Blessing Season: Spring Edition

Journaling Out Loud

It’s Blessing Season

Spring is here! There is something so powerful about when the seasons change. For me, Spring not only represents warmer weather; but it also represents a new season for growth. It’s Blessing Season. Blessing season is EVERY SEASON but I enjoy the ushering in of a new season and the endless opportunities in store.

Last week marked one month of launching Twisted Curly Cool. I am overwhelmed by the support and this is only the beginning of a long, prosperous, fulfilling journey.  I remember sitting in the car on lunch break last Tuesday and  thinking ‘Today is Transformation Tuesday’. What do I want God to transform in my life? What amount of energy am I willing to transfer to guarantee confirmed transformations?

My Testimony

I respect all people and their beliefs but I want others to know that the growth in my life is powered by God.   I remember sitting in my living room apartment  asking God to move in my life. I will never forget my husband was at work and the children were sound asleep. William Murphy’s song “It’s Working” began to play on my internet radio. A spirit took over me as I sat and cried and denounced all of the negativity I was holding onto in my life. I was bitter I completed a Master’s Degree and still trying to settle into a career. I was also suffering from Postpartum Depression and struggling financially with my newly accumulated student loan debt.  The goals I wanted to accomplish seemed so far away.

With tears in my eyes, I surrendered and began believing in the power God gave me. I decided to take control of my life. I wrote in my vision journal and implemented the plan. Within a year’s time, my credit increased 100+ points, I began to build savings, and  I bought my 1st home . I no longer entertained the negativity that consumed my thoughts. I began to vibrate  higher.

This is Your Season

It’s your Season! No longer will you stand on the sidelines and wonder “Why Me”. No longer will you be held captive by your “circumstances”. Life will sometimes knock the wind out of you. But how you recover is totally in your control. We all have a story. And I cry with you as I can only begin to think about what you have gone through.  BUT LOOK AT GOD!!! He’s not done with you yet!

Spring is here. Be inspired as the seasons change. Take advantage of the beautiful days ahead. Live in this moment. Top down. Wind in your hair. Secure your Blessings. Its Blessing Season.

East Atlanta Inspiration

With Love,

Mocha

The Journey of Self Validation

Whether it is a career move, a new business venture, or self-growth, we thrive on the encouragement of our tribe. Not all friends and family translate over into supporters. With time I realized that I was totally fine with it. Here’s how I dealt with getting out of my feelings while focusing on self validation and my bottom line.

DISCONNECT YOUR SELF-ESTEEM FROM THE ACCEPTANCE OF OTHERS

You had a purpose long before anyone had an opinion!  -Unknown

This task is a lot harder than it sounds. It is so important for us to receive acceptance from our tribe. When those closest to us lack interest, it is a devastating blow for many of us. What is the solution, one may ask? Self-Love. I began my journey of self-love by small simple tasks including affirmations.

An affirmation is considered an action or process of affirming something. I began reciting and believing the affirmations I spoke over my life. I began doing things that brought me peace. Sometimes an affirmation chant just won’t do it. Other suggestions would include counseling, therapy, exercise, etc.

BE YOUR BIGGEST FAN

Self Esteem is realizing you are the Dream. -Oprah Winfrey

I’m so proud of you! Life tried to knock you down, and you are still here. Still Standing! Don’t gloss over your journey. Be proud of every step you take. Increase in your credit score? All you! Are you starting your first business? Go sis!   Ridding yourself of toxic people and relationships? You did that! 3 lbs closer to your goal weight? You betta!

I noticed that I continued to progress when I acknowledged my accomplishments. One way I did this was through writing. My journals serve as encouragement and inspiration. I recently read a letter I wrote myself roughly 4 years ago about how far I had come and where I wanted to go. It not only brought tears to my eyes ( I accomplished everything I said I wanted to at that time), but it also lit the fire in me that was needed to continue on my journey of self-growth. Always remember that you are the dream. You have to take care of yourself emotionally and physically. Pamper yourself! Go to a movie or a spa. You deserve it!

EVERYONE WILL NOT SHARE YOUR VISION

I dream it, I work hard, I grind til I own it. -Beyoncé

Fun fact about me: I go after EVERYTHING  I want. I believe that strongly in my purpose set forth before me. I do not allow others to set limitations on my abilities and neither should you. Some people lack vision. They are usually not around for the labor, sweat, or the tears. It should come as no surprise when these people are there to feast on the fruits of your labor.

