Rule #1: Never date a writer.
Okay, I’m… sort of… kidding. Writers are great people; however, we tend to write about emotions and situations that we experience (especially when we’re of the inspirational blogger variety). That means that it’s time to get a little personal… Good thing he doesn’t read this blog anyways, eh?
My boyfriend and I have some very life changing decisions coming up in the next few months and I’d be blatantly lying to you if I said it isn’t on my mind every single day. I’m an analyzer and when you’ve got dates and timelines looming, it’s hard to relax and just go with the flow of life. At least, I can’t do it. For me, this is how it goes -
1.) Something pops up to remind me of these decisions
2.) I begin thinking about all of the possibilities
3.) I determine all possible outcomes
4.) I think which outcome would be best for all involved
5.) I think about which outcome I’d like
6.) I think about how we could get there, if we should get there, what if we don’t get there, etc.
Overwhelming, isn’t it? Think about how I feel
Anyways, I do this for about 20 minutes until it stresses me out so much that I have to watch some mindless television until he gets home and I can lay all of this stress and worry on him.
Needless to say, this isn’t healthy for either of us and we finally got to the point the other night that we have to STOP living like this. It’s not fair to US. We’re ruining the days we have together and ultimately hurting our relationship by worrying and stressing out about something that’s months away.
Have you ever felt this way? That you MUST prepare yourself mentally for things that may OR may not happen? It’s not fun and it’s damaging to yourself and the people around you.
When you let worry consume you, you’re: stressing yourself out, snapping/getting mad at others for things that aren’t their fault, wasting precious time, and XYZ.
When you don’t let worry consume you, you’re: happier, you have time to spread love instead of hurt/stress, you can contrate on things that really matter in your relationship, learn to appreciate more.
We’ve taken some time this past week to really get back to US and why we’re in this relationship. We’ve actually said, “Let’s not think about _______ and let’s not bring it up, just for this one week,” and we decided that if we do, we’re going to use a secret code word which means stop, breathe, and let it go for now.
Fact: We haven’t had to use the code word AT ALL! Just making this decision has helped us to put it behind us for now and to concentrate on what matters in the moment.
Sure, this isn’t a long-term solution and we’ll have to face the facts when the time is right but for now, it’s a nice reminder that we have NOW.
Somewhere along the line, I put our relationship and what makes us US on the back burner and I let thoughts and uncertainty consume me and my thoughts. I felt as though stressing about the future was more important than being in the present and feeling positive emotions.
((Ps. That was really hard to write out and confess to all of you))
Making this small shift in mentality has honestly made all the difference. My relationship is better, I’m happier, and I’ve been more focused on my work and writing. It’s amazing how much more time I have now that I’m not moping around and being a negative ninny muggins (hah… Elf anyone?)
By letting you into a bit of my personal life, I want to leave you with this – If we spend all of our time thinking ahead of us, we forget to enjoy the people and the moments of today. You’re going through the motions and not appreciating, loving, or focusing on the things and the people who love you most. Focus on being in the present.
Stop, breathe, let the stress of tomorrow go. Enjoy today… Truly and whole-heartedly enjoy today.
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I’ve found that regardless of age, many people are worried or stressed out about their future. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a 20-something young professional or if you’re a 45 year old mother of 3 because life is stressful. You may worry about whether you’re on the right track professionally, whether you’re making smart financial decisions, or if you’re living up to your full potential.
But you know what? It’s okay not to know what lies ahead of you because of these reasons:
1.) Nobody else knows: Simple yet true. Nobody knows what their future holds so take solace in knowing that you’re definitely not alone. We’re all in this together – Muddling through the confusion and waiting to get to the point in our lives where we find that we’re okay with the unknown.
Secret: The sooner you discover that you can’t control or plan your future, the sooner you’ll be able to embrace what’s to come with open arms…
2.) Life would be boring if we knew: Sometimes the greatest moments in life are those moments that are completely and totally unexpected. If you knew EXACTLY what your future held, would you still wake up every day with enthusiasm and excitement? I mean, really… You’d know when you’re going to meet important people, when you were going to find a soulmate, when you were going to get a job promotions, etc.
