Why I Created Brown Sugar Magic

Brown Sugar Magic was simply birthed from the thought of me loving to write everything down so that I can see how far I have grown.

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I received my first little brown diary with a gold padlock and accompanying key when I was six years old.  I wrote the traditional, Dear Diary entries but I had no idea that being introduced to reflecting on my day at an early age would become something that I am passionate about now in my mid 30s.  All throughout high school I kept journals and they are the back drop to personality, my emotions, my thoughts, and my drive.  My love for journaling was actually interrupted when I was 20 years old because a boyfriend of mine read my journal and instantly found out that I was not the perfect girlfriend.  Oddly, even though he entertained other girls at the start of that tumultuous relationship, he didn’t like knowing that I had befriended and entertained other guys as well.

My love for creating lists and reflecting on my day came back full force during my first marriage as I kept a 5 subject Mead notebook that I am sure will turn into a bestseller.  I just need the time and energy to relive those emotional situations before I pour all of that drama into a book.  Some day!

However, one good thing about that journal and other notebooks I have doodled in over the years, I find book ideas, random thoughts, and lists for things that I wanted to try to do.  My notebooks and journals now look like bucket lists, accomplishments, and goals as I check things off.

So I was literally sitting on my bed one day and the idea of creating a goal setting book and journal popped into my head and I went to work.  I am often asked, “How do you keep it all together?”  My answer has become, “Because I write it down.  I etch out almost every idea and thought in my mind and I go from there.”  Ironically thought with the amount of things I have accomplished in my life, I still feel that I should be doing more.

My blogging and listing is at an all time high as I dig deep inside of myself each day to press out more encouragement, motivation, and thoughts to share.  So Brown Sugar Magic is a journey of self-realization and I pray will be a source of motivation for my Brown Sugar Sisters that need that extra push to re-prioritize their lives and design the life they want to live.

We all have a little bit of magic inside of us, and I want to help ladies find their spark, set some attainable goals for themselves and begin to understand their worth.  Sometimes we get thrown off course and need to redirect our lives so Brown Sugar Magic is that guide to better goal setting and reflecting on your growth.

Brown Sugar Magic is a 52 week affirmation, goal setting and reflections journal.  In this four part book there is definitely a theme per section and it is written in mind to help women grow beyond their comfort zone and gain a new lease on life.

Part 1

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Stepping into Brown Sugar Magic I help you discover your magic as you set S.M.A.R.T. goals for yourself.  I help you measure your time and attainable objectives that you work over time to accomplish.  We all need a little guidance to get on the right track, so this books help you reclaim your life and work towards your short term objectives until you reach you intended goal.  Once your begin to check things off of your list that you want to attain, you will gain a sense of pride about yourself realizing that YOU are your biggest asset.  Part 1 breaks down what a S.M.A.R.T. goal is while simultaneously requiring a weekly affirmation, reflection, or celebration message to yourself.

Part 2

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As you progress to part two of this book, you will address your needs.  You quickly realize that whatever you feed your body, also fuels your mind.  Your spirit is your internal guiding light and whatever you feed your spirit, it becomes your mindset.  You have to be in touch with your sense of belonging and have self esteem to keep yourself lifted through trying times in your life.  Once you begin to identify your needs, you become more careful where you place your energy.  You cannot be all things to all people if you do not meet the needs of self first.

Part 3

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We all have a particular skill set that propels our productivity.  However, our coping mechanisms are not all the same.  I have relied a lot on the skills my mom taught to pull me through tough times and I take the liberty to share these ideas with you in Brown Sugar Magic.  Establishing your independence is difficulty if you have never had to face adult challenges once you grow past being a child in your parents’ home.  We all stumble at some point in our lives, but it ‘s just a matter of how your pick yourself up.  Self love is the best love.  Once you have made it to this part of the book, you are still affirm-reflecting-and celebrating your growth.  At this stage in the game I am sure your goals have changed and you have outline specific things to work toward and see yourself realistically accomplishing your goals.

