Ms. Moraja is a mom of three and an internationally renowned intuitive consultant and business coach. She has been featured on radio and television, and she conducts workshops nationally, sharing her intuitive, business, and artistic knowledge with hundreds of people at a time. She has a Bachelors degree in Finance and a Masters in Marketing having worked for numerous Fortune 500 companies prior to pursuing her career as a consultant.
Recently, she published her first book, "Empower Your Soul" and is now diving into the world of children's books with her creation of "Splatter and Friends" collection where colors come alive through vivid characters that children can identify with.
Empowered Mommies (EM): Ms. Moraja, thank you again for giving us the opportunity to sit down with you. You are such a wonderful role model not only as an successful woman juggling motherhood and career, but also as an author and speaker. Can you share with us how you began your career and what made you decide to focus on becoming an intuitive consultant and then an author?
Melissa P Moraja (MM): Becoming an author was an easy decision. Becoming an intuitive consultant was a life long struggle. I actually wanted to go to art school when I graduated high school. However, my art teacher guided me in a different direction—business degree. It was perceived to be more stable, and I was young and easily influenced. Throughout college something inside of me kept telling me ‘this isn’t the path for you.’ I spent my years at college soul searching. During those years, I knew I was different. My dreams would come true.
But then one day in 1993, I quit my job and moved myself to Atlanta, GA. Throughout my life, I have always followed my gut. Something told me I needed to move to Atlanta. And, my gut was right! I, as they say it, came out of hiding. I gained confidence in my intuitive ability by taking classes, talking to others like me, and learning all I could learn. I wanted to understand the mind and how this gut feeling works. As I developed my intuitive practice, I also realized there is a strong business side to me that I couldn’t run away from. I needed to balance both of these innate qualities I had—my down-to-earth business side and intuitive side. This is when I truly owned who I was, and my soul searching days have been over. As for becoming an author, I wanted to share my knowledge with adults and children. Children are our next generation. Education is invaluable. But also self-awareness.
EM: What do you think are some of the challenges women, especially young mothers, are facing today in terms of empowerment and motivation?
MM: Mothers no matter what age are faced with having to try to find balance in their lives. As a mother myself, finding time to work out, to shower, to meditate, and to pursue my interests is a juggling act because I also have to clean the house, do the laundry, make meals, walk the dog, help my kids with their homework, go grocery shopping, etc. A mother’s role never stops. And the peer pressure that mom’s now have is overwhelming. From play dates, to facebook, to email, to texting, to making sure your kids are involved in every activity is time consuming and many times draining. Mothers truly need to prioritize. Some things that I’ve had to do in order to pursue my interests include: turning off my blackberry for hours during the day, teaching my kids what is mommy time, and writing my books during the time I sit and wait in the car.
EM: In your opinion, how do you think we have evolved as mothers over the years and why? Are we driven by different things than say, our own mothers or grandmothers were?
MM: Yes and no, I do believe we are driven by different things today. However, many mothers of my mom’s generation lost themselves when they had children. Today, I think a lot of mothers are doing the same thing just in different ways and for different reasons. Today, there seems to be a heavy competition between mothers to have their kids enrolled in so many activities. This keeps them busy, but at the cost of having time to pursue their own interests. Just this past spring my boys were enrolled in T-ball and machine pitch. I lived at the baseball field. With their homework and that one activity and a husband who travels, I had very little time for me. Mothers need to also commit to themselves. Yes, we want our children to be ahead of the game. But we also can’t lose our identity along the way like our mom’s and grandmothers.
EM: What do you think are the biggest obstacles to moms feeling empowered?
MM: Again it’s the peer pressure of having to be the perfect mom with perfect kids who are keeping up with the Joneses of the world. It’s not an easy thing to balance. If a mom, and for that matter anyone, keeps putting off their interests, their passions, and their dreams at the cost of fitting in they will begin feeling less empowered because they are not owning ‘themselves’. I have a friend who has children in high school. She is soul searching. The last 14 years of her life has been for her children. She’s scared. It’s been 14 years since she worked. Her identity has been her children. Mom’s need a mom’s empowerment group like yours!
EM: You recently wrote and published your first book: “Empower Your Soul” which has received great recognition and praise. Can you tell us what inspired you to write the book and how did you your thought come together on this project?