You wouldn’t be excited for the day at all… In fact, you’d probably wake up and think “Alright, today I’m going to meet someone who is going to become my best friend. Better put on some perfume even though it doesn’t matter… We’re destined to be friends regardless of how I smell.” Boooooooringggggggg.
3.) You wouldn’t learn: If you always knew the outcome of situations, you’d probably avoid those that would cause you pain. Now, this doesn’t seem like a bad thing right away but think about it for a second. Some of the greatest lessons I’ve ever learned have come from jobs I shouldn’t have taken, boys I shouldn’t have dated, and friends I shouldn’t have hung out with. If I knew that all of those situations wouldn’t have worked out in the long run, I probably would’ve avoided them.
“The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.”
- Elisabeth Kübler-Ross
Take a deep breath and smile because you’re doing alright kiddo. Enjoy each day to the fullest rather than riddling it with worry and stress over things you simply can’t control. All you need to do is do your best, follow your heart, and try to make smart decisions (Note: I didn’t say RIGHT decisions because even the wrong ones are okay).
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I may be writing this post for you just as much as I’m writing it for myself.
I need to kick myself in the pants because right now, I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not really living the life I want to end up living. I’m caught in the routine of day in and day out and it’s silly… Why should my life be average and ultimately routine?
Wake up, make coffee, sit down at my desk, work (truth bomb: I even perform my daily work tasks in the same order every day), make dinner, hang out with the boyfriend, then I go to bed. Wake up, repeat order.
Today, I decided to walk to the post office and I’m not sure if it’s the pot of coffee I drank or just being in the sunshine but whatever it was, it got me thinking…
If we keep following these routines every day, when do we get to start living the life we ultimately want?
What am I doing TODAY to get me closer to my dream life?
It’s time to hit you with a cliché attack:
- Nobody wants to live a mediocre life but many settle for it.
- If you never try, you’ll never know.
- A year from now, you’ll wish you started today
- You have exactly ONE LIFE in which to do everything you’ll ever do. Act accordingly.
That last quote especially gets me… We have ONE life and if we’re lucky, we’ll live a long one filled with many, many years but it’s not about quantity – It’s about quality.
I have one life for accomplishing SO many things – Publishing my novel, becoming an expert in my field of marketing, volunteering, opening up a quaint little coffee shop, move and travel as much as possible, etc. – live, love, and act like a fool
I personally think I hold myself back because of fear and the unknown. I don’t like screwing up, I don’t like being wrong, and I don’t like making the wrong choice. But really, I can’t be alone in thinking this way.
This fear is holding me back and I’m just going to come out and say it… it might just be holding you back as well.
If you’re not afraid of your dreams then are they REALLY worth it?
Let’s make a pact today to set some goals and even more, let’s both chart out some steps that will help us get there. I’m a big believer in writing out and outlining my plans… Just ask any of my coworkers. You don’t even want to see the Google docs I use when prepping for a new client project
I’ll get started:
Publishing my novel
- Do initial read through and make notes
- Make edits based off of notes
- Let it sit for a few weeks
- Read again
- Hire an editor
- Hire a graphic designer to create the cover
- Change copy to fit a certain format (I’ll need to look more into this)
- Submit to Amazon.com or send copies to publishers (Not sure what I want to do yet)
When you see it all laid out in front of you, somehow it makes your tasks seem a bit less daunting and confusing. I can do this if I take it one step at a time and if I know where to go next.
You can too.
Stop being average. Stop being boring. Stop following some mindless routine. Stop just existing and start living the life you dream of. Believe me – You CAN do this!
You don’t have an infinite amount of time so why wait until tomorrow or a week from now to start working towards the things you really want in life?
Start now and break free of a thoughtless routine.
Life is too short and your dreams are too priceless.
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I’m SO excited to announce that Happy Hat LLC and Live Inspired will be collaborating on a NEW endeavor - The Positive People’s Project!
Liz (the owner of Happy Hat LCC) approached me a few weeks ago with the idea of showcasing some of the incredible and inspiring people in our West Michigan community.
With a passion for this community and a passion for positivity, I was more than willing to jump on board!
Through photography and a write-up of their personal journey, we want to give recognition to those who deserve it most.
Now, this is where we need YOUR help:
If you know of someone who is a wonderful asset to the West Michigan community and who deserves some recognition, please nominate them and let us know!