 

So how do I deal? I have learned over the years not to concern myself with the actions of others. It was my ‘soul sista’ who reminded me that you have to learn to love people where they are. This doesn’t mean you continue to let these same people drain you emotionally, physically, or financially. It just means you reach a place where you ‘expect’ very little from people. That way you aren’t always disappointed.

 

CELEBRATE THOSE WHO CELEBRATE YOU

I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.  -Maya Angelou

This is the most important lesson I have learned! Pay attention to those who are there. We spend so much time focusing on those who weren’t there that we tend to minimize the effort of those who are consistent in our lives. Uplift those who uplift you. Celebrate those who celebrate you! Continue to nurture and water those connections. Pay close attention to the fruits of love, patience, and appreciation. Reciprocity is key for these relationships to thrive.

Sound off! What are some other ways you celebrate your successes through self-validation?

 

 

How to balance a 9 to 5 while perfecting your 5 to 9

Side Hustle Chronicles

We’ve all seen the ‘why work for someone else’ posts COUPLED with a demand for cash or your life’s going to be trashy forever.  Listen! There is nothing wrong with providing a way for yourself and/or your family. There is also NOTHING wrong with you if you love your 9 to 5 job. The life of hustling (legally of course) for your next meal is not appealing to everyone. I’ve always had dreams of becoming an entrepreneur because entrepreneurship is strong within my family. As I grew older, I realized that working 80 to 90 hours a week just to make half of what I was making at my job wasn’t going to cut it. I tailored those dreams towards working smarter, not harder. Twisted Curly Cool is only a small portion of my journey. Here are a few tips on how I am balancing my 9 to 5 while financing my 5 to 9.

BE REALISTIC 

RULE NUMBER 1! UNLESS IT IS OF ABSOLUTE NECESSITY, please do not quit your job for the unknown.

I get it. You have a million dollar idea and your co-workers are getting on your nerves. Think it through sis! When I moved back to Atlanta, my job didn’t work out as planned. Of course hubby was working, but God bless the child who has her own!  It was quite stressful trying to pull my share of the household on a newly formed business while trying to establish clients. Once I gained my 9 to 5, I was able to pursue my entrepreneurial efforts without the worry of finances.

Disclaimer: It is this same financial safety net that blurred the line of complacency for me as Hubby, and I continued to progress in the 9 to 5 world.  However, I’m learning that this net is nothing more than an illusion as well. Yep. That’s an entirely different blog post!

HAVE A PLAN

Faith without works is DEAD!

I know I’ve lost a few people at “plan.” But I need you to thoroughly understand how IMPORTANT it is for you to have a plan FOR YOUR LIFE! You have to play Chess, not Checkers! Have a plan on how you are going to finance, execute, and achieve your entrepreneurial dreams. You are betting on yourself and now is not the time to “wing it.” Align yourself with your dream! Be the Dream! If planning isn’t your strong suit or you still don’t know where to start, I would suggest starting with your Local Small Business Administration Office.

TIME MANAGEMENT

Instead of saying I don’t have time, say it’s not a priority.

Time management consists of you setting priorities for yourself and executing them to achieve your goals. To do so, you would need to prioritize activities within your day to day life.  This may mean cutting out social gatherings, TV time, and gossip blogs on social media, (I know, I know). This may also mean attending conferences, network meetings, additional schooling or courses for certifications, etc. If YOUR dream is not a priority to you, it WILL NOT be a priority to anyone else.

PERFECT YOUR SIDE HUSTLE!

Your 9 to 5 should finance your 5 to 9

Before you jump with both feet in, now is the perfect time to start your project as a side hustle while you work. This way you can test the market to ensure there are customers for your products and/or services.  Start saving money from your 9 to 5 to finance your 5 to 9 from your 9 to 5. Even at $22.50 a paycheck, you are investing $50 a month into your 5 to 9.

Sound Off! What tips can you give our Side Hustling Sistas to assist them on their journey through entrepreneurship?

