Self-Reflection: It’s OK to Rest Sis.

JOURNALING OUT LOUD. 

Hi. I’m Mocha. I’m a Creator. A Doer. And I like to do “The Most”.

There is something so refreshing watching those in their creative element. To see their hard work appreciated through support of a concert, a show, a sale. I had the pleasure of seeing Tank and the Bangas perform live and It. Was. Everything! The energy was mesmerizing. And though I have NEVA met this woman in my life, I was so proud of her. To see the appreciation for her art inspired me.

 

RECHARGE. If you know anything about Mocha, you know Mocha is in her zone when she does “the most”. I have my hands in a little bit of everything. My ambition powers my soul. There is nothing that fuels me more than success. And my version of success has little to do with excessive monetary gain (though a sista prides herself on living comfortable) and everything to do with living up to my full potential. I have a hard time finding balance.  And I’m ok admitting that.

 

BE STILL. Lately, these words resided in my subconscious thoughts. The ancestors would probably say “God is trying to tell you something”. Sometimes I have to let the dust settle to see my next step towards my goal. My first indicator is always the feeling of being overwhelmed. Some take this feeling and abandon the very song of their heart. They begin chasing the feeling of complacency or doing just enough. But for me, the feeling of being overwhelmed just means I have to rework the hustle. It means a break is needed. It means my need to do “the most” is becoming exhausting mentally and physically.

 

SELF-REFLECTION. Invest in Yourself. Some  may see this phrase and relate it to money . But I am a firm believer that the most valuable resource you possess is time. What you choose to do with your time shapes your future. Grinding day and night is cool. Trust me if anyone gets it I do. But I am learning to STOP and celebrate my victories no matter how small. I am learning about balance and it’s importance to my journey of self-fulfillment.

 

As I danced to the pitch perfect harmonies that filled the illuminated skies, my soul became full. This journey brings uncertainty at times but nothing makes me more fulfilled than to continue. It was within this moment my conscience whispered Its OK to rest Sis. The vision became clearer afterwards.

 

xoMocha

 

If you are unfamiliar with the amazing band Tank and the Bangas check out the video below!

Glow Sis Glow: Luna Lotus Love

Our next Glow Sis Glow feature, Luna Lotus Love, is nothing short of magical. I am honored to feature this beautiful soul. As a creator, mother, entrepreneur, and woman of many layers, her energy is not only transferable,  but mesmerizing. The ancestors have laid a power on her no man can take away.  You are appreciated Sis. We celebrate YOU! Glow Sis!

Here at Twisted. Curly. Cool. we use our stories to inspire, uplift, warn, encourage and comfort one another. Your spirit resonates with me and your energy is contagious. Tell us about Luna Lotus Love. Take us down the path that brought you to this very moment. Tell us your story.
I am a woman. I am a deeply passionate, magical and creative black woman working to unveil the truth of myself through my talents and works. I am an artist, music is my medium, and as my understanding of sound continues to grow on a spiritual level, I am lead into new ways to express and cultivate its healing properties. Sound vibration is energy, energy is spirit and I am becoming more aware of the power and purpose of my words (and songs) as an access point of creation/creativity in my life. (When you think about the portals of creation we think of the sacral chakra, or the energetic center of physical reproduction, but we can’t forget about the throat chakra and the tongue’s power to create through expression….”In the beginning was the word”)

I begin with this because I am a woman learning to express, honor and embrace my voice in new, more expansive ways. I have known too much struggle in my life and I can see clearly now that many of the major lessons and tests that I’ve endured in my life have been connected to me either seeing myself more clearly or needing to express myself more clearly. SPEAKING UP and OUT, allowing my voice to be heard, as well as learning to listen to and trust the wisdom of my inner voice. We all have our gifts, and I recognize mine as a power source for me and my elevation…whether I’m singing or not.

Simultaneously, I know that my voice and what I have to give is not for my elevation alone, and the need to share is here.
I am a singer/songwriter daydreaming of a reality that will allow me to create, produce and perform music full time. What does this mean? It means that I have to keep my dreams alive and work extra hard to remain focused on my heart’s desire to communicate my expression of love through my music, all while balancing being a single mother of 3, and working a fulltime. Have I mastered it? Hell Naw!!! But, I am continuing to figure out new strategies to make my process easier. One thing that I’ve had to become ok with as of late, is the process of elimination. “Exponential Living” a phrase coined by Sheri Riley, where she touches on the idea of how to stop spending 100% of your time on 10% of who you are…where busyness doesn’t always mean productive and opportunity can sometimes be the distraction keeping you from focusing on your true calling.

You are a woman of many talents! You are the creator of the Mirror Magic Movement as well as Yellow Brick Chics. Can you explain to our readers what these two movements represent and the basic origins behind them?


Yellow Brick Chics – Where the Mother-Musician Shines – is a community focused on women empowerment, specifically for mother-musicians and women creatives of color needing inspiration to stay on their creative path. The character symbolism of the Wizard of Oz story and the journey of the yellow brick road calls for a closer look at the tools we already have within us to succeed. Let’s take a brief look at the lessons the main characters present:
Scarecrow: We see that he had to believe in the wealth of his mind and intellect, but what we really learn from him is the importance that CONFIDENCE has on our progress. It’s not by accident that Dorothy meets Scarecrow first on her journey. Dispelling the illusion of the crows represents the fear, doubt and insecurity that we must confront in our own head first, in order to achieve our goals.