We’re looking for individuals who are positive influences in the community despite personal obstacles or hard times. You can send us an email with your story at:
Kate@live-inspired.org or firstname.lastname@example.org.
If emailing isn’t your thing, you can also send a message to Live Inspired or Happy Hat LLC on Facebook!
THANK YOU in advance for your help!
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It has been a while since I’ve updated Live Inspired with a real blog post. It’s not that I’ve forgotten about you… quite the contrary actually. However, my life has been a bit hectic since 2013 began.
To give you a quick and dirty update before I get to the good stuff:
- I packed up and moved across town
- Not even a week later, somebody hit my car in the middle of the night and didn’t leave any information. So I had to deal with insurance stuff and I was carless for about 2 weeks – Yuck.
- I played a lead character in my first (and maybe last haha) stage show!
Yep. I always tell you all that you should go outside of your comfort zone every now and then for the sake of experiencing new things and well, this past month I took my own advice.
One of my friends is an extremely talented director and she asked if I’d be interested in being in a theatre production she was directing. Because I assumed she knew I had zero experience on stage, I figured that she just wanted me to hum in the background while standing behind a fake tree. You know, basically providing a warm body to take up space.
The day after I agreed, she sent me the script and honestly… My mouth dropped.
There were only 3 characters – 2 males and 1 female.
The female was definitely a lead role and to my dismay, that character had lines. Nope, she was not a mime and she didn’t just hum. I read the script, fell in love with it, and then immediately emailed her my concerns.
It went a little something like this:
A.) This script is hilarious. I love it.
B.) You do know that I have no idea what I’m doing when it comes to memorizing lines, acting, or even being on a stage, right? As much as I’d love to branch out and do something like this, I have zero experience and if you wanted to ditch me, I’d completely understand. This script is hilarious and deserves someone who can really rock it.
Surprisingly – She didn’t want to ditch me; therefore, I became Arin in the production of “I Went Searching for the Meaning of Life and All I Got Was This Lousy T-Shirt.”
I’m fairly confident in my abilities but I had no idea what I was getting myself into…
Turns out – Acting is REALLY hard!
After my first read through, I felt discouraged. I knew how the character was supposed to feel but I had a hard time expressing it. I know what being happy sounds like, I know what being dejected sounds like, and I know what being skeptical sounds like but for the life of me, I couldn’t make myself sound genuine in expressing these things.
After weeks of encouragement, extra help from my cast and the director, and countless hours of trying to memorize lines… Opening night had arrived.
I can’t even explain how I felt in the few moments before I walked out in front of the audience. I was the first one they saw and heard.
It was up to me to not screw it all up before it even began.
Backstage, I jumped up and down, I did a little booty-shaking dance, and I tried to calm the gaggle of butterflies that were flying around inside of my stomach.
Then, the lights dimmed and my entrance music began to play. It was then in that moment I realized it’s time to face my fears, put all of my nervousness behind me, and give the audience the show they paid for.
I took a deep breath, stepped out on stage, and delivered my first line without fainting or dying.
The show began and I did’t skip over a chunk of dialogue, I moved everywhere I was supposed to move, I didn’t screw up my monologue and guess what? The audience loved it!
Now, I can’t say that I was the greatest actor on stage that night (far from it) and I can’t say that I have a future in acting but ya know what?
I did it! I did something COMPLETELY and TOTALLY outside of my comfort zone.
It was insane, nerve-wracking, and crazy but I did it.
This experience taught me that it pays to do something out of the ordinary every now and then just to remind yourself of what you’re capable of.
I have a feeling 2013 will be full of new, exciting, and even nerve wracking experiences. However, after starting the year off in this way, I feel like I’ll be ready to take on all of these challenges/opportunities with open arms because, well… Life is too short not to take chances and crazy opportunities, right?
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Inspirational Stories in the News is an important little segment I want to start doing on Live Inspired.
Although it’s important to find inspiration in our own lives in our own communities, there are SO many good people throughout the world doing some incredible things. Honestly, I rarely take the time out to hunt out these articles because it’s just not part of my daily routine; however, reading blogs IS part of my daily routine.
That’s why I want to combine the two.
