This Year is your Last Struggle Year

Journaling Out Loud

And 2013 was mines

I wasn’t finding adequate employment that matched my degrees. My husband hadn’t gotten the promotion he was on track for. And we had a 1 and 2 year old that required daycare while we worked during the day. Our daycare was twice the amount of our rent. And. We. Struggled. We always had a roof over our head, clothes on our back, food in the pantry, angels that would send us offerings of love, and utilities to keep us warm; but we had very little money left over for anything else. This destroyed me mentally because I took the time to get a Masters degree that I felt in that moment wasn’t worth the paper it was printed on.

In 2013, I felt it with every fiber in me that the struggle was real but my God was too.   I decided to live. To prosper. To thrive! Whatever I was insecure about I worked on. I began eating healthier and maintaining my weight. I took additional professional development courses to compete in a stiff job market.  I began inputting and outputting positive vibes and my life did a complete 180. I haven’t looked back since.

Step into your Season of Abundance

Whether you struggled financially, mentally, or emotionally, this year will be the last! It is now time to start protecting your peace. It is now time to start that journey of becoming debt-free. Now is the time to show the ones who matter the most you appreciate them.

This year will be your last struggle year and 2013 was mines.  God showed me that I was destined to live in abundance (spiritually and financially) and my situation was only temporary. I have been receiving His blessings of peace and prosperity ever since. So PROCLAIM IT! Now step into your season of abundance! It’s Lit!

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?”

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

 

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?