Tin Man: Simply teaches LOVE. It is truly one of the most powerful emotional forces on earth. Yes, love is kind, love is patient, but what is forgotten of love, is its power of self-acceptance and the ability this gives us to be in a continuous flow of living in the moment. What does living in the moment do? It allows you complete freedom!!!! The foundation of Yellow Brick Chics as a platform is to empower women creatives and musicians to succeed! Every successful creative (or any successful person) I have listened to and researched has found a way to live in this self-actualized space, which can only come by accepting OR unconditionally loving you!!!
Lion: In regards to the lessons of COURAGE, the best quote I heard my mentor tell me was:

“FEEL THE FEAR AND DO IT ANYWAY.”


After hearing her say it enough times, along with doing some very intentional me-work, I started to see the real reason my career and goals hadn’t taken flight! IT WAS ME!!!!!!!! I kept waiting on the person who I thought would be more qualified to come and save me and fix my problems. I also kept myself from moving forward because I lived inside the entrapment of perfectionism. Deliberately and at my own pace I’ve been stepping out of boxes and comfort zones, moving into areas of the complete unknown, even stumbling a bit along the way. Through it all, there are two things I know for sure: #1. When you take one step, the universe takes it with you (not for you) and #2. When you take that one step you become less afraid to take the next one after that…ultimately leading to a life that is unstuck!

Mirror Magic was born from YBC for 2 reasons. First, on the yellow brick road, Dorothy ultimately had to find out that she had the power all along. There was no one else who could get her home, but herself. The process of self-reflection is a necessary tool; it is a journey unto itself that allows you to explore your true identity and the potential of your personal power. Isn’t this home?
The second reason for Mirror Magic’s development into a platform is the need to create community and conversation around beauty, worth, identity and relationships.

As a woman, there are roles and responsibilities that are systematically placed on our heads that we’re expected to maintain, that may have nothing to do with our actual identity. How debilitating to our personal developement is it to experience this? Times are changing and we are seeing more bad-ass mamas out here on the scene making the balance of motherhood and artistry look easy, but far too often women are still forced, discouraged and negatively labeled for wanting to pursue their dreams. It’s easy to want to give up. I have wanted to give up many times, but where there is a will, there is a way. In addition to the Mirror Magic affirmations I started posting on social media, I began these mini-features to highlight the beauty of the sister-reflections around me.

The reflections of my sisters, shining and being their brilliant selves, was another type of motivation that needed more recognition. We’re so ready to jump on the tails of celebrity status, but what about the homegirls in your networks giving the goddess-shine? If I lose my way and forget how beautiful I am, or how worthy I am, but I see my sister showing me, all praises due to her. How many times have you been out and received an unexpected compliment for your hair, smile or outfit? Changed your whole day didn’t it? The mini features were based on the same premise. As my sister, if you have enough courage to take the time to love yourself enough for the world to see through your works, it’s our obligation as a community to give props where props are due….and I don’t feel like I need your permission to tell you how beautiful you are. It’s an obligation. Everybody needs to feel appreciated and wants to be recognized. This is an especially crucial practice for women to heal ourselves through our relationships with each other. Mirror Magic is growing and I continue to receive these “downloads” of all the many directions it can go. I did a MirrorMagic live event last summer in Atlanta and looking forward to continuing the development of the platform through more events, courses and even individual Mirror Magic healing sessions. Im still downloading and receiving, but because of the practice of Mirror Magic, I’m no longer clenching to the inspiration in fear, unsure if it will be received. I am happy to finally share with you what it is and how it can be applied in your life as well.

What I love about your Mirror Magic Movement is the emphasis put on self-reflection. I personally feel self-esteem or the lack thereof heavily influences our life journey and the choices we make. What advice would you give our readers struggling with this very issue?


Let me tell you about insecurity. It’s a sneaky lil bitch that hides in the corners and just when you think you’re good and ready to fly, here she comes with the doubt and the fear. Self-reflection is a personal, intimate process of assessment, investigation, exploration…that takes you into the crevices, the corners, the shadows and dark places to get to the root of where the fear or blockage is held. I have not perfected it, but I AM working through it. Just recently in the last few months, I’ve come to my own realizations about where I am on my path (of success) and how the lack of sound self-esteem has hindered my progress. You have to be willing to confront yourself and all of your shortcomings. One day it just dawned on me like…”oh, I’ve actually been dealing with insecurity all this time”. Once you start digging and asking yourself questions, the process is ongoing. One thing leads to another that leads you to another, like a puzzle or treasure hunt that you’re determined to solve or find. There’s a factor of accountability that can’t be ignored through Self-Reflection. When you continue to dig, you also start to eliminate false realities and assumptions of power. Self-Reflection takes away the Jesus-Complex or the idea that someone outside of The Self can save you and you are realigned with an awareness of your own personal seat of power – The Goddess-Complex. You have to be willing to ask yourself the questions that only you can answer though. There is no one else that can do this for you. This level of empowerment is organic and comes from you. You are your savior.