If checking Live Inspired is part of your daily or weekly routine, you’ll now be able to easily find these incredibly inspiring stories when you need a dose of positivity in your life <3
My Brother Used to Have Down Syndrome
The greatest thing about children is that they see him for who he is (as my dear childhood friends taught me many moons ago). They welcome him, they smile with him and they laugh. Oh, what a laugh. When Jacob smiles, it is more of a guffaw. My children have asked me why “Uncle Jakie” as he is affectionately called, “speaks different.” I remind them that we all have different struggles and needs and that’s what makes us special. I like the term “special needs” so much more than “disabled.” Jacob isn’t “dis” anything.
You see, according to Jacob, he “used to have Down Syndrome when he was little.” He’s outgrown it and I love him for that.
Click HERE to read more
[VIDEO] Agnes Zhelesnik, America’s Oldest Teacher, Won’t Retire At 99 Years Old
The country’s oldest teacher, Zhelesnik is affectionately referred to as “Granny” at school, CNN reports. She lived through both World Wars and was a stay-at-home mom and wife for 60 years before jumpstarting her teaching career in 1995 at the Sundance School in North Plainfield, N.J. — at the age of 81.
“I love them. They’re my best helpers. That’s the only reason why I come here, is the children,” she said. “The children are the greatest. You know, you have your own, but when it’s these kids, they’re just something else.”
Click HERE to read more
[VIDEO] Cayden And Conner Long, Brothers Who Race In Triathlons Together, Win Sports Illustrated Kids Award
Seven-year-old Cayden Long, who has cerebral palsy, can’t walk or talk without help. But his 9-year-old brother Conner has found a way for him to participate in sports. The brothers race in triathlons – together.
He pulls Cayden, 7, in a raft during the swimming portion of the race. Then, as Conner bikes, a trailer behind him holds Cayden inside. Finally, he pushes that same trailer — still holding Cayden — while running to the finish line.
“If people would race with people who can’t walk or talk, or who have any kind of autism, it might open the eyes of (those) who don’t really care about it,” Conner said in the video.
Click HERE to read more
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A few days ago, I went to the library and picked up a few books I’ve been meaning to read for a while now. One of them was, “Onward: How Starbucks Fought For Its Life WIthout Losing Its Soul” by Howard Shultz.
I don’t think it comes as a surprise to anybody that I’m kind of a self proclaimed Starbucks fanatic; therefore, this book was a must-read for me. I haven’t gotten too far into it yet but I have to admit, it’s pretty gosh darn good…
Here are a few quotes from it that I found to be both inspirational and fantastic
“There are moments in our lives when we summon the courage to make choices that go against reason, against common sense and the wise counsel of people we trust. But we lean forward nonetheless because, despite all risks and rational argument, we believe that the path we are choosing is the right and best thing to do. We refuse to be bystanders, even if we do not know exactly where our actions will lead.
This is the kind of passionate conviction that sparks romances, wins battles, and drives people to pursue dreams others wouldn’t dare. Belief in ourselves and in what is right catapults us over hurdles, and our lives unfold.
“Life is a sum of all your choices,” wrote Albert Camus. Large or small, our actions forge our futures and hopefully inspire others along the way.”
“Work should be personal. For all of us. Not just for the artist and entrepreneur. Work should have meaning for the accountant, the construction worker, the technologist, the manager and the clerk.”
“Large or small, our actions forge our futures, hopefully inspiring others along the way.
Entrepreneurs must love what they do to such a degree that doing it is worth sacrifice and, at times, pain. But doing anything else, we think, would be unimaginable.
In times of adversity and change, we really discover who we are and what we’re made of.
Effective leaders share two intertwined attributes: an unbridled level of confidence about where their organizations are headed, and the ability to bring people along.
Fixing moments, like mopping a dirty floor, only provides short-term satisfaction. But take the time to understand the cause of the problem—like how to keep a floor from getting so dirty in the first place—solves, and maybe eliminates, a problem.
How leaders embody the values they espouse sets a tone, an expectation, that guides their employees’ behaviors.
While I would not want to constantly battle against the odds, the raw feeling of accomplishing something that others did not think possible, or leading people beyond where they thought they could go, is extremely gratifying.”