MM: For years many of my clients asked me when I’d write a book that could teach them some of the things that we discussed on our calls and I taught in my workshops. This book was written out of their request. My goal was to help people move from the past, into the present, and begin creating their future. We live in patterns, routines, hopes, and dreams. If I could help one person see and own their potential and their gifts by reading and doing the exercises in this book, then I did my job. When I meet someone, I can see their potential. I can see their obstacles. But even though I see them, it doesn’t mean they do. This book allows a person to begin to become aware of what is holding them back. Then it provides techniques to help them move beyond their past and into the present. In the present, they become aware of their routines and habits. From there, I provide them with techniques to overcome their habits and to change their routine in order to begin pursuing their passions in life. We all have gifts. This book is one that can help a person acknowledge and own their personal gifts; and in the end become empowered!
EM: In addition to your “Empower Your Soul” book you have also recently immersed yourself in the world of children’s books with your creation of the educational book series “Splatter and Friends”. How did you come to create the Splatter character and his circle of friends? What made you focus on the meaning of colors represented in the characters?
MM: Throughout my entire life, I’ve used color and music to achieve my goals, become more motivated, increase my productivity, and get a glimpse of the phase I’m in. Color and music are energy just like your thoughts. The colors and music you are drawn too tell a story about you. In fact, for almost 18 years I’ve been teaching people how to use color, music and their thoughts to not only become more self-aware, but also to shift the energy around them to set the stage for them to pursue their goals.
For instance, green is the color of healing and the health profession. Yellow is the color the stimulates the mind. If you are looking to go back to school to become a nurse, bring in some greens and yellows into your wardrobe. If you don’t like wearing those colors, then listen to some green and yellow music—green music is your down-to-Earth music such as Eagles and Rascal Flatts while yellow music is your Macarana and Electric Slide. When my children were born, I noticed my teenage nieces were drawn to the color black – a color that says, “I’m soul searching.” “I’m not ready to come out of hiding.” “I’m not sure of my strengths.”
Today, my three little one’s each were drawn to certain colors, just like I am. I didn’t want them to become teenagers with low self-awareness. Splatter and Friends were characters that came out of a business I wanted to open. The business never opened, but I’m not sure it was supposed too. The business-a children’s artland-gave me the idea of a mascot. Well, one day while I was painting a splatter of paint fell on the floor.
The splatter took shape and form right there before my eyes into the main character—Splatter. Then I splattered a few more splatters on white paper and the other characters came to life. Literally these characters were drawn in 5 minutes. Then ironically the same day there was a double rainbow outside in the Chicago sky. My 2 year old son at the time asked me who lived in it. Of course it said it more in baby language. That’s when I realized Splatter and Friends who make-up the colors of the rainbow live in a Kingdom called Maven in the center of the Rainbow.
Splatter and Friends are colorful characters I wrote not only for my children, but also for parents and their children. When children enter middle school, they begin experiencing the peer pressures of the outside world. Many hide behind a mask pretending to be someone their not in order to make their parents happy, teachers happy, and others. They learn how to survive. My goal is to help parents and children know themselves by discovering their color or colors. The color your six year old is attracted too will tell you the phase they are in. Pay attention to it. The music they are drawn too will tell a parent about their emotional state. Kids know what they need. Kids know what they like. As they grow, we as parents need to help nurture their strengths and interests. Color and music are an easy tool to really get to know your children.
EM: If you had to look forward a decade, how do you hope your books will have influenced moms and their children?
MM: I hope all of my books help mom’s and children to strive to own and reach their potential in this life. I hope mom’s realize that no one is holding them back accept themselves. I hope they forgive and let go. I hope they begin loving themselves for who they are. I hope they realize how special they are in the world. And I hope they empower their children to own their special color in the world. We all have pressures coming at us from every direction—from the media bringing fear into our lives that the unemployment rate is going up, from our family making us feel bad that we didn’t make it to the cookout, from our husbands who want us to contribute financially, from a sick relative that you need to take care of, from other parents who make you feel as if you have to enroll your child(ren) in every activity so they won’t be left behind, and to our children who want us to just listen to them. The list goes on. Today’s world is non-stop. It’s hard to find time to just breathe and be. Turn off your phone, shut down your computer, turn on some music, pull out the crayons, and have fun! Music is therapeutic as is coloring. Writing too is one of the best tools to get your thoughts out in the open.
EM: Ms. Moraja. Thank you for your time!
MM: Thank you!