You are Beautiful, Strong, and Worth It

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I love this phrase: "You are Beautiful, Strong, and Worth It." I have had to tell myself this over the years even when I didn't feel so beautiful. Lack of self-esteem used to kick my butt for years and I decided to turn things around and kick its butt! When thinking of beauty, I do not focus on the outer beauty; I focus on internal beauty, strength and self worth. There was a time when I would go about life kind of clueless thinking everything would be beautiful all the time and being strong was only for people who were going through something where they had to draw from the strength of others or their own internal strength. Who would ever think that would be me one day...

After very low points in my life from 2010-2012, the last thing I thought about were positive affirmations to make me feel good about myself. I was so caught up in the every day hustle and bustle and just trying to survive as a single mom of two children. By 2012, I really hit a low point when my divorce was on the horizon and all I could think about at the time was how to survive the days, weeks, and months to come. I began to feel unworthy since all of my friends were with their husbands, boyfriends, or significant others. At one point, I said: "Why me?" Little did I know at the time this was the best thing that could have happened to me and it set me on my path of discovery and healing.

By 2013, I could feel the pain and struggles beginning to lift and I began to come out of my shell a bit and started writing. For me writing was the first step to healing. Then, I had to look in the mirror and tell myself over and over that I was beautiful, strong, worth it, and not broken anymore. My very first blog post focused on faith and it was more of a walk-through for me since I wanted to have faith and I just wasn't there yet. I used the first blog post as a blue print to where I wanted to be. You can find my first blog post by clicking here.

As time moved forward, I began to get stronger and surround myself with people who could help me - lift me higher and support me. Even still I had to want to be strong and know that my self worth lives within me and it was up to me to make things happen and live the life I wanted. In 2016, I began to venture out even more and I connected with some wonderful and genuine people on social media who really knew how to put what I was feeling into words and actions. The key here for me was action. I needed to be in a space where I would thrive and know I was worth it. Feeling good inside and out is everything to me. I don’t want to just look good on the outside since what you are feeling on the inside always finds a way to shine through.

I wrote my first book A Life With A View in 2015. In this book, I touched on the areas of faith, love, and happiness and this book was clearly a collection of blog posts to help me on my journey. Two years later in 2017, I expanded on A Life With A View with my follow-up book, Inspiring Creative Passion. This book took the subjects of faith, love, and happiness and expanded on them with actionable steps people can take to achieve the internal beauty, strength, and worth they deserve.

In the present day, I am part of a movement with great connections to people all around the world who are journeying to their areas of peace. Take time to think about and practice your beauty, strength, and worth - from within. Share with me the first action you will take to reach the level you want. Secondly, and if you need help, click the button below to purchase your signed copy of Inspiring Creative Passion to get you started.

A Little Girl's Dream

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I have always dreamed a little; and then a little more, and then a lot. I wondered if my dreams as a little girl would come true and what it would take to make them a reality. From an early age, I always found ways to write and my earliest memory of my writing was when I was 9 years old and living in New Jersey with my mother and father.

A few years later, when I was almost 12 years old, my mom and dad separated and later divorced and my mom, sister, and I moved to Maryland to live with my maternal grandmother. At that time, I thought my dreams of wanting to be a writer would stop before I actually got started. Being a writer was always something I wanted to do and I would play teacher as a little girl and assign writing assignments to myself and anyone else who would listen.

Sharing this story of my dream as a little girl has come true over the last year. A good friend of mine, Michelle Hammond of I Am 2 Inspire TV, put a call out for women to share the dreams we had as a little girl and how we have made them a reality. My dream of being a teacher never went away although I decided to pursue a different field as I grew older. Having the chance now to share my story with other women and 6 co-authors as we came together for this vision of sharing our dreams is so inspiring. After reading the stories of my co-authors, I was even more inspired and still want to do more to encourage others that it is never too late to start following your dreams and pursuing your passion.

I was 41 years old when I started this blog and 43 when I published my first book, A Life With A View. I still see sharing my stories, my dreams, and helping other people along the way as teaching. With meeting so many wonderful women along the way, we have continued to encourage each other and lift each other up so we can continue doing the work that excites us on a daily basis. The key here is doing the work to make your dreams come true. We need good, positive people in our corner to stand with us side by side so we keep going and remain inspired.