Side Note: I know this sounds a bit as a plug for the book but I promise you, I’m not getting paid anything for this post. This book is just something I’ve enjoyed greatly and wanted to share with you
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This blog post has been a long time coming. It’s something I’ve put off because I wasn’t sure if I was ready to take this step or not; however, I think it’s about time.
Live Inspired is something that has meant the world to me for many years. It’s a way for me to look back at my life and where I was personally/emotionally when I was living in Nashville, how I felt about moving back to Michigan, and everywhere in between. While it has been an extremely fun ride, it’s time to make a change…
Wait… NO! Oh goodness, no… Did you think I was completely shutting this page down?
I’m not putting Live Inspired in my past but rather, I’m switching things up a little bit. Because I don’t want you to find positivity and inspiration just through my words, I’m going to start adding more quotes, pictures, short stories, news articles, and more to my site. I’m going to continue writing blog posts but Live Inspired will be more than just what I have to say.
By taking this step, I hope the site will provide a little something for everyone. Posts will most likely be more along the lines of “short and sweet” rather than deep and hilarious (hehe). Ideally, I’d love it if my site became something you checked every few days for just a dose of positivity when you needed a pick me up.
This is difficult for me because Live Inspired is my baby. It’s something that I adore, I love, and each and every post has been important to me. I’d love to continue down this path but for myself in my life right now and for what I think I’d like Live Inspired to be in the long run, it’s time to make this necessary change.
I hope that you’ll stick with me through the new changes and perhaps even share your stories, quotes, etc. with me as well.
Let’s work together to create something beautiful and positive.
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Simply said – Those who attempt to start AND finish a 50k+ word novel in 30 days are absolutely, 100% crazy.
However… I am one of those people.
This November, I decided to challenge myself and take the NaNoWriMo challenge. There were SO many times throughout the month where I wanted to quit… No, I shouldn’t just say “quit” because that seems like a calm decision. I should say that there were numerous times throughout the month where I wanted to scream, pull my every single hair out of my scalp, and then throw my laptop across my room.
Yep, I could’ve quit SOOOOOO many times but I didn’t. No, I powered through those 30 days.
Believe it or not, through NaNoWriMo, I actually learned quite about about myself and my work ethic. Yes, it’s true… The acronym I felt incredibly silly saying actually taught me an obscene amount of important life lessons.
1.) Perseverance -
I thought I knew what “perseverance” meant before NaNoWriMo but goodness, was I wrong. There’s nothing more challenging than taking on a challenge with a concrete end goal. It would’ve been one thing to say, “Write as much as you want and see where you get at the end of 30 days,” but that wasn’t the case. NaNoWriMo is set up where you write 1,667 words each day. Then, at the end of the month, you’ll have a 50k novel in your hands or more than likely, on your hard drive.
There were numerous nights I thought, “Ehhh… I’m going to go to bed. I’ll just write double tomorrow,” and then I laid in bed, staring at the ceiling, feeling guilty. Every single time I tried just going to bed, I decided to get up and crank the words out.
I learned that when I say I’ll do something, I do it. It doesn’t matter how hard, absurd, or impossible the challenge seems.
You might skip out on an hour of sleep or work through lunch… but, when you’re REALLY determined… You can (and will) do it.
2.) The Importance of a Challenge -
I love writing. I love blogging. I love putting words down on paper in any way, shape, or form.
I knew that this was a challenge that I wanted to take. It was exciting, it was new, and it involved something I was passionate about. Once again, there were SO many times I just wanted to give up but that’s not what a challenge is about.
You can’t give up on a challenge… You just can’t!
Some people challenge themselves to train for a marathon and some others challenge themselves to write a novel in a month. It doesn’t matter what you train for or goal you set for yourself, you just need to do it!
A challenge gives you something to look forward to, a goal to reach, a reason to push yourself beyond limits you set.
You learn just who you are and what you’re capable of.
3.) Power in Numbers
When signing up for the challenge, I decided to connect with the NaNoWriMo Facebook group. It was a group of people who also willingly gave up sleep, dreamt about their main characters, and wrote every free minute or every day. I felt that if I was going to do this, I was going to do it right.