Here at Twisted. Curly. Cool. we thrive on inspiration from others. Tell us some of your favorite women and how their stories inspire you.


My grandmothers have inspired me greatly. My mother’s mother, Isabel Cain (RIP) was an influential music clergy in the church we grew up in and she made sure that we received the gift of music very early. She also taught me the power of prayer. She would say “Don’t forget to pray throughout the day, even it’s just a word or a short phrase”. This stuck with me and actually not until now have I realized how much her influence and teachings on the power of speaking prayer, planted the seed for my understanding of what Mirror Magic is today.

My father’s mother has also been a great inspiration to me. Vel Phillips, was the first woman and African-American to become the Secretary of State of Wisconsin. She was the first to be a black woman judge in the state and fulfilled many other trailblazing roles. Only in her 90’s have I seen this woman begin to slow down. She’s been a shark, relentlessly pursuing the plight of freedom and justice for the community to which she belongs. Her servitude and dedication are great sources of inspiration for me.

Anyone who knows Mocha, knows I love quotes. I am empowered by them. I am inspired by them. A quote that I live by is “Self Esteem is realizing you are the Dream” by Oprah Winfrey. Do you have a favorite quote that empowers you?
1. “Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway”
2. “No Mud, No Bud”

We want to hear more from you. Are there any future projects from Luna Lotus Love our readers should be looking out for? How can our readers contact you for more information?

Yes, Yes!! A few new things are coming up. I’m preparing to release Mirror Magic, the single. So new music is coming soon. I’m really excited about this one because I’ve been taking some time to really develop my sound and I think I’ve found it here. I’m also preparing to release a Mirror Magic e-book: “6 Easy-Step Guides to Working with Mirror Magic”. I’m almost finished with it and will be aiming to release the e-book close to the time of the single. I will also be launching a few mini Mirror Magic video docs that introduces the platform and how to apply it in your life. As stated previously, I did a live Mirror Magic event last year and I’ll be creating more of these spaces in 2018.
http://lunalotuslove.com/
http://lotuslovemusic.com/

Thank you so much for blessing us with your knowledge and feminine energy. Do you have any final words of inspiration for our readers?
Remember Mama Eartha!!
Eatha Kitt said this in response to love and relationships
• “Compromise?
• What is compromising?
• Compromising for what?
• Compromising for what reason?
• To compromise?
• For what?
• To compromise.
• What is compromise?”

Glow Sis Glow: The Pretty Hustler

Our next Glow Sis Glow feature is a young lady I have known for many moons. We are always connected by our passion for entrepreneurship. Roshi is a woman of many talents and dominates in her field. Be inspired by the Pretty Hustler and her journey through entrepreneurship.

We love the Pretty Hustler Movement! Tell us your story that transpired into this amazing journey?

I was working at a salon where I did multicultural hair. The owner asked me to stop doing the Caucasian women’s hair so the environment became intolerable for me. I then decided to branch off and start my own mobile beauty business. I called it The Pretty Hustler To Go. People would always call and ask to speak to The Pretty Hustler; so that’s who I became.

You are a person who does a little bit of EVERYTHING!! Explain to our readers how you were able to focus on a talent and market that skill.

I had to be really honest with myself about what I was good at. Not just average but something that set me apart. I then had to incorporate my business and marketing knowledge. Without this particular skillset, my process would be mediocre at best. Honestly, I was thorough about what brought me the most peace.

Client

 

What advice would you give others who may have many different talents and are trying to break out into the industry?

You have to find your lane and stay in it. I used my talent as an artist to fuel something I loved which was the beauty industry. It’s cool to have multiple talents but the specialty is what keeps you relevant. Break your goals down into small tasks. A solid foundation that drives revenue will support your other endeavors.

There is very stiff competition in your industry. How would you describe your journey as a small business owner in such a competitive market?

It’s definitely had its share of cut throats moments. But at the end of the day you just have to remember the first thing you sell is yourself. Everyday I remember that I’m selling myself. It keeps me grounded and relatable which is what it takes to build a loyal clientele

Client

Can you tell us about a time in your life where you faced a major obstacle that turned into a lesson well learned?

I wouldn’t say I have a one time. I’m learning as I go. Some hiccups were bigger than others but that’s all apart of the journey.

Here at Twisted. Curly. Cool. we thrive on inspiration from others. Tell us some of your favorite women and how their stories inspire you.

Madame CJ Walker because of course she is a pioneer in this industry. She’s the OG Hustler lol. I’m inspired by people like Erykah Badu because she makes a living being exactly who she is.

 Do you have a favorite quote that empowers you? If so, how do you apply this quote to your journey?

My recipe for life is not being afraid of myself, afraid of what I think or of my opinions- eartha kitt

I have to be who I am without fear, that’s what’s keeps me at the top of my game. 

Client

We want to hear more about you. Are there any future projects from the Pretty Hustler our readers should be looking out for? How can our readers contact you for more information?

I want to get my Hustlers some merchandise and workshops out. Classes are also being setup so that I can start to train other artists. All of my contact information is on my website; ThePrettyHustler.com .

Do you have any final words of inspiration?

 Nothing changes if nothing changes. Get up everyday with a purpose and your business will always be successful. Life is too short not to go for it!