Part 4

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The purpose of Brown Sugar Magic in to help you live your best life and reaffirm your happiness.  Since sugar is in it’s purest state when it is brown, I help you unleash your magic.  Part three walks you through the three steps to a better life as you reassess yourself and identify your true strengths, weaknesses, opportunities for growth, and threats to your overall productivity.  The risks you take on this journey of self-discovery will have its ups and its downs but pushing yourself beyond your comfort zone and experiencing growth is the ultimate reward.

Take this journey to unleash your magic, prioritize your life, and trust the process.  I challenge all of my Brown Sugar Sisters to take back their control and live the life they have dreamed of living.

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It’s Been A Year Already

So on March 10, 2016 I revamped my blog, switched over to wordpress after leaving blogspot and a stream of creativity has taken over.

A year ago I was living a life that I was pretty sure was pretty content not knowing that in the months to come that that life would be shaken up.

A year ago I was super elated to find out that my Internal Review Board (IRB) had been approved for my dissertation so all I had to do was edit my chapters four and five and be primed and ready to submit my final report roughly around the beginning of May 2016.

A year ago I hunkered down and decided to finish my first writing project.  My chromebook was permanently attached to my hand so everyone around me knew that whatever I was doing had to be serious.

A year ago seems so far away compared to where I am now.  It’s been a year and http://www.tilyarealeyes.com has matured into grown woman status.

I look back at my experimental titles and it is clear that I was working on my niche.  I was inundated by creating email lists (I finally created the right lead in and magnet campaign), and trying to figure out how to make myself standout in the crowd.  I played around with all of my social media and just felt like I was floundering.  I even wrote about it in my epic blog turned free download, What No One Tells You About Blogging.  I tried several things and now I feel like I’m finding my groove.

So what is my niche?

Interestingly enough writing about life and the realities we face as people comes naturally.  There is a lot of experience inside of my compact frame and as I share my perspectives I inadvertently influence streams of consciousness.  Everything I share is based on observation, conversation, and my original spin of the subject matter.

A year later, “tilyarealeyes” has expanded its categorical reach.  The short stories have peeked interest and needs to be revisited.  I’ve just had a lot going on.  The List Series is a major hit and because my Soror/Bestie Karimah encouraged me to do videos last summer, and since then I have made 4 in 2017.  The 7 Things You Should Do in 2017 has been my signature statement because I have found a new lease on life, and I’m happily divorced and simply living.  My soror/lil Tori spoke about seven being the number of completion when I published that blog.  Ironically I met a man whose birthday is the 7th day of January on his birthday.  He is symbolism at it’s finest.

It’s been a year and I have two books out there that I don’t even think that at the time of beginning to blog again, I would have taken that risk.  I play it very safe with my words and my talent.  Because I am so hard on myself the thought of someone else criticizing (unless it’s positive) my words makes me nervous.  I’m a situational perfectionist.  I am very protective of me.  However, I am most proud of Brown Sugar Magic because of the message of affirmation, reflection and celebration that I am trying to have women establish about themselves.

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A year later I have learned through experience the value of being goal oriented.  Had I not established the specific goals I had set for myself, there is no way I could advise my Brown Sugar Sisters on how to be SMART about the things they set out to do.

Writing my second published project I had to be in touch with my needs.  Being happy and having esteem of myself kept me focused.  Sometimes we get lost in the sauce but that does not equate to not addressing your needs.  I had to address the desires of my heart and realize that I needed to safeguard my energy.  I can’t afford to get worked up about situation that have already been worked out beyond my control.

I had to rely on the love I have for myself as I wrote part three of Brown Sugar Magic. Loving myself more made room for me to work through my disappointments.  My life took a hit, but I forgive myself for my bad choices.  I trust that everything happens for a reason.  I revamp and revise my goals on the regular.  I am able to stay the course because of my self-love.

