Luna LotusLove is making empowerment the DNA of her musical movement. Look to the latest release from the Atlanta-based singer and musician (born Rachael Vel Phillips) titled “Way Up,” a smooth melodic number that invokes positive vibes and beautifully soundtracks the process of pulling ourselves up from any struggle keeping us down.
LotusLove’s life is reflective of her musical message, too. After losing her father to mental illness, she put her own methods in place to ensure her spirit is aligned. Her goal is to create and foster a community that serves as a safe space for all creatives to thrive in the face of adversity.
On Friday (June 21), she will be hosting a pop-up installation (in partnership with several sponsors including her sweat. in Atlanta that will include a short film screening, gallery exhibit, live music performance and Mirror Magic tied to the release of”Way Up.” She will also debut her company, Mirror Magic, LLC, and create a space conducive to finding your own keys to self-empowerment. Find out how to attend the event here and learn more about LotusLove’s story below.
Describe the inspiration behind the Mirror Magic event.
If anyone has ever wondered what Mirror Magic is or if it really works, this event is my manifestation testimony. All those affirmations and that talking to yourself isn’t as crazy as it appears. I am a creative first, but I’m also an educator. It is always apart of my personal and professional mission to use both spaces—the stage and the classroom—as opportunities for empowerment and exchange. The greatest points of learning happen through experience, and it is my desire for this premiere to provide the type of creative dialogue and community exchange that will empower women and other creatives to tap into the power of their gifts as well.
Why is mental health important to you?
I’ve never been brave enough to talk so openly about it until now, but my father was a paranoid schizophrenic. It wasn’t until I was a grown woman, after I had already started my own family, that I found out about the extent of his illness. When I did find out, my horror wasn’t at the news of learning that my father was sick, it was that my entire family, like most in the black community, kept this conversation secret. My twin sister and I were extremely hurt and angry that even after we had become adults, no one thought it was a good idea to share such important information with us. My father’s name was Dale Franklin Phillips, and he did not survive his afflictions. In February 2005, three months after he walked me down the aisle, pregnant with my second child, my father committed suicide.
What I have learned in his death, is that he, like most who walk the line between worlds, was a genius. My father was an actor, was accepted into Juilliard for theatre, eventually graduating from Cornell University. He was also fluent in Spanish and loved to travel. Although he grew up in an affluent family, the diagnosis of his condition came at a time when his parents and community felt ill-equipped to deal. So he suffered. For these reasons and so many more, mental health is extremely important to me because I understand the delicate balance between physical, mental and spiritual energy, and that when one is off, another is affected. The first and most powerful step we can take is removing the shame and stigma in our families and not being afraid to talk.
What are your personal self-reflection and personal development practices?
I use affirmations as a type of programming or coding, using sound vibration as an extension of my personal power. As a singer/musician, understanding the use of sound and words is very important to me. It’s so simple and might be considered corny, but there’s something extremely significant about speaking positively to yourself. Writing is another huge part of my reflection process. Writing in a journal is great but I also write my goals or little love notes to myself on the mirror as another great practice. With writing, self-awareness is very important to the reflection process, but it can’t happen successfully without embracing accountability and practicing a bit of self-interrogation, meaning you have to be willing to ask yourself the type of questions that only you can answer. Write this process down. Lastly, I do something called Mirror Magic Play when I feel like I need to uplift my mood or if I need to invoke a specific attitude or persona. I get into this personal role play with myself. Whatever the energy is that I’m needing to feel more of, I will dress up in front of the mirror and have fun.
What are your tips to others looking to make mental health more of a priority in
their daily lives?
Don’t be afraid to say no to the things that don’t serve you or that you are unable to realistically give. Unplugging and taking healthy breaks are as important as bathing. Don’t be afraid to talk about it, whatever the “it” is, even if your voice shakes when you speak. Release your load as often as you can. Don’t hold it in your chest. Oftentimes, people are pushed into a mental break, or physical disease simply because they feel they are alone, no one is listening or their truth is not heard.
Community is so important and most of us are community-starved. Unfortunately, family is not always who we get our greatest support from, so it’s important to be a part of a community that supports you. If you don’t have one, find one or create it.
What do you hope attendees, specifically women, take from this event?
I hope for people to walk away from this event understanding that the wealthiest among us is not necessarily in the accruement of things; it’s seeded in how we choose to perceive the abundance within our gifts, our love and support of each other, and the community engagement that must happen for us to survive. I want to invoke and lull the senses into an experience in a way that continues the conversation on a deeply personal level, as well as the expansion of the event into new places.
Specifically for our women attendees, I simply and sincerely pray that this event contributes to women’s healing work. The tagline for Mirror Magic is “May We See Ourselves Whole” and I intend with this event and every aspect of this work to be a part of the perspective shift that embraces women’s wholeness. As an artist using music as a medium for the self-development work, I hope this event inspires women to use more of their creative gifts and personal power.