Xoxo, The Pretty Hustler

 

 

 

Dear Single Bitter Sistas

All single women aren’t bitter and all married women aren’t content. Mocha

Listen………
As a married woman of almost 10 years, I know I am going to step on some toes. But there are some things that need to be said. First and foremost, I have never loved a man the way I love my husband. He is the most fascinating man I have ever met. My thoughts are in no way a reflection of where I am in  my marriage but it is an observation. An observation of urban culture’s assessment on a woman’s happiness based upon whether she can “keep a man” or if she has a husband.

Dear “Single Bitter Sistas”,


Karate chop the next person that calls you that in the THOTE. No not throat. THOTE! I am so sick and TIED of reading this foolery in the comment sections of every urban blog. I’m so tired of seeing men stoop low to this ignant phrase every time an intelligent conversation can’t be had. I’m so tired of women throwing around “at least I got a husband”……Ok Sis. And what do you have to do or put up with to keep him around. Oh. Too far? See I told you guys I was going to start stepping on toes.

A few of my closest friends are single and living their ABSOLUTE best life. Glowing left and right! Taking their vitamins, eating healthy, booty poking, stacking money.

But according to some of you guys, this life is not enough if a man isn’t included. And I beg to differ. Marriage is one of the most beautiful experiences in my life. God really showed out when he blessed me with my amazing family! The lies I would be telling if I told you we haven’t had our trying times; but we prosper and always remember what God has destined for us. See you aren’t reading the thoughts of a married woman who’s had a rough relationship and she’s warning single women against marriage. Absolutely NOT!  But you are reading the thoughts of a secure married woman. A secure married woman who doesn’t have to one up somebody by reminding the next person “I got my ring, where’s yours?”

And can we cut to the chase? Some of these “husbands” need to be thrown away. Jesus needs to be a Hefty Extra Strong 33 gallon trash bag in some of your lives. There are some women out here who have aged 15 years stressed out about what their “husbands” could care less about taking them through. These same women are usually the main ones bragging to the next woman about her man trying to convince somebody other than herself she made the right decision. Hurt people Hurt people. Happy wives are too busy being happy to judge the next Sista. Yep I said that too!

Marriages are beautiful when they are healthy and stable and BOTH parties are committed to respect and loyalty. But a marriage isn’t something you can get off the shelf for $79.99. Finding the one destined for you takes time. So let these sistas take their time! This is their life and their business. And if they have observed the trashy way of the world and what a lot of women are suffering through just to stay married and decide against it…….That’s their business too!

And to my single Sistas. There are some amazing marriages because there are some really amazing men and women out here. That doesn’t mean they are without hardships. But not all married women are long suffering and “putting up” for the sake of. We aren’t all chasing down side chicks and giving our husbands a pass for impregnating the dental hygienist. A lot of us have healthy self-esteem and boundaries and our husbands LOVE that about us! You don’t have to lose who you are once you become a wife. And not all husbands require that of us along with being self-absorbed serial cheaters. There are some men out here who really cherish their wives  and kiss the earth she walks upon.

So to all of my Sistas. Let’s stop the separatism based upon relationship status. Let’s continue to lift each other up. We are our Sista’s Keeper! And to my “Single Bitter” Sistas. You betta keep slaying Sis! Keep discovering yourself. Keep thriving. We see you Sis and they do too.  Keep Glowing. Go Sis!

xoMocha

 

Glow Sis Glow: Tyra Powers

Painting from the Inside Out

Our next Glow Sis Glow feature, Tyra Powers,  is a phenomenal woman whose  artwork is like a mirror to her soul. We are so excited to share her story with you. Journey into her celebratory world of art and be inspired!

They say art is the journey of a free soul. Tell us about your journey and how it inspired such amazing pieces.

My journey began at the age of 6 when I first began to draw. From that moment, I knew I wanted to continue to create. I always enjoyed seeing other people happy, so I decided to paint a style representing celebratory artwork. Growing up as an introvert,  it was hard for me to build relationships with people. I soon began using my art as a way to connect. I decided to create bright and vibrant pieces not only to assist with my own happiness, but to bring a smile to other people’s faces.

 

We are in love with the art on your Instagram page @just_tyra_. How has social media assisted you on your journey of entrepreneurship? Have you faced in obstacles along the road?

Social Media has assisted me on the journey of entrepreneurship by allowing me to come in contact and network with so many people outside of Maryland. I’ve participated in shows in New York, California and even had my artwork published in an Art Hip Hop book by Paul Stewart. I will continue to place my work across various social media platforms in order to reach as many people as I can. I face obstacles everyday but I strive to learn how to overcome and push past any issues that may temporarily hinder me. 

We see so many artists, graphic designers, etc. offering services of all kinds on all platforms. In your Bio on Instagram, you make it quite clear  “No Logos or Clothing Designs.” Is there a story behind this?

I do not service logos or clothing designs because I simply prefer to work on my craft before I commit to these services. I still feel as though I’m finding my style with the completion of each and every painting. In addition to painting with both acrylic and oil paint I take the time out to draw and I’m always interested in  learning new forms of art  which takes a tremendous amount of time. I’m also focusing on creating my own Sip and Paint classes as well therefore as visual artist with my own set of goals I decided not to participate in the creation of logos and clothing designs at this time. I do follow  many  great graphic designers on social media  that I refer clients to who are interested in these services.  