As I closed out Brown Sugar Magic, my key thing was to highlight the fun you should be having.  I am having the time of my life tending to me and not being tied down by titles or expectations.  That does not mean I am closed up and living like a hermit.  That means that I have the liberty to love who I choose without expectation.

A year later my life has changed but I am living a more abundant life than I ever could have imagined.  The things I am experiencing takes me to a different place.  My conversation has changed.  My ambition is in overdrive.  I am focused on building my brand, “LaTilya Rashon”, and being the best “influencer” I can be.

2017 has opened my eyes.  I’m walking this walk with my eyes wide open.  I am not naive to the negativity.  A year later my blog has grown into more mature conversation but so has my mindset as the woman behind the blog.

No subliminal messages.  No hidden agendas.  When you know who you are, you become a target and a threat.  Do the work and reflections in Brown Sugar Magic and you will reclaim your life like never before.

A year ago I was defining marriage.  A year later I am encouraging self-actualization. Unleash your magic!

~LaTilya Rashon

Why Be Mediocre When You Can Be Great

wp-1477058810654.jpgSitting at work a couple of weeks ago in professional development we watched a video about the “Golden Circle” but the message about the golden circle was setting out to prove WHY you are GREAT at what you do and how you do what you do.  In a nutshell the Golden Circle challenges the “Status Quo”.  Why be mediocre when you can be great?

Ironically I had had the words status quo floating around in my mind for a few days so after watching the small clip on the TED video it served as confirmation for the things that I had been pondering.  I have joined various Facebook groups, followed many others on twitter and Instagram, and I can for sure say that I am enjoying the process.

When I Inadvertently Took Some Time Off I had no idea which direction I wanted to go and still I only know that I want to write.  I love teaching so I’m vexed between niche writing educationally and exploring doing a blog series on various topics such as family, marriage, divorce, relationships, career, and other hot topics that I come across in conversation.  There are no rules to this blogging thing; you just have to get in where you fit in.

I am super excited about relaunching my blog and “write” now I am loving my new categories…but can a sister get a better laptop?  I am about to switch over to Apple I guess because it just looks like that is what everybody uses…LOL *Have you seen the images*

So let me introduce you to WHY I’m great and YOU should follow me…  and here is my disclaimer…I probably should get an email list and figure out this email marketing but I don’t get it so just follow my blog.  And for one, my TRANSPARENCY is the biggest part of my WHY!  But check these categories and I promise you’ll be smitten.

Live~Laugh~Love *Loving the Life You Live*

I turned 30 years old at the very end of 2011 and my motherly instincts told me that it was time to purchase my first home because my two loves, Lil Phil and Pressy, were growing up and I wanted them to have a backyard bigger than the one at my duplex at the time.  The Live~Laugh~Love mantra was strong throughout department stores and was actually the theme of my housewarming party in June 2012 and it was at this age that I truly embraced my life.  I am loving all of the experiences that have shaped my existence…nothing was an accident, it was necessary.  As open as I am, I am sure that I  will be able to show YOU how to love the life you live and be happy even when things feel like they are falling apart.           For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven.      ~Ecclesiastes 3:1

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You only grow as a person when you feel uncomfortable.  Like the saying goes, “If you do what you have always done, you going to get what you have always gotten.”  It’s insane to make the same repeated mistakes in life.  Once is a mistake, the second time it’s a choice.  Now you can’t predict how relationships will go—friends, family, significant others etcetera—but you can reflect on what you learn through your different experiences with people.  You honestly can learn from other people because they show you with their actions how to treat them.  It’s funny we (society) spend a lot of time trying to figure out other people, but if we pay attention, they show us ALL of the time who they are.  It is okay to change your circle, because some people are a truly a blessing, but when the blood suckers drain you of your energy…push them out of your life and grow.  Taking risks and doing something new creates layers in your life.  You want to be able to look back on your life and say to yourself, “Damn I have accomplished a lot!” I can write a list of my accomplishments and smile from ear to ear…I’m soon to be 35 (December 28th) and my two marriages, divorce, birth of my sons, military experience, and teaching career has taught me a few things about LIFE.  I have no qualms with sharing!

