Instead of complaining about the high divorce rates and poor representations of marriage in our community, we decided to do something. We first looked at our relationship and acknowledged the growth we've experienced during the past 15 years and realized that we have awesome value and an obligation to share. B Intentional is "our" call to the community to take action and do something different in our relationships so that we can improve the quality of our lives.
HoneyCee: The advice you give to couples is so encouraging. Where does your advice come from?
The Ma’ats: The primary source of education for our relationship advice is our experience. We are deeply in love with each other and we recognize that nowadays that's rare. We look at the ups and downs in our relationship and extract the lessons we've learned that have enabled us to be as connected as we are. Additionally, Aiyana is a clinical psychotherapist and both of us are certified marriage educators. We have a library of books to extract relationship wisdom from and we are regularly working with couples that are trying to take their relationship to the next level. We also stay connected to continuing education opportunities that help us to stay on top of the current themes and trends in relationship education. All of these experiences help to shape us and enable us to provide advice.
HoneyCee: You give great advice on relationships, but where do you go when you need help in the relationship department?
The Ma’ats: One of the things that we regularly advocate for is "relationship checkups". Whether you are in a good space or more challenging one it's good to sit down with an objective third party and do some "tweaking" or maybe even a relationship "overhaul". We adhere to our own advice and schedule time for "relationship checkups" with the therapist that provided pre-marital counseling to us.
HoneyCee: I love the way the two of you support and compliment each other. How long have you been together and how much does your marriage encourage the direction of Bintentional?
The Ma’ats: We are high school sweethearts. We have been together for 15 years. We have a phenomenal marriage and working relationship. Both combined heavily influence the direction of B Intentional.
HoneyCee:What kind of change would you like to make in the lives of others through Bintentional? What is your ultimate goal or vision for the company?
The Ma’ats: We would like to positively impact the image of black marriage in our community and drastically improve the quality of relationships in our community. One of our immediate goals is to impact 100,000 couples per month. As we accomplish and exceed that number we believe the quality of life for adults and children in our community will improve drastically. In the coming months we will be launching a sister site that will focus specifically on living from a place of purpose and manifesting our dreams. This sister site will be the ultimate online destination for finding and building motivation & inspiration to live out the kind of authentic and powerful lives we are meant to live. Our ultimate goal is to be the best that we can be and inspire others on a worldwide scale to do the same. We are constantly developing and growing so we know the possibilities for us and our company are endless.
HoneyCee: I know you two were featured in a film. Can you tell us more about that?
The Ma’ats: The film "You Saved Me" produced and directed by Lamar and Ronnie Tyler was a candid look into the relationships of 8 couples and the impact marriage has had on their lives. While the film was still in it's inception, we were working hard as marriage educators teaching classes with Nisa Muhammad, the Founder of Black Marriage Day and she introduced us to the Tyler's. We immediately established a rapport and shortly thereafter were asked to be a part of the film. The process of being in the film and the relationships we developed and feedback we received from that helped to further solidify our company's initial goals.
HoneyCee: As a married couple with four children, how do you manage to sustain a loving and supportive relationship?
The Ma’ats: We are intentional about spending quality time with each other. We talk on the phone throughout the day, we sit with each other while our kids are playing, we hold each other, and when we lay the kids down at night we are intentional about being in each other's presence. It really comes down to practicing good communication. Now, we hear that all the time but it's the truth. We must practice what we want to perfect. So, we take our relationship very seriously and know that it will only improve through us doing what is required. Being the best husband & wife we know how to be is a serious commitment and we approach it that way. The other thing is that we are truly friends....like for real best friends. We hang out together, act silly together....and we can get really silly, and make sure that we still make time to "just be together" without work dominating our every interaction.
HoneyCee: What do the classes you offer on your web site http://www.bintentional.com entail?
The Ma’ats: The classes that we offer entail lessons on conflict management, relationship etiquette, communication differences, gender value, sex, intimacy, and understanding. We offer Basic Training For Couples and Singles, Real Talk By Men For Men, as well as Get Unstuck & Do Your Dream. At the foundation of everything we teach and every experience we facilitate is the underlying push for folks to get to know themselves better, increase their insight and understanding of themselves, and reach new heights within themselves and their relationships based on their unique insight.
HoneyCee: If there was one important tip you could give single men and women what would it be?
Ayize Ma’at: Do not lead with your heart OR your head....be balanced and lead with BOTH. This will give you the greatest chance at relationship success.
Aiyana Ma’at: Make it a point to learn how to truly love and accept all of who you are. Learn how to be alone but not lonely. Explore the depths of your own personal strengths and fears. Bottom line---invest in your personal development. It is one of the greatest investments you can ever make.
HoneyCee: If there was one important tip you could give newly married couples what would it be?
Ayize Ma’at : The difference between successful and unsuccessful couples is not the absence of conflict...but rather their ability to manage it. Remember that when times (as they inevitably will) get tough.
Aiyana Ma’at: Marriage is beautiful and fun and it requires work. People don't often like to talk about the work aspect of marriage but at the end of the day it does require work. In our careers we know it makes good sense to increase our skills, add to our toolbox, and get continuing education. Marriage should be no different. Work in your marriage so it will work for you.
HoneyCee: Toss Up: What is your favorite meal and why?
Ayize Ma'at: Fried Tofu with a side of barbecue sauce, spinach with garlic and onions, and macaroni and cheese.
Aiyana Ma'at: Crabs all day every day!!! I love me some crabs! Lol!
HoneyCee: Where can HoneyCee.blogspot.com readers get more information from the Ma'ats?
The Ma’ats: www.blackloveandmarriage.com