Here at Twisted. Curly. Cool. we are all about being inspired by the sharing of others journey. Who inspires you and Why? 

I don’t have a specific person that inspires me. I’m grateful that I had such wonderful parents and siblings that taught me to be inspired by life. I’m inspired by so many people who fight against the odds everyday. I’m inspired by people who are told they can’t do it but never give up. I’m inspired by people who don’t fit typical beauty standards and deal with negativity and hate but yet still continue. I’m inspired by persistence, motivation and dedication. 

As an artist, can you think of a quote that empowered you on your journey? 

“It took me 4 years to paint like Raphael, but a life time to paint like a child.” This quote by Pablo Picasso has baffled me but it also empowers me. I’m so empowered by this quote because I think the results of painting the opposite of the way you are taught are astounding. It gave me new insight and introduced a new meaning to the word “Art”. I would like for people to never give up. In a world where there are so many reasons to just to stop living your dreams I encourage you not to. Each and everyday you wake up is another chance and it’s your duty to keep yourself motivated towards whatever dream you have.  I’m consumed by thoughts of creating new ways to experience art and the many quotes by Pablo Picasso has influenced and sparked a new interest in my definition of art.

Are there any future projects our readers should be looking out for? How can our readers contact you for more information?

Yes! I have some exciting new projects coming up such as live paintings and paint classes. I’m always doodling or working on new ideas and I can’t wait to share that with my supporters. I’m excited and I look forward to building a personal connection  with everyone that believes in me. Stay in contact with me by following me on Instagram: just_tyra_.  Check my website at www.tyrapowersart.com to stay updated on all my future events and don’t forget check out my blog.

Thank you so much for sharing your journey with us! Do you have any final words of inspiration?

I would like for people to never give up. In a world where there are so many reasons to just to stop living your dreams I encourage you not to. Each and everyday you wake up is another chance and it’s your duty to keep yourself motivated towards whatever dream you have. 

Self-Care: Protecting Your Peace

“The best things in life are free” 

Whether it was your grandmother who shared this tidbit of wisdom or whether you learned it in the music of Sam Cooke or Luther and Janet; this saying, is one that has been touted as an invaluable life lesson.  I partly agree.  I say partly because during my experience on this journey called life, I have realized that one of my “best things” was not free at all.  In fact, the one thing that I have found to be a very valuable part of who I am and who I help my children grow to be, was very expensive and has taken years for me to receive and protect.

 

What is it? My peace.

 

 You see, I wasn’t born into it as part of lineage.  It wasn’t a nice, sweet sixteen gift all bedazzled with bows and glitter.  It wasn’t a part of the here’s how to survive adulthood package that came at age 21. (I’m still waiting on this one.) Nor, was it wrapped snugly in the blankets of my children as they entered the world announcing my stardom and continuance into motherhood.  I mean, my kids are cute or whateva, but no gift of peace.  You see, it took years, tears, heartaches, heartbreaks, setbacks and setups for me to come to the realization that there will always be things that I cannot control.  Even more, I had to understand that in the end of all things, what will be will be.  What was for me would be for me.

 

Lightbulb!  The time that I spent worrying and stressing was unnecessary and as I found out, did not change any situation or any person.  Sis, when I came to this understanding….. WOW!!!   It is as if time stopped and instantly I was on the banks of the Pacific ocean sipping rum and laughing at all of Kofi Siriboe’s jokes. (Let me be great!)  In that moment, I experienced that thing that calmed storm waters.  The thing that gives comfort during trials.  The one thing that makes you smile while navigating the unknown.  The thing that one man endured torture and died for so that I could experience it.  Peace. Yassssss!!!!

 

What an amazing space to exist, breathe and grow in!  To be in a place where no matter what goes on around me or to me, nothing could disrupt me or my peace.  My sister, if you have not found this place of serene being… Your shaded spot on the beach (with someone other than Kofi); I urge you to stop, relate and release!  Let go of everything that you cannot control. Release relationships and situationships that you have allowed to haze your spirit.  Love people where they are and keep moving!

 

 

 

Today, CHOOSE to accept the gift of Peace. Understand its Power.  Realize its Importance. Grow in its Presence.  But most of all… Protect It!
Go Sis!

 

Kenyatta Stubbs is a mompreneur, motivator and lover of all things life, music, love and laughter. She finds joy in inspiring others, through blogging and social media, as they find and enjoy their journey to peace, health and wellness.  She is building a brand, pursuing her purpose and embracing every experience along the way.  You can follow her on IG @yaddamusik.

Glow Sis Glow: Megan Grandberry

All’s Fair in Love & Thrifting

Our Motto? Uplifting the tribe one ‘Go Sis’ at a time. We believe in the active effort of encouraging one another through praise, gratitude, and respect. We believe in giving our flowers to the living. Our first feature for our Glow Sis Glow Spotlight is Ms. Megan Grandberry. May you take her story and Be Inspired!

We all have a story that gives us a unique perspective. Tell us your story that fuels your passion?