The Educated Butler

The play on words as “The Educated Butler” sums me up in three words because of my thirst for knowledge.  I know a lot of stuff, and in my ninth year as a traditional classroom teacher I want to rise above public school teaching and transition into higher education and really make an impact.  I faced many obstacles in school from being bullied, belittled by teachers, and proving society wrong that children from single parent homes can be successful.  I defy stereotypes at every turn and look at every individual experience as a lesson that has strengthened my core.  My first self-published literary baby, My Fourth Year in Middle School: The Truth About Teaching propels my desire to write, publish, blog, edit, research, and help others.  Education is a necessity and I will show you WHY.  Click on the title and I will introduce you to a whole new world…my educational journey as well as cover the trends and issues that affect my perception of education, teaching and learning.61yromeb5hl

Writer’s Corner

This is dedicated to the writers who don’t want to coach but just have a good time blogging and being creative.  Not to say I don’t want to turn a profit but not sticking to rules, outlines, and suggestions of others will allow me to be free.  We all want to make money whether it’s being a profitable blog, creating content, tool kits, offering services, contributing to other sites, and of course for me WRITING BOOKS.  I have played around with blog topic generators, read just about everybody under the sun, registered with multiple sites but the one thing I need to do is be more CONSISTENT, PLAN PROACTIVELY, and PRODUCE.  Yes I created my first free product, What No One Tells You About Blogging mini-book, and I was afraid to release it but I said to myself, “Why in the hell not?”  I’m continuing to learn, explore, and take risks.  So in this corner I’ll water you, you’ll water me (feedback on what I post) and we’ll grow together.photogrid_1481570462792.png

Thanks to the Golden Circle I’m going to push pass the Status Quo and give the unabashed display of WHY I’m a great writer.  My message is clear…it is rough around the edges, no holds barred (limited profanity…LOL), and true to who I am.

Thanks for reading and enjoy the ride!  Leave a comment and don’t be afraid to SHARE!

Everybody Loves Free Stuff

As promised I have created a free mini-book based on my epic blog

What No One Tells You About Blogging

The response to this blog was so overwhelming and delightful that I decided to expand it just a little and create a free product to give you insight on what gets my blood pumping.

I have created categories that are completely based on my perception and you will see yourself falling into one as we are all ultimately seeking to become the EXPERTS!

Of course I do not have the magical formula that will take you from smaller appeal to internationally known.  I just know that I am navigating the industry, reading, studying, and creating a space for myself as I continue to partially pursue my writing dreams.

There is plenty of room for me to grow, for me to help you grow, and for us to grow together.  This is my first of many products to come!  Enjoy this free product and stay tuned for more!

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Click Here for Your Freebie!

I Inadvertently Took Some Time Off

I inadvertently took some time off from my blog because I wanted to see what all of the email courses and other “blogging” tricks were about.  I completed an eight day email course and learned some valuable things but most importantly I learned that she (course creator) began in this industry not really knowing where it was going to take her either.

I did learn from her though that if you are going to write blogs, make them epic, make them insightful, make them relatable, make them as long as you want because if people are really liking the things you write about then they will continue to come back looking for more.  Point well taken!

Keeping with the lessons that I have learned, I am now etching out my next steps because I would like more control in my life, career, finances, and creativity.  There are so many elements to the blogging business that I know now that I WANT A PROFITABLE BLOG.  So now as I think about my niche, I will keep that to myself until I am ready to…GUESS WHAT?

RELAUNCH!

 Can you believe it?  I am going to be relaunching…how soon, that’s a secret too! LOL!