 

Hair Loss, Thinning Hair, and Hair Growth

Our Hair is our Crown

After I had my children, I found myself cutting my hair roughly every 3 years due to hair thinning and hair loss.  The number of women dealing with hair loss is actually more common than you may think. It can be terrifying to suddenly notice that your hair is starting to shed more rapidly than ever before. Although some hair shed is normal, losing excessive amounts of hair at an alarming rate is not. The good news is that most forms of hair loss are treatable and avoidable.

Reasons for Hair Loss and Thinning Hair

Hair loss can be caused by a number of factors from bad lifestyle habits to medical reasons. The key to finding a solution to sudden hair loss is finding the root cause of the problem.

Genetics can play a major role in hair loss especially if thinning hair and early pattern baldness are common in members of your family. The best solution is to speak with your doctor to determine the best treatment for hereditary hair loss.

Hair loss can also be triggered by certain medications including prescription and over-the-counter. Hair loss is certainly not a side effect that anyone would want from taking medication that could potentially save their lives.

If you notice that certain medications are causing your hair to become thin or shed excessively, you should speak with your doctor about your side effects so that they can recommend an alternative treatment.

A very common and avoidable cause for severe hair fall, breakage and hair thinning hair comes from the stress of daily styling. The constant pulling and tugging at the hair can put unnecessary stress on the hair and scalp.

Wearing your hair in styles that pull too tightly can also cause breakage and even bald spots around the hairline. It is best to refrain from wearing tight hairstyles and ponytails on a daily basis to allow the hair time to breathe and recuperate in between styling.

 

Ways You Can Avoid Hair Loss and Thinning Hair

 

All hope is not lost! Everything happens in seasons! Hair grows back!  And what won’t grow you can sew! Most hair loss can be reversed if treated in the early stages. Friction and stress on the hair can be avoided and put an end to your falling hair if this is the culprit. Here are some practices that you can follow to help avoid unnecessary hair loss.

  • Refrain from Using Heat Styling Tools

If you are suffering from hair loss, you definitely want to avoid using heat to style your hair on a regular basis. Heat styling tools can compromise the integrity of your hair leading to even more breakage and hair loss. If you must use heat, be sure to use a thermal protecting product to avoid further damage to your hair.

  • Avoid Stressful Situations

I know it seems like we live in an age where stress is considered a normal part of life, but not only is too much stress bad for your physical and mental health it can also contribute to hair loss. Stress can cause an imbalance or abrupt change in hormones that can lead to thinning hair and hair loss.

  • Adopt Healthy Nutritional Habits

A poor diet can also cause hair loss. Eating foods that are high in fat and sugar can throw your body into a hormonal whirlwind. These abrupt changes in your body chemistry can have some pretty serious side-effects, hair loss included. Eating foods that provide your hair with vital minerals and nutrients will help your hair to become stronger.

  • Get Adequate Amounts of Protein

Hair contains a substantial amount of protein and eating foods that are rich in protein and other minerals are essential to growing strong healthy hair. When the body becomes protein deficient, you may notice your hair become thin, brittle and lacking in elasticity. Restoring sufficient amounts of protein to the body and hair will rebuild your hair to grow in stronger and more resistant to breakage and hair fall.

Sound Off! We would love to hear from you! What are some ways you conquered  hair loss and/or hair thinning?

Nothing Will Work Unless You Do

Self Empowerment

Nothing will work unless you do -Maya Angelou

I am a DOER. I am empowered. I decided to no longer jot down ideas and let them stale over in my journal. I decided to give myself a chance. I became Priority Number 1. What were the goals I wanted to accomplish for the year? How was I going to accomplish them? Usually when I pose the latter question, I drift back into the reality of my 9 to 5, family life, and social obligations. Not this time. I am calling on the melanin magical powers that be to accomplish what the Universe has for me. I am the Author of my story and so are you!

Stop second guessing what God has destined for you. We were all given purpose. Do not let others opinion lead you astray. Make a mark.  Be the mark! Speak greatness over your life and others. Be an asset to those around you. Lead by radiating positive energy. Vibrate Higher!

I hope through my journey of launching Twisted Curly Cool you find the inspiration needed to never give up on yourself. For every post you read or every forum you start, remember that this was one woman’s way of stepping out of the shadows of complacency and onto faith.

I am a DOER. I am Magical. I am Mocha.