Guest Post: Protecting Your Peace by Dr. Joy Harden Bradford

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I don’t know about you, but lately, I’ve found myself either taking really deep breaths or holding my breath for no apparent reason.  Upon further introspection, I realize that I’m bracing myself for impact; the impact of the next Black woman to be violently and senselessly murdered.  First, there was Sandra Bland, and then there was Korryn Gaines, and most recently Joyce Quaweay.  It feels like a never-ending litany of sisters taken from this world for reasons that just don’t seem to add up.  It’s exhausting, infuriating, devastating, and at times just altogether too much.  I try to limit the amount of media I’m consuming and engage in some self­care, but I find that I continue surfing the net and following hashtags in an effort to try and make sense of something that just seems so nonsensical.  I imagine that many of you are feeling similarly sad, mad, and maybe a little hopeless about this world we live in.  If so, I’d invite you to consider a few things that may help you feel a little more balanced.

Find Your Joy.

Lately, I’ve been finding my joy in the wonder that is Simone Biles and all of the other Black girls who are showing out at the 2016 Rio Olympics. Seeing such incredible athletes competing at the top of their games has brought me so much pride and provided a nice reprieve from all the other headlines that have dominated the summer. If not the Olympics, then what is your thing? The newest release from your favorite author? Listening to Lemonade for the 700th time? Find what makes you smile and throw yourself into for a while.


Taking a break from the endless commentary provided to us by social media is probably the best thing you can do to protect your peace, but also the hardest!  The sense of community that is created as we all gather around our timelines and feeds to keep up with the news can be very powerful, but also very damaging because it can become consuming.  Particularly, when incredibly graphic and violent images and videos are everywhere you look.  Set limits for yourself regarding how much time you will spend engaging with social media everyday.  Even if you have to set a timer to get you in the habit.  You will be surprised at how much less tense and anxious you feel by giving yourself a break from the constant stimuli.

Get Back to Center.

Engaging in mindfulness exercises can be incredibly helpful in assisting you with managing any anxiety you may feel.  Mindfulness exercises help you to stay connected to the present moment, making it more difficult for you to get caught up in worry about the past or future.  Because we are often running from place to place and usually take very little time to gather our thoughts, mindfulness can be difficult to get into.  You may have to try a few different exercises until you find the ones that are right for you.  My favorite exercise is this one (Soothing gif).  You may also want to download the Breathe app to work on purposeful deep breathing.

Get Involved.

Often times it seems that marching in a protest is the only way to get involved after one of these heinous acts of violence, but there are also tons of other ways you can do your part.  For example, you can be a part of a letter­writing campaign to government officials.  You can donate money or items to the families of the victims, or you can educate friends and family about social injustices. Whatever you choose, trust that it is making an impact and try not to compare your level of involvement to someone else’s.  There is plenty of work to be done and each of us is uniquely suited for specific tasks.

Pay Attention to Your Health.

It can be very easy to let things like healthy eating and exercise fall to the side when it feels like there is so much going on around us, but we cannot endure if we are not taking care of our bodies.  Small things like sitting down to eat a home­cooked meal vs. grabbing something on the go can make a world of difference.  You may also find it helpful to amp up the intensity in your workouts.  If you are typically someone who does something like jogging to work out, try a kickboxing class.  This may help you to discharge more of the anger and anxiety you were feeling and will also likely result in better sleep.

Which of these suggestions do you plan to start trying this week? Are there other strategies you would suggest to help us protect our peace in these difficult times?  Share with us in the comments!

Screen Shot 2016-08-22 at 5.05.22 PMhead2Dr. Joy Harden Bradford is a licensed Psychologist in private practice in Atlanta, GA and runs the mental health blog, Therapy For Black Girls. Therapy for Black Girls is an online space dedicated to encouraging the mental wellness of Black women and girls. So often the stigma surrounding mental health issues and therapy prevent Black women from taking the step of seeing a therapist. Dr. Joy Harden Bradford developed the blog to present mental health topics in a way that feels more accessible and relevant.

