Woman Wednesday: Helaina, 911 Survivor

*Note: Woman Wednesday is a part of our blog. Each Woman Wednesday post will feature a woman who would like to share information in the hopes of inspiring and motivating other women. Comments are welcome below.        

Helaina Hovitz from New York, New York

Helaina Hovitz was twelve and in middle school three blocks from the World Trade Center on September 11th, 2001.

“I started trying to put myself back together—first, in 12-step programs, where I learned to stop relying on substances to quiet the chatter in my mind.”


Anyone who has survived a horrific event knows that just because a body remains in motion does not mean everything will simply “go back to normal.” The chemistry of the brain and the body changes, impacting our relationships, our choices, and how we experience the world around us. Yet, we rarely find out what actually happens to people as they try to move on from a life-threatening experience—especially children, who are just beginning to develop an understanding of the world around them.


You remember where you were on September 11, 2001. We all do. For me, it was the second day of seventh grade at I.S. 89, the middle school just three blocks from the World Trade Center. My first-period teacher, Mr. H., was beginning a lesson when what sounded like a giant whirring motor interrupted him. Moments later a teacher knocked on the door and told us that someone had bombed the World Trade Center. We were quickly ushered to the cafeteria.

No one at the school knew what had really happened, but shortly after the second plane hit the South Tower, the bomb squad burst in and announced that we had to evacuate. Droves of hysterical parents arrived to take their kids. My mom and dad were stuck at their offices, but I spotted my neighbor Ann and her son Charles, whom I walked to school with every day. I wanted to go home. They could get me there. Through the oppressive smoke and ash, we tried to make it back, but police blocked our usual route. The street under us rumbled. Shards of glass and concrete screeched down all around. “Cover your faces!” Ann shouted. “Don’t look back, and run!”


At 22, I identified as an alcoholic and was often the youngest one in many of the 12-step meeting rooms (I didn’t need to go to rehab). I never picked up a drink again. Life became more fun than it had ever really been because my feelings were real. Girls my own age wanted to be friends and hang out with me, do things like go to the movies or have brunch. There was plenty to do that didn’t involve drinking when you knew where to look for it, and about two years into sobriety, when I had worked on myself, not just through CBT, DBT, meditation, and the steps, I had rebuilt the life and identity I never had the chance to when my world came crashing down at age 12. Like the woman I had only imagined, I would be my wildest fantasies—calm, patient, clever, understanding, selfless, and rational—I began to build a life and welcome people into it who made me feel happy.

Most of all, these tools made me feel safe in the world again, and safe in my own skin. Safe in my own ability to be “okay” no matter how painful or stressful things got. Changing my perspective and expectations for “fun” also changed the game—when I started thinking about what I could bring to or contribute to a situation, how I could help someone else laugh or feel happy, rather than what I could “get from it.”

A wise teacher once told me that before you can feel happy, or loved, or give love or make someone else happy, you have to feel safe. And that was when life became fun: because I had the capacity to feel it.

Through meditation, I found peace between my thoughts. Through yoga, which can still be a challenge, I began to focus on the moment. Now, when the subway stops suddenly, my adrenaline doesn’t surge. I distract myself with emails, listen to my favorite song, or think about what’s for dinner. Panic wants to creep in, but its seduction doesn’t work anymore. I can let it go. [Eighteen years ago] today, more than 3,000 people died and more than 6,000 were injured. Thousands more survived but were forever changed—myself among them. But today, I’m finally able to move on. I’ve learned the best way to work through my fear is simply to stay still. No more reaching, no more fighting. And no more running.

I have shared my story with the world.

In many ways, After 9/11 is the story of an entire generation growing up in the aftermath of America’s darkest day. It is the story of a group of children who directly survived September 11th, 2001, and bore its invisible scars for the rest of their lives. And, for one young woman, it is the story of a survivor who, after witnessing the end, got to make a new beginning.


The events and experiences that are now common knowledge to everyone were a very real part of Helaina’s life, and are still as vivid in her memory today: the sickening thud of falling bodies hitting cars, the crumbling towers, running for her life as she tried to get home, her universe engulfed literally in a cloud. Hundreds, including Helaina, were stranded in the neighborhood, also just blocks from the fiery remains of the Towers, without phones or electricity or anyone to help. For fear of subsequent attacks, not to mention the toxic substances in the air, everyone was urged to stay inside their debris-filled apartments.


Helvaina’s page

Medium feature

Glamour feature

Thank you for reading. What’s your experience or memory of 9/11?

Comment below.


Woman Wednesday: Lisa

*Note: Woman Wednesday is a part of our blog. Each Woman Wednesday post will feature a woman who would like to share information in the hopes of inspiring and motivating other women. Comments are welcome below.        

Q and A with Lisa, Saskatchewan, Canada

“Take care and love yourself. You are worth loving! You have everything you need inside of yourself. You have the cognitive power to improve your life through your thoughts and emotions.”