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On June 8, 2019, the 6 women came together for our book signing for Little Girls Dreams Metamorphosis to Women Realities at the Wiley H. Bates Legacy Center in Annapolis, MD. The rich history of the Wiley H. Bates Legacy Center made this journey come full circle as we embraced history and connected with people who were a part of the legacy of this historic location. This made the book signing and sharing our stories connect and resonate even more with those who attended as our stories are and were relatable to each person who attended the book signing. The kind words we received along with the hugs, laughter, and tears meant everything to me especially having the opportunity to share and be embraced by the women who I now call my sisters.

Our journey is just beginning and your journey, no matter where you are on your quest to follow your dreams, you are still here and can make your dreams a reality. Here is an excerpt of the book and a glimpse into my journey:

“After the move to Maryland and settling in, the first three years of high school was a blur to me meaning the time went by so fast and all of a sudden I was in the 12th grade. What was I going to do with my life after high school? I had a job where I could put my writing skills to work and this inspired me to read more and write on purpose, for a purpose.”

To read more about my journey and the journey of my co-authors, you can purchase your copy of Little Girls Dreams Metamorphosis to Women Realities here on my website and on Amazon. You will love the book and our stories will touch your heart and ignite your journey. We would love to hear your thoughts on collaborating with others to help you reach your goals and follow your dreams. Share in the comments a dream you have and one you want to pursue or, how you have or are following your dreams. One winner will be chosen from the comments to receive a free copy of the book. Look forward to hearing from you!

The Gift of Inspiration

I am inspired by so many things. When I think back to almost six years ago and why I created this blog, I was inspired by faith and hope. I wondered back then if I could get through the pain of separation and then eventual divorce. Here we are just about six years later and I am in a different place; a much better place. The outlook on life is clearer and brighter and definitely more positive. I am all for positive surroundings in this life.

When starting A Life With A View, it looked much different than it does today. The more I read books and magazines, and eventually connecting with other writers, bloggers, and storytellers the more comfortable I felt about what I wanted out of life; to be happy and to fulfill my purpose. I had a story to tell and not only the good stuff; the not so good stuff too.

I began with a theme. Ten words to get me started and I centered my blog posts around the ten words which mean the most to me: Faith, Love, Happiness, Friendship, Honesty, Integrity, Trust, Respect, Openness, Acceptance. Next, I began to write and could not stop writing. For months, my blog posts centered around these topics and then I began to expand in my writing. In 2014, I had an idea of turning these posts into my first book, A Life With A View. I kept feeling something move internally within me and this fire kept me going even when I didn't feel like writing.

Now what was it that moved me to keep writing? It took me a few years since starting this blog to figure it out. I knew I wanted more and to express more and tell my story. Sharing my feelings out loud through my writing has never been a strong area for me. I have had to grow over the years and come out of my shell. Was I afraid to step out of my comfort zone? Oh yes! It is a scary thing sharing your deepest thoughts and opening up to the world about the things that trouble you in life.

To expand the blog a bit more, I published A Life With A View in 2015 and I began to think of ways to inspire other people to follow their journey and go after what they dream about the most. Doing this for other people also helped to inspire me and I realized in 2016 that I outgrew my blog and moved to a website which gave me the flexibility to expand A Life With A View and also grow with my readers. This is when the excitement kicked in! I am able to have a blog and also share my book, and events, and people can get to know me a lot more.

Then in early 2017, it came to me: I have been holding back my story. I promised my readers I would have a second book out in the near future. What did the near future actually mean? Well, it certainly didn't mean take forever to get it done so I had to take my own advice and get busy, step out on faith, and get it done. I needed a push to feel comfortable and what came to me when needing the push was inspiration. I needed something I could feel and see which expresses my deep roots and also how I am feeling. So I had t-shirts and mugs designed to inspire my journey and also the journey of others. The tree of life lives on within me and the t-shirts and mugs were designed in honor of my father and grandmother. I know they would have loved to see their gift of inspiration which also lives within my children and I know our lives have a view.

What is your gift of inspiration? For me, it is the journey to where I am today and I am still going and sharing my story and journey. A good friend reached out to me recently and asked if I would participate in a book collaboration with six other women and share my story of when I was a little girl and what I dreamed of at that time. The story never stops I thought and as long as we are still here, we will journey through life and have a story to tell. Click here for more details on my latest writing journey and the book collaboration. Stay tuned for more as I journey with six wonderful women sharing their stories of how they used their gifts to follow their dreams.