You can follow her on Twitter @therapy4bgirls  and like her on Facebook at

Twitter Book Club Meeting: I Almost Forgot About You

Twitter Book Club Meeting

Mocha Girl Taaji will be hosting our second Twitter book club meeting and we are all still a little giddy with excitement from the last one.   So what is a Twitter Book Club Meeting you ask?  Well.  It will be a book club meeting with people talking about, discussing and chatting about one book and all the things, topics and ideas that are in the book.  I know fun right?

Now that you are as excited about this idea I bet you are wondering how to join this Twitter Event.  Here are a few suggestions.


Use the hashtag #mochagirlsread with Twitter

Go to

If you have an account sign in and if you don’t then sign up.

Look for the search box and type in #mochagirlsread.  This will pull up all the tweets that have the hashtag in them.  Twitter SearchAnd you will end up here…

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If you click the LIVE tab you will have updates and see all the things going on.  If you would like to chat as well just Tweet using #mochagirlsread at the end of your message.


But I like using a service that is much faster and gives you better reply time called…TWEETCHAT

This is an easy one step process (If you have a Twitter Account).  Go to the site

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Type in #mochagirlsread and hit the Go button then Authorize button.

Done!  You’re in!

So join us on September 5th at 5pm PST, 8pm EST and let’s chat about I Almost Forgot About You by Terry McMillan

September’s Book of the Month: The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie

Your votes have been counted!
7 days of nominations!
7 days of voting!
We have a winner for our September’s 2016 book of the month.

The Mocha Girl Read Book of the Month for September is The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie. Take a minute to see what this book is all about.


Bestselling author Sherman Alexie tells the story of Junior, a budding cartoonist growing up on the Spokane Indian Reservation. Determined to take his future into his own hands, Junior leaves his troubled school on the rez to attend an all-white farm town high school where the only other Indian is the school mascot.

Heartbreaking, funny, and beautifully written, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, which is based on the author’s own experiences, coupled with poignant drawings by Ellen Forney that reflect the character’s art, chronicles the contemporary adolescence of one Native American boy as he attempts to break away from the life he was destined to live.

With a forward by Markus Zusak, interviews with Sherman Alexie and Ellen Forney, and four-color interior art throughout, this edition is perfect for fans and collectors alike.

About the Author

12376487_515777865299221_7876310323126831737_nWinner of the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction, the PEN/Malamud Award for Short Fiction, a PEN/Hemingway Citation for Best First Fiction, and the National Book Award for Young People’s Literature, Sherman Alexie is a poet, short story writer, novelist, and performer.

He has published 25 books including his first picture book, Thunder Boy Jr, and young adult novel, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, both from Little, Brown Books for Young Readers; What I’ve Stolen, What I’ve Earned, a book of poetry, from Hanging Loose Press; and Blasphemy: New and Selected Stories, from Grove Press.

He has also published the 20th Anniversary edition of his classic book of stories, The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven.

Smoke Signalsthe movie he wrote and co-produced, won the Audience Award and Filmmakers Trophy at the 1998 Sundance Film Festival.

A Spokane/Coeur d’Alene Indian, Alexie grew up in Wellpinit, Washington, on the Spokane Indian Reservation.

Alexie has been an urban Indian since 1994 and lives in Seattle with his family.

Author’s Website:


Buy the Book

Congratulations to Sherman Alexie for being September’s book of the month. Feel free to leave comments below or at We are looking forward to hearing what you all think of this month’s selection.

Keep the pages turning ladies.

#BlackGirlMagic: Olympic Attire


#BlackGirlMagic is how the world is defining the 2016 Olympic games in Rio de Janeiro; with every turn, competition and metal our Mocha Girls are are reminding the universe who is boss. This reminder is arriving at a time where we shall retune how we see ourselves, encourage ourselves and support our fellow Mocha Girls when we exhibit individual and group excellence. [Read more…]

September’s Book of the Month Voting is Open

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For the month of September, we are going to read a BANNED BOOK.  As always there are some really great titles up for the vote this time.

Here are the Rules for Voting.

1. You may vote for three (3) books.

2. All members get to vote only once.

3. Last day to vote will be August 21, 2016. (11:00pm Los Angeles time)

4. The book with the most votes wins. But if there is a tie there will be a 48-hour death match. The two or three books will go into a head to head competition for only 48 hours. Whichever book is left standing (with the most votes) wins!

Below the poll, you will find the title of the books linked to a brief description. Now…may the best book win!