Q: What are you passionate about?

A: There are many things that I’m passionate about…#1 is family–my two kids, Elle and Jude, and my husband, Elvis. Plus, our parents, siblings, and extended family too!




Next, I’m passionate about music (Arcadia), modeling, travel, language, and pretty much anything to do with marketing, film, and ecommerce. 

I used to study and perform opera. To me, opera is like traveling through language, time and space. You get to glimpse into an old world, different languages and almost forgotten culture through your whole body. I eventually crossed over into Americana and French-English Electro (Mine Tonite). My music has been featured at the Cannes Music Festival, aired on radio and TV stations in France (Come 2 Me). I’m a HUGE Beatles nerd/fan on top of it – they’ve been a major influence on my music and life. 






For travel, I’ve lived on and explored 4 continents/about 23 countries so far. I’ve done school exchanges in Quebec, France, Croatia, and China. Traveling is like a hunger that can never be satisfied–once I do a trip, multiple others show up on my travel list.





For marketing, from a young age, I learned sales techniques from my parents, who at the time, were selling Amway. I graduated high school with a chemical technology scholarship but quickly decided that was not the route for me (even though I adore chemical bonding!). I got a job as a sales rep for The Source (formerly Radio Shack). I was the only female employee at the time, but within 3 weeks, I soaked up so much information and performed so well that I was promoted to Assistant Manager. Within a few months, I became the top sales person in the province and the first female to hit that position. I knew I had found my calling (well, one of them). 



Afterwards, I traveled for about a year in Australia and Asia then I moved to Kelowna, BC ,to start my bachelor’s degree in business administration majoring in marketing. After my first year of business, I did a summer French exchange to La Pocatiere, Quebec, where I learned French (in 5 weeks!), guitar, dance, and fell madly in love with opera. In my third year of business, I did exchanges in Caen, Normandy, France, and Zagreb, Croatia. I traveled to about 14 European countries while modelling, acting, and recording music–it was so incredible! 




In 2013, I completed my BBA in marketing and started working in media and film in Kelowna, BC. I dabbled in ecommerce a bit but I didn’t catch on…yet. I was on the board of an independent film nonprofit called OSIF. I moved to Vancouver in 2015 to pursue film, music, and marketing, but I got side-tracked with a relationship…I ended up moving around feeling lost and started a business with my ex. 


I became pregnant with my 1st child and things started to go sideways. Pressure started to build and my ex could not handle it and turned to drugs and alcohol to cope with all the stress. He started cheating on me and became abusive to my daughter and I–mainly verbally, but it started to build and build with more physical, mental, sexual, and emotional controlling abuse. It was not a surprise that I became pregnant with baby #2. 




The abuse got to a very intense and scary place. Luckily, my sister came to save me and brought my family into the discussion as I had been hiding it for a long time. That’s something I learned later on that’s a typical reaction to controlling abuse is becoming a “battered woman”. This is where the woman (or man) being abused ends up so controlled they feel they have to hide and protect their abuser. My abuser controlled me in many ways, but one thing he would do was threaten to commit suicide if I didn’t forgive him. He even cheated on me when I was 7 months pregnant with my daughter, he blamed me for it, then said he was going to kill himself over and over again until I said I forgave him.


At age 30, I was a pregnant single mom moving into my parent’s basement. I was completely broke, anemic, depressed, could not find work, I was not eligible for maternity leave (I ended up going on social assistance/ welfare) and was on the road to bankruptcy. My ex was using our business cash flow for drugs, which was a very expensive habit. It felt like I was living in a nightmare. 


Thankfully, I went to counselling, I meditated every day, and after applying for 100s of jobs, I said “screw this!” and started my own business back up again–Unbound Market. I took every free e-course, downloaded every free e-book, and watched tons of YouTube videos to learn as much as I could about ecommerce and online business. Out of my darkest time, I was able to rebuilt my life and find myself again. It was extremely hard to go through it, but now I’m grateful for everything because I am pretty much indestructible now–I focus on what I love, and I leave behind the old negativity behind.




I was born and raised in Saskatoon, SK. We have extreme weather here. +30c in summer and -40c in winter, sometimes -50c to -60c with the wind chill (86f summer, -22f to -76f winter). I enjoy finding the silver lining in most situations–the cold is excellent for reducing inflammation and has anti-aging effects. I spent many winters tobogganing under the northern lights soaking in the light vibrations. And, many summers camping at nearby lakes (Saskatchewan has over 100,000 lakes). I have 2 siblings–a sister and brother, I’m the youngest and pretty much got away with everything and still do! 


Typically, I’m a girly girl but with camping and lots of outdoor activities, it’s helped me to not be afraid of getting my hands dirty. Also, being able to appreciate things on a deeper level. I know what it’s like to have nothing but family. I’m so grateful and appreciative of my life every second of