I can’t tell you how important this group became to me throughout the month. It was where I went at night when I needed to participate in a word sprint (for example: write as much as you can in 20 minutes… Readddyyy? GO!) or if I just needed help getting over writers block. I was a complete stranger and yet the group was always willing to listen and help out whenever possible. So, so wonderful.
Now, maybe your personal challenge doesn’t have a Facebook group to accompany it; however, I urge you to connect with like-minded people. People who are passionate about the same things you are can help you in ways you never expected. Find a club, a group, or a Facebook page of people who like running, drawing, writing, whatever.
Make some new friends and who knows, you could even learn a few things from them.
I didn’t know what to expect when I took this challenge on but I’m definitely pleased with the results. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again… Get out there and do something you love! Challenge yourself to something that seems impossible… You never know what will come of it. For me? Well, I’m a month older, I’m wiser AND I can say that I’m an author
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I’m Lindsay!!!! Most people in the health and motivation community call me Aly, because of my company name, ALY Warriors LLC. ALY stands for: Always, Love Yourself, and I created this name because I was in a place for too long where I did not love myself, nor felt any self worth.
I am in my mid-thirties (Yikes!), a wife, a mother of three; I have two dogs and a lot of love to share. During the past ten years of my life, I was a police officer, and really thought my career was going somewhere important - I felt I was climbing the company ladder.
I was the first female K9 handler in the history of my department. I was the first female to be behind the trigger of an officer involved shooting. I was a defensive tactics instructor, and I had a passion for helping others.
My life revolved around the value I placed on myself at work. I was working full time, raising kids, being a wife, homemaker, friend, team mom, cook, taxi driver, baker, etc… I was always trying to stay slightly ahead of EVERYTHING in life, walking a high wire, trying not to fall.
Three years ago my entire world changed, Due to the negative world that I was exposed to day in and day out, and being let down by those I thought, “had my back” and were supposed to back me up on the dangerous streets, I developed severe depression, anxiety, and major stress. This was caused from working too hard to please others, compare myself to others, and caring too much about what others thought of me. Through this devastation, I realized I was truly not living the life I should have been; I had surrounded myself with negativity and I needed to pull myself out. I realized we have two people in life we really need to please, God and ourselves. I had wasted so many years searching for this “MAGIC” to create my best life, and the entire time it was right here inside of ME.
The first step I took was to remove myself from the negative and surround myself with positive people; this led to my ALY Facebook page. I began it less than a year ago, for the purpose of giving myself daily affirmations just to get through the day. I had no lust for life, but felt compelled to create a positive bubble around me. Spending hours a day looking for positive quotes, and pictures created a drive I had been missing. I started to share them daily on my page and realized so many other people were also struggling and just needed some POSITIVITY and support in their lives!!!
I earned my Bachelor of Arts Degree in Communication from San Diego State University and will obtain my Master of Arts Degree in Cross-Cultural Education (pending my thesis defense) from National University, San Diego.
I am certified in Sport’s Nutrition and Personal Training. Currently I am enrolled in the Institute of Integrated Nutrition. My supportive husband, Brian, had the idea of beginning a family business linking it all together: positivity- fitness- nutrition- life coaching- public speaking- creating joy and fortitude.
During our relationship, we have signed our cards and notes with ALY, which stood for: Always Love You!! One night I had a dream about our company, and the ALY stood for: ALWAYS LOVE YOURSELF, because people tend to do for others but not to themselves. We thought this is what we needed to build on, helping others learn to LOVE themselves, showing them ways to find their worth.
I believe we all have a purpose in this world, and are handed trials for a specific reason.
I believe this allow us to see how strong we can become, and shows us our worth and potential.
We need to be our own best friend, our #1 cheerleader, and learn to love ourselves unconditionally. I did not need a “good ‘ol boys network” feeding my ego, while all the time they were trying to Edge this Girl Out. I needed a community of positivity around me. I am worthy, I have a testimony, I have traveled down roads that many others struggle with, and now I can be an advocate and help others #createjoy.
I want to motivate, encourage, and inspire you to LIVE YOUR BEST LIFE. I want to help you reach your goals, face your fears, and have the fortitude to get through any obstacle life throws at you! Life is too short so #createjoy.
Editors Note: Check out ALY Warriors by visiting their Facebook Page or their website!
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