I have also ultimately decided to switch directions a little bit because I want to be KNOWN for what I do.  I am grateful to the followers that I have, but I also want to grow my audience.  I am inspired by the many TOP NICHE bloggers that exist, but I am not comparing myself to any of them because my thoughts are mine, my ideas are mine, and my future is bright as I realign my goals.

There is such a thing as being epic and simple!  I don’t need a bunch of categories to write on…I need to just focus on my passion as I move forward.  Yes I had bright ideas of being the best right out of the gate, but as I see, this is an ongoing process that will be tweaked, revised, and prioritized many times over even after today.  My passion is WRITING so I VOW to be good at it if nothing else.

Now don’t get me wrong, I have considered what types of consumable products I could possibly create, and I banged my head because I was not sure if I wanted to undertake such a large task.  That was until a few weeks ago while at work…FULL-TIME TEACHER…a colleague was talking about all of the ideas they had for a book project.  I told my colleague I would help them figure it out just let me think about it.  On yesterday I wrote them a quick checklist on how to organize their thoughts as it was very SIMPLE.

  • What are the themes of your project?
  • Where did you draw your inspiration…quotes, scripture, etc?
  • What is your backstory to why you feel passionate about your chosen themes?
  • What impact do you want to have on your audience?
  • What is holding you back from writing? START NOW!

My colleague looked at the quick list and said four words, “You are the bomb!”  I smiled because I don’t mind helping a creative outline their next step, if they are serious.  Then that got me thinking, I really do like to write.  I want to write books!  I want to be behind the scenes helping make things happen.  I don’t know how good I’ll be at creating products, and even though it seems like everyone is doing it there is room for everybody to WIN.  Helping my colleague turned into an AHA! Moment…This REBRAND is going to be BANANAS!

I’m not keen on the idea of email lists…but I know once I create stuff that other creatives want for free…I am sure the list will begin to build.  So that is kind of where I am at.  I have to roll up my sleeves and do the work…try some stuff…think bigger…create some stuff…and if all else fail…scrap that stuff and start all over again.

So of course when you see my blog now, I am kind of all over the place…not really…but somewhat.  I tried just writing from the heart, but I didn’t want to seem redundant.  I did the short lived, Meaningful Monday, Truthful Tuesday, and Thankful Thursday, but that format didn’t really work for me either.  Switching gears I tried the topic creator and was able to come up with the 5 Things My Single Mom Taught Me, I Have Not Always Been a Wife, I Don’t Want to Coach: I Just Want to Write, and one of my most well received blogs-What No One Tells You About Blogging.

Pinterest had even hoodwinked me into writing some of those broad blog post embedded in those blogging challenges.  I liked my blog, The Meaning of TilyaRealEyes “The Educated Butler” but it wasn’t enough.  Now I am not even sure if “The Educated Butler” is going to make it into the new year.  It was an idea but with this impending relaunch, I feel like that tagline will not be a part of my niche.  I even had a buffer account, until I got a new phone which was where I scheduled most of my buffer posts.

I didn’t get tired of that account, but once I repeat myself 20 times, even I get bored.   Yes I know I should trust the process, but I didn’t feel too impactful.  I could grab my Chromebook and start scheduling again, but that is just not what I feel like doing.

Here I am being authentically ME.  Yes this is from the heart!  This has been on my mind, I just had to clear my mind of all the other clutter to write.  This is who I am.  My personal life even took a hit which also stagnated my creativity.  The only thing I have accomplished since mid-September is redoing the cover of my book.

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Amazon Kindle and Paperback

So keep reading through my old blogs while you can…I’m working on other projects that I can’t wait to share as well as new business ideas.  It’s weird; turning 35 in December has me reorganizing my life again.  All of my 20’s I said that I wasn’t business-minded.  Now I’m striving to create my own quality business as an Independent Author, Blogger, and ________________. Stay tuned!

Thanks for reading!

My Fourth Year in Middle School: The Truth About Teaching

I am learning a very invaluable lesson since the accidental release of my first book, My Fourth Year in Middle School: The Truth About Teaching.