My passion comes from my love of wanting my outfit to say who I am without having to speak while looking fly on a dime. I’m a very outgoing, creative, and energetic soul. I like to be unique because it shines light on who you really are. My mother is the reason I began thrifting. I soon learned it’s not how much you spend on clothes, it’s how you wear them. My mother is my biggest inspiration.  I’ve always witnessed people from all colors admire her many styles which influenced me to do the same.

How would you describe your journey as a small business owner?

The journey hasn’t been easy but I will say it has gotten better. Knowing your audience is key. Once you have that down packed the rest will fall in line. Patience is the most important thing I’ve struggled with and learned about during my journey. Starting out I had a lot of what–ifs (supporters, success, earnings, etc.). I also had to realize everyone won’t support you but that doesn’t mean your dreams must stop. Sometimes I use to feel you can have the best plan but you’re stuck in a world full of naysayers. Although you can’t go based off others’ opinion, sometimes it does become challenging to rise above it all. As time progressed I learned to turn negativity into motivation. Before I knew it, I was on the path to success.

“Even in the midst of tragedy there’s always glory”

Can you tell us about a time in your life where you faced a major obstacle that turned into a lesson well learned?

Recently I was involved in a car accident where I lost my car and broke my ankle which left me immobile until November. Not being able to work, travel, and expand my brand how I’d normally like hasn’t been easy since I’m “bedridden.”  However, this accident has taught me life is short and to live out everyday as if it were your last.  Everyday I take the time I used to cry and complain about and use it towards something that helps promotes my brand. Even in the midst of tragedy there’s always glory. Sometimes you have to go through rain to see the sunshine. I thank God everyday for throwing this curveball. I think he’s testing how bad I want to become successful.

 

 Here at Twisted. Curly. Cool. we thrive on inspiration from others. Tell us some of your favorite women and how their stories inspire you.

Aside from my sister and mother, I’m in love with Oprah and Rihanna! In addition to my love of fashion, I am currently in school for Broadcast Journalism. Oprah’s story is one like no other. She turned her tragedy into triumph and is now one of the top richest black women in the world. Simply because of hard work and determination she set the bar and is the phenomenal media mogul she is today. My favorite quote by her is “Being human means you will make mistakes. And you will make mistakes, because failure is God’s way of moving you in another direction.”

I love Rihanna because she came from a small island where not many would get the opportunity she received. She reminds me of myself because I too came from a small town where making it big is slim to none. I love her diversity through music but mainly fashion. Of course she too set the bar of following your dreams and sticking to being yourself no matter where you come from. My favorite quote from her is “When I am putting looks together, I dare myself to make something work. I always look for the most interesting silhouette or something that’s a little off, but I have to figure it out. I have to make it me. I think that’s the thrill in fashion.”

 I LOVE quotes. Do you have a favorite quote or saying that empowers you? If so, how do you apply this quote to your journey?

“I understood myself only after I destroyed myself, and only in the process of fixing myself did I know who I really was.”-Sade Andria Zabala. I live by this because it’s a true story for me. I had to actually get to a low point to really understand who I was. Once I went through hell, finding my purpose became clear.

We want to hear more about you. Are there any future projects our readers should be looking out for? How can our readers contact you for more information?

 

October 7, 2017 at FAMU Grand Ball Room I will be hosting my first debut fashion show (A Thrifted World) . For more info readers can follow me on:

Instagram: @thriftedhands_

Facebook: www.facebook.com/thriftedhands

Email: thriftedhands@hotmail.com

 

Here at Twisted. Curly. Cool. we use our stories to motivate our community. Do you have any final words of inspiration?

In life there are no such things as good or bad times. Everything is either a lesson or a blessing!

For that one person who doesn’t support you the next person will.

 

Beautiful Darkness: The Journey of Overcoming Infant Loss

DISCLAIMER:  This is a healing post by a guest contributor to encourage those who may have lost a child. Please be advised this post contains sensitive pictures and details the emotional experience of loss. -Mocha Morris

“This baby has been dead for at least three hours.” 

Who would’ve thought from the day my child was pronounced dead to today, his second birthday, that I would’ve taken control of my depression. I’m Lola Staxx and here’s my experience.

The Trip 

August 12, 2015, I woke up in a pool of blood. I was panicked. I ran and woke up my parents and my husband, Mark, so that they could take me to the hospital. I told my baby, Kasen, “everything is going to be OK. Mommy will make sure you’re safe.” I had a total of 6 miscarriages before Kasen, so everyone was on edge making sure the doctors were paying attention to me. I was  so scared yet, so excited to finally meet my baby boy.

Tragedy 

I began to bleed heavier. I asked Mark to tell the nurse I think something is wrong. The nurse walked in, shoved a towel between my legs and stated, “That’s normal.” I took her word. It was my first child so I didn’t know what was “normal” and what wasn’t. Twenty minutes passed and another nurse came in to check my vitals and immediately calls for back up. A team of nurses came in and started vigorously looking for a heartbeat. I knew something was not right when the nurses began to flip me in different positions looking for a heartbeat.

