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  • Sarah Smith Warren

Here’s to 10 Years: On Motherhood, Legacy, and Affirmations for a Bold New Era

As I was preparing to share Erin's article, as I read and reread her beautiful words, I found myself change from editor to audience. Erin has a powerful gift of movement. Her words, her voice, her music, the way she deeply cares and honestly shares, she moves humans. And isn't that what we are here for? To deeply feel. Isn't that what separates us from other living creatures? The power to feel and experience emotions, critical thinking, self reflection, free will to enjoy or endure the human experience. As I sat with Erin's words, I felt very disconnected from my own intentions. We can be so caught up in living in the past, revisiting our failures or embarrassments or even happier times, or we focus on daydreaming about the future, living in a far ahead time that lets us skip the here and now. I realized its the combination of honoring my past, planning for the future but being present in my present that will lead to living intentionally and mindfully. Erin's reflection and her personal call to action is a reminder we have the gift to create movement for ourselves. Welcome Erin Corine and thank you for sharing.

By Erin Corine Johnson, Hola Magnolia Creative Coaching

Both the state tree and flower of the state from which the vast majority of my family migrated during The Great Migration, Mississippi, is the Magnolia. Several years ago when I was still living in Madrid, I found myself at the end of another life cycle. For the first time since I’d moved to Spain in 2012, I noticed an unfamiliar longing beginning to surge within me. Seemingly all at once, I found myself eager to find some connection to home in my surroundings. Black Lives Matter as a social movement was building in intensity, and I was searching desperately for some way to connect each part of who I am to where I was standing in the present. I don’t know if I was looking for a sign or for a feeling, but one day while preparing for a gig, almost out of the blue, I found myself fixated on these lyrics from “Strange Fruit” by Billie Holiday:

“Scent of Magnolia, clean and fresh… Then the sudden smell of burning flesh.”

While there is a morbid call-back to reality in that line, a snapshot of the inhumanity of the times being referenced, the image of the Magnolias stuck with me. My brain wrapped itself around the idea that in the midst of chaos and turmoil, the simplest things can give context and meaning, inspiring you to push on, tell your story, and make an impact. And so, four years ago when I found my first Southern Magnolia in Spain, I decided that wherever this magnificent tree Native to North America (like me), steeped in a long, complex history of colonialism, slavery, pain, suffering and reclamation could thrive, so could I.

...And I've been finding Magnolia after gorgeous Magnolia in the most unexpected of places, at the most serendipitous of moments and connected to the most meaningful of people, time and time again, ever since.

As I sat under the light of the full Sturgeon Moon in Aquarius earlier this past month of August, I held my daughter close—the first of a new generation and a descendant of a long line of first-born women—and reflected on so many things. The perseverance of our ancestors in the face of so many evils. The brand story of my company, Hola Magnolia, which carries the energy of the most impactful moment—a true turning point—in my entire 10 years in Spain.

But most importantly, I reflected on my desire to use my art, my passion for multicultural community-building through mentorship and restorative justice to build legacy, generate abundance for those around me, and change whole lives by channeling all of me and my story into my work.

It was a spark of this desire yet to be uncovered that led me to August 21, 2012, when after a lifetime of dreaming fully immersing myself in a Spanish-speaking culture, I packed up my bags and set off to finally pursue that dream.

What I set out for:

–Complete Native fluency in Spanish, a language that I’d fallen in love with and started learning on my own outside of my home around age 5

–A way to combine my passion for music, language and culture

–Time and space to become my own person, heal some deep wounds, and discover my purpose.

In order to get here, I’ve had to:

– Complete a master's degree, move cities three times and hop between different visa types in pursuit of the right work-life-economic balance

–Fully immerse myself in not only one, but TWO Spanish languages

–Experience loss, hurt and heartbreak as people in my life have come and gone

–Live a whole new type of implicit and explicit racism (ask me about that another day)

–Fail spectacularly at my first business

–Define and refine facets of my identity and learned behaviors that were limiting my growth

–Rebuild my business intelligently, intentionally and sustainably

What I found:

–That connecting to people through language and music was not just an interest for me, but a superpower.