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Although this book is my first literary baby I see that regardless of my effort to produce quality writing about my journey into teaching, it seems to have fallen on deaf ears and blind eyes.  I did not set my sights astronomically high, but I did hope that it would be better received by my peers.

Now this is not a blog about “whoa is me”.   I am merely noticing that in this self-publishing world in order to be noticed, your platform needs to be larger than your Facebook friends. Perhaps my chosen genre of nonfiction is not as entertaining and interesting as fictional stories.  My intention was not to entertain, but to provide a heads-up to new teachers that teaching is more than lesson plans and pedagogy.

To read more click here!

 

A New Way to Think About Blogging

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Breaking into a market that is bustling with creativity is not an easy feat once you have decided to share your words and your voice with the masses.  Becoming an author you are choosing to write compelling stories that tell of heroism and out of this world adventures.  As a blogger you cover beauty, inspiration, lifestyles, and other social woes that need a platform.  Some writers are content driven entrepreneurs with classes, tips and workshops based on written curriculum designed to help you grow your business so presentation is everything.  

Writers appeal to your senses and hope to gain respected audiences and followers of their works.  Because writing is personal and is time consuming, there are writing mechanics needed in order to invoke your audience.  You will gain a broader audience when you pay close attention to the five areas writers should focus on that will keep readers engaged.

Choosing a Topic

This may sound very easy, but sometimes writing takes on a mind of its own and very soon you lose your intended direction.  There are a plethora of subjects to cover, but choose topics that you have experience in and can be looked upon as an expert.  Start with your interests, hobbies, your career and look to your family.  The most intimate and exciting parts of your life will help you create a list long enough to generate content for weeks or even months.  Write from your heart. You can always revisit previous pieces and update them when new trends arise.

Hooking Your Audience

No one wants to read boring titles because that directly attributes to boring content.  Asking an interesting question or making a strong statement will immediately grab your reader’s attention.  The purpose behind writing is to hook your target audience and keep them hungry for your work.  Command the reader’s attention by being deliberate with your words.  Reader’s want to be exposed to new ideas, but will never know the greatness of a writer’s words if they are not drawn in completely.  Don’t be afraid to push the envelope and say what everyone is thinking.

Provide Background Information

In order to provide background information you have to draw from your experiences.  Readers do not want to hear from experts all of the time.  Readers want to hear from everyday people, walking through life experiencing some of the same victories and defeats.  They want to know what your experience was like when you tried online dating, they want to hear your quirky first date stories, and all of the other things writers dive into as their niche.  I couldn’t possibly take anyone serious that had no experience in my areas of interest but constantly cranked out material on that topic like a sausage mill.  So be true to what you like and be unafraid to share your feelings.  Readers will always come back for the heartfelt messages.

Establish Your Voice

A writer’s diction is everything!  Your word choice is what pushes as article, critique, review, novel, or blog post along.  The more vivid your words are in your descriptions and explanations, the better your piece will read.  Create a word flow that makes your writing distinctive.  When writers find a format and style that attracts readers repeatedly, they have established their concrete voice.  Readers will be able to spot their favorite writers by the words and tone used in each publication.  Once you have established your voice, test the limits of that voice and you’ll be amazed at how your words come to life.

Write Coherently

Ask yourself if your writing sounds natural?  If your writing does not sound natural when you read it, it is not going to win big with your audience.The writing process is brutal! Be organized going into your topics that way all of your ideas are connected.  Make the points throughout your writing you want readers to pay attention to.  Your details should be specific and thought provoking.  Planning, drafting, revising and editing is necessary in order to get the intended outcome of a written piece of work.  Organize your writing so that it flows easily and does not leave your reader with questions at the end.

Insert yourself into your writing, not being afraid to expose your truth and lessons learned. Let your voice resonate in your writing.  Push the envelope and say exactly what you want to say.