Card provided by an Officer expressing his condolences

At that very moment, I knew I lost him. The charge nurse broke my water and began scratching Kasen’s scalp hoping for him to move. No success. The charge nurse called the on-call doctor. The doctor arrived and began to inspect me. Then, he turned to the charge nurse and stated “This baby has been dead for at least three hours!” They were monitoring my heartbeat opposed to his. Everyone around me began to lose it. My father started to cry and it hurts me to see him cry. The last time I remember my dad shedding a tear was the day my brother passed on my birthday a few years prior. To see him and my mother that distraught broke my heart.

 

There was an Officer who was so sweet to my husband and me. He brought us food and gave us a card expressing his condolences. A few nurses cried as well. I had to be strong for everyone so I remained calm and quiet. Crying in that moment was not an option for me. My husband looked out the window crying and my parents decided to leave because they didn’t want to stress me any further with their tears. Once my sister Mocha Morris arrived, I couldn’t be stronger any longer. She embraced me and I began to cry for hours.

Dad bathing and dressing Kasen.

I lost so much blood that a c-section, epidural, and any other medicine were out of the question. My chance of survival was 10%. After giving birth to him I was still in love. He was so handsome to me. We bathed him and dressed him. My day shift nurse was so amazing. She persuaded me to take photos of him. The hardest part was saying goodbye. I chose the funeral home Willie Watkins to get my son. They recently buried my cousin whom I considered an uncle while I was in the hospital, so I was comfortable with them. Yet, the pain continued. The funeral home came to the hospital three days in a row attempting to pick up my son only to find out the hospital misplaced him.  It was one of my worst experiences to date.

Postpartum Depression

I fell completely off the face of the earth. I disabled all my social media. I stopped answering phone calls. I stopped going around family, especially my mother’s side of the family. There were so many new and healthy babies and mines was the only one dead. I didn’t want to torture myself by pretending to be happy for them when in fact I was envious. I became dark, mean, and rude. It was a point to where I became suicidal. I sent a mass text message telling everyone that I loved them and I wanted to be with my son. My mom and sister called distraught on  three way begging me not to do it because there would be brighter days. I was so tired of those generic statements. Everyone seemed to be putting a time limit on my grieving and I felt alone. I felt that I couldn’t talk to anyone because I felt as if no one genuinely cared, or at least cared anymore.

Testimony 

I’ve had many dark days. It’s hard for me to talk about my feelings ,so I went through a lot of my pain alone. I had a friend to tell me that I could vent to her and I did so in raw form. But, it was too much for her to handle. She stopped talking to me for weeks. I knew then that I have to go through this alone. I had so many talks from family saying how I’ve changed and they wanted the old me back. I didn’t know who that was anymore. So, I began to quietly work on who I’ve become. I began working on my business and my mental wellness.

My first time holding baby Kasen, August 13, 2015

It’s OK to have a set back as long as you fight to get back up. My advice is don’t seek empathy or sympathy because you will most likely be disappointed. That is the emotion that I felt when a person who had not lost a child would say “It will be OK.” Granted, I’ve fought through my suicidal moments and I’m blessed to be here, but I avoid the conversation because they cannot relate to my struggle. Plus, I would rather them not speak on it. I fought through the darkness without seeking professional help. Let me say this, everyone is different and there is nothing wrong with going to a professional. For me, I knew how bad off I was and I did not want to be on  medication with a possible side effect making it worse. I started to acknowledge the source of my anger and hurt and told myself daily that I had plenty of reasons to be proud of myself. I became spiritual and began working on my business and my goals.

Letting Go 

Do you believe in being addicted to hurt? Sometimes when everything around us seems to crumble and an opportunity presents itself to make us happy, we tend to push that away because we’re caught up in basking in our misery. That was me for a short while. I started to slowly go to small events that I could handle. I joined groups, started a business, and I began to write. You have to let go in order to prosper. Holding on to the loss aides your sadness. Your baby is your guardian angel. Once you’ve accepted that, your healing will begin.

Keeping the Memory Alive 

Kasen Walker Holifield My son that I carry in my heart

I will never forget my baby. He has been my screen saver for two years. Every year on his birthday, August 13th, I send him balloons. Kasen knows that I did all I could to save him including visiting the hospital 3 times within 7 days of that final time because I felt something wasn’t right. In reality, he saved me. Whenever I’m down and I feel as if I can’t go anymore, I listen to the strong heartbeat he once had inside of a bear gifted to me as a baby shower present. It is his heartbeat that pushes me to be strong.

If you recently lost a child and you need an outlet, I am here for you. I’m not perfect, but I am solid.

Lola Staxx

Kasen’s Mom 💙

 

Lola Staxx is a Brand Curator, Snapchat personality, and Barber. She assists small businesses by implementing planned programs to create meaningful brands with defined purpose. If you would like to contact  Lola Staxx, she can be reached by email talktostaxx@gmail.com.

The Top Five Ridiculous Fitness Fads That Need to Go

You already know what time it is. The weather is getting warmer. Some of us have been working hard on our #summerbody, some of us got a little sidetracked. But that’s ok. Usually this time of year we check in on those New Year’s resolutions we set a while back. How close are you to your goals?

The great thing about deadlines, is that if you don’t reach them by the date on your calendar, all you need to do is simply move the date. Weight loss and overall health is found in consistent effort. But it seems that every year, many of us get suckered into the allure of quick results. Super-charged weight loss is never enduring, and it could even be dangerous. A healthy body is what we’re after. Keep this forever in your mind. I’ve compiled a list of the fads to avoid this season.