–My literal voice. I began singing professionally as part of my artistic journey and a reclamation of my cultural birthright.

–My "found" family from Spain and all over the world that have taken me in, opened my perspective and grown me mentally and spiritually—including my partner, a Native Catalán who shares my Black Experience, and our beautiful 6 month-old daughter


What I’m living is the wildest and most exaggerated iteration of my wildest dreams that I could have literally never imagined. It’s so easy to glamorize the results of pursuing one’s dreams, but I think it’s important that you know I’ve also had to do some serious inner work, come to terms with more than a few limiting beliefs, and get out of my own way.

And I'm still learning.

This next decade, I commit to being my own biggest fan, my own biggest motivator and my own inspiration.

I commit to choosing myself first, and refusing to allow anyone or anything to unjustly steal my joy.

I commit to nurture over nature—to believe in my heart that I am capable of absolutely anything I set my mind to.

Lastly, I commit to protecting my heart, my soul and my peace at all costs, no matter who or what may step forward to test me.

I am my own safe space.

And so, as a testament to my commitment to remain in a constant pursuit of growth and congruence, I leave you with the fruit of my spiritual labor over the course of this month full of reflection and acknowledgement of the immensity of this milestone: Here are ten affirmations for a bold new era, inspired by my own life’s lessons of the past decade. Whether you are new or well-versed in the power of a mindfully-crafted affirmation, I hope these will inspire you to recognize your unique gifts and mobilize your passions for the greater good of your own alignment and that of those around you. 1. The next version of me will be the best version of me. I celebrate the journey that has brought me to where I am in life. I am capable, I am competent, and I am worthy of the wealth I desire to build for myself, my family, and my community.

2. I am a living embodiment of light because I love openly, give freely and receive gracefully. 3. Success will find me because I am committed to staying in a constant state of willingness to listen and learn from others. I am open to change and the inevitable growth that will come from it.

4. I am my own biggest priority. I am at my best when I am fed. I am at my best when my body, mind and soul are cared for. I am at my best when I am rested. Nothing can happen if I am exhausted, unfocused or unwell. I forgive myself for being unable to show up fully some days, knowing that tomorrow is another opportunity to work towards my goals.

5. When I communicate my needs, my needs are met. When my needs are met, I am free to fulfill my purpose and pursue the passions that connect me and my life's work to my community.

6. My missteps do not define me. My worth is not measured by the magnitude of my errors, but the depth of my impact. When I move according to the values I hold, my actions embody the power of my words.

7. Inspiration is all around me. In my intuition, that which I experience on a daily basis and in the people and places I am privileged enough to have in my life, I have everything and everyone I need in order to generate the abundance I seek.

8. I am strongest when in obedience to my own intuition. Whether my intuition leads me towards or away from what I think I want in life, only I can decide how to set out on that path. When I honor my instincts, no matter the outcome, growth is inevitable.

9. I am deserving of rest. I am worthy of relaxation. I am entitled to stillness. When I afford my body time, space and permission to regenerate, my gifts flow freely into the world.

10. I am complex, and that is okay. Where there is joy, there may also be sadness. Where there is motivation, there may also be weariness. Where there is empowerment, there may also be frustration. Where there are wins, there may also be challenges. When I am in balance and at peace within myself, I am free to flow intentionally from shadow to light, embracing the complexity of my humanness.

May you (and I) continue to grow into our gifts, flourish into our greatness, and marvel at the humans we have managed to become in spite of so much.

I can’t wait to see who you become. Let’s meet right back here in ten more years. I’ll save you a seat, okay? <3

Erin Corine xx





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20. Feb. 2023

So beautifully written and inspiring! Thank you for the affirmations. Totally snatchin a few of them!

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