Terri Lomax puts power in motivating women of color, her videos, and words of encouragement inspire women to ignite fire into their passion. She has over 30 thousand followers on Twitter, a blog, a YouTube channel and a 5-year workbook plan that will help you discover your passion. Society needs women like Terri for our future. She wants to bring positivity into the world and inspire other as she trails her purpose. I instantly followed her social media platforms and signed up for her webinar. I learned about Mocha Girls Pit Stop and why she motivates others to accomplish their dreams. She said in one of her videos to “Speak life into your situation” and that’s what we all should do daily.
What inspired you to become a blogger?
TL: I honestly didn’t set out to be a blogger. Back in 2012, I found myself in the midst of a quarter-life crisis. I followed the well-intentioned advice of my mentors and advisors; I went to school, I got good grades, I graduated and found a good job, but I still felt empty. I knew there was more to life than working, paying bills, just to wake up and do it all over again.
After spending hours online searching for ways to make an impact and share my story, I came across this “thing” called a blog. I’ve always wanted to inspire others and though I was too scared to write a book (can you blame me? It seemed so daunting?) I figured a blog would be the next best step.
My desire to empower others was birthed from a place of hurt and pain. I grew up in an abusive household where my mom was physically and verbally abusive. As a result, I developed a deep-seated self-hatred that negatively affected every area of my life. Often times I walked around with a smile plastered on my face, but on the inside, I was in turmoil. It took almost 20 years for me to learn the value of self-love and to realize my worth as a human being, let alone a black woman.
Over course of my journey struggling with low self-esteem and depression, I realized there weren’t any women who looked like me, talking about the unpretty territory that often comes with being a black woman. I wanted to create a safe space for black and brown women to be vulnerable, celebrated and encouraged. This is what inspired me to start the Mocha Girls Pit Stop blog.
How did you come up with the name for your blog?
TL: I knew I wanted my blog to be geared toward empowering black women but I had a hard time choosing a name that felt right. I tried to think about how I wanted my readers to feel when they visited my blog. After a few days of jotting down all kinds of names and random words, Mocha Girls Pit Stop just came to me. It fit so well, too! When I think of Mocha Girls, I think of women of color and a pit stop is an essential element of any racer’s success. Racing vehicles stop in the pits for refueling, repairs, adjustments, and overall restoration. This name fits perfectly with the vision I had for my blog and it stuck.
What’s a major accomplishment and challenge you’ve faced, and what did you learn from them?
TL: I believe my greatest accomplishment to date is being a stable and supportive big sister to my 4 younger siblings that I helped raise. When I was a teenager, I realized that my siblings needed me. Our dad passed away unexpectedly on a family vacation and my mom was back and forth to jail.
As a college student, I had my own stressors and challenges to deal with but I’m proud of myself for reaching back to help my younger siblings. I could have moved away, left home, and tried to forget about what my family was going through, but I stuck around and provided them with as much love, wisdom, and as many new experiences that I could offer.
I came home almost every weekend to take my siblings to church. I did my best to instill in them, the values and confidence that I didn’t have growing up. Over the years, I learned that the quality time I invested in my siblings was priceless and the incredible thing about it is I’m beginning to see them harvest from the seeds I planted in my siblings, years ago.
As it relates to challenges, God, I’ve had so many! I’d have to say losing my dad was one of the most devastating moments of my life. My dad died so unexpectedly and his untimely death taught me the importance of living life to the fullest. Since my dad’s passing, I forgive swiftly, love passionately, and tell the one’s I love how I feel promptly.
How often can readers expect to read and updated blog post or videos?
TL: This year I decided to send out an inspiring newsletter every Sunday. The Sunday newsletter is called Terri Mail. Terri Mail typically includes a mantra for the week, a motivational narrative that correlates with the blog’s monthly theme, and a personal challenge to inspire readers to become their best selves. I also send out a Wisdom Wednesday newsletter on Wednesdays.
What have you noticed since your first blog post?
TL: I’ve learned a lot since my first blog post. One thing that really stands out to me when I think about my blogging journey over the past 5 years is that we often rob ourselves of titles we deserve. When I first started blogging, I was very self-conscious about calling myself a blogger. I remember adding “aspiring blogger” to my email signature because I didn’t quite feel like a blogger. The funny thing is, the first time I published my first blog post, I was indeed a blogger. The same goes for you. Embrace your role and title, even if you think it doesn’t fit. You’ll grow into exactly what you envision yourself being.
Don’t be afraid to be alone. Some of your greatest epiphanies will come in moments of solitude.- Terri Lomax
What would you say to someone who is experiencing low self-esteem?
TL: Think about who you want to become and write down the words that come to mind. Find or create affirmations that inspire you and have the courage to recite them in the mirror and throughout your day, even if you can’t bring yourself to believe it, just yet. I looked myself in the mirror on many days and called myself beautiful even when I felt ugly. Before I knew it, I began to see myself as beautiful. Be patient and gentle with yourself over the course of this journey.
How did you regain yourself after experiencing low self-esteem?
TL: This took years for me but it all started with reprogramming the voice in my head. I heard so much negativity about myself growing up, that I began to adopt self-defeating thoughts and actions. Affirmations and positive thinking helped me gain more confidence and also boosted my self-esteem.
How do you manage to blog and spending time with your family/significant other?
TL: Girl, I’m a work in progress and as cliché, as it sounds, I take it one day at a time. I’m very goal-oriented and I’ve learned to manage my time wisely over the years. I incorporate family goals into my goal list, which helps me to maintain harmony with those I love and the work I love.
What advice can you give to someone who is starting a blog?
TL: Research, research, research! It’s important to identify what you hope to accomplish with your blog and what expectations you have for what success looks like to you.
Do you have a favorite blogger, or video blogger if so who?
TL: I have a thing for great writers! When the words just leap off the page, I’m sold. I love Luvvie Ajayi from Awesomely Luvvie and Kimberly Foster from For Harriet. These black women are talented writers and provide so much great content for women. I’m not really into video bloggers yet.
What advice would you give to a procrastinator or someone who struggles with
TL: Be willing to do something different to get something different. Often times we struggle in a particular area but we aren’t open to trying new methods to help us get on track. Research the strategies others use to combat procrastination and try them out for yourself.
Take a moment and get involve with Mocha Girls Pit Stop today. You’ll be glad you did!
Community Convo: What goals do you want to accomplish in life? What do you think is hindering you? Think about some short term goals you can work on to pursue your passion. Share your goals below!