Waist trainers. I see a lot of women sporting these at the gym and even (clutch the pearls!) grocery store. There’s only two ways to train your waist, ab workouts and diet. Just don’t do it.

Slimming teas. While made of natural ingredients, abusing these teas is most unnatural. Most teas contain an ingredient called Senna. It is a plant that when ingested, it helps with constipation and to clear the bowels. Common side effects are cramps, diarrhea and abdominal pain. When taken at high doses or for prolonged periods, the bowels can cease to function normally altogether.

Master Cleanse a.k.a. Cayenne and Lemon. Blame it on Beyoncé. Ok, before you stone me to death, let me clarify. The singer used this to cleanse her body somewhere circa 2005-06 around the time she was filming Dreamgirls. Somehow, this got misconstrued as a replacement for actual food. The detox benefits are great, but it is not a long-term solution to weight loss.

 

Extreme dieting. No one has ever survived a crash diet and lived to tell the tale. They either rebound, gaining the weight back and then some, or do serious damage to their organs. Our bodies need good fuel to walk, dance, jump and function properly. Cutting calories back so far that they can’t sustain your activity can lead to fainting, menstrual issues, and brain function loss. We need colorful vegetables, good fats and lean protein to live.

Diet Pills. Remember what Nancy said? “Just say no” All things sold in a drug store are not necessarily healthy for you. Diet pills that promise rapid weight loss usually deliver the jitters due to the high caffeine content, light headedness and overload your liver with toxins. Do yourself a solid. Instead of the diet pill, get yourself a good multivitamin. It’s the one thing you can take every day that will actually balance out your body by giving you the nutrients you need but may not yet be getting from food. Throw in a fish oil pill while you’re at it, it promotes irresistibly soft skin, hair that is less prone to breakage, and supports your brain. Some even say it helps with PMS.

 

At the end of the day, it’s your body, your mahogany masterpiece.  Treat it well. Drink lots of water. Buy yourself a new cookbook or take a healthy cooking class. Move your body and get a little sweaty for at least 30 minutes three times a week. Do your squats. The booty will thank you for it. And if you aren’t already, mediate, journal or do anything that quiets the brain for a few minutes each day.

Erin Green-Astone is an entrepreneur, mom, wife and part-time blogger. She owns and operates glitteractive.com a website for women you are fun, fit and fierce.

The Glow Up Edition: Hair and Body Products for the Summer

Summer is here and now is the perfect time to re-examine your hair and skin care routine. With the warmer summer temperatures, a new set of beauty issues arise. With these recommended products, your hair and skin will continue to look flawless all summer long.

 Best Summer Hair Care Products

Moroccanoil Restorative Hair Mask ($79.50)

Infused with Argan oil and enriched with keratin, the Moroccanoil restorative mask helps hydrate dry, parched hair. The mask is infused with botanicals to strengthen and repair damaged hair for soft, gorgeous looking hair.

Moroccanoil Dry Shampoo ($26)

For most people, the hair tends to become oilier during the warmer temperatures. This convenient spray helps to eliminate oil and sweat from your hair and scalp. Just spray a little directly onto your scalp to cut down on oil production.

Dessange Paris Purifying Clay Balancing Pre-Shampoo Mask ($12)

This deep clarifying mask utilizes the powerful detoxing abilities of clay to stop the scalp from overproducing oil and absorb any existing oil or sweat on the scalp, perfect for the summer.

Shea Moisture Nourishing Hair Color ($14.49)

Get a vibrant hair color for the summer with Shea Moisture’s Nourishing hair color. It is an ammonia-free hair color system that will give your hair a softer, healthier appearance. The system works to moisturize the hair while depositing rich, pigmented color onto the hair.

Best Skin Care Products for the Summer

Carol’s Daughter Almond Cookie Dry Oil Body Spray ($12.99)

No one wants to be weighed down by oily lotions and skin moisturizers during the summer. Carol’s Daughter dry oil body spray is the perfect solution to keeping your skin soft and hydrated without making your skin feel too greasy in the heat.

Dove Clear Tone Antiperspirant/Deodorant ($4)

Women love Dove clear tone deodorant because it not only smells great but it also combats sweat and underarm discoloration. The perfect protection you need to stay fresh against the summer heat.

Ahava Softening Butter Dead Sea Salt Scrub ($26)

The trick to getting gorgeous summer-ready legs is to exfoliate away rough, dead skin. This creamy, buttery scrub contains mineral-rich salts, oils, and sugar to changes into a lotion when mixed with water. It will leave your legs soft, silky, and smooth to the touch.

Cetaphil Dermacontrol Oil Control Foam Wash ($11)

You need a good facial cleanser this summer to wash away dirt, sweat, and environmental pollutants. The newly formulated Cetaphil wash works great at cleansing the skin, removing clogged pores, and leaving the skin healthy and hydrated.

Don’t let the summer heat beat interrupt your beauty routine. Finding the best products for your hair and skin care needs and making a few changes to your beauty regimen is all it takes to stay on top of your beauty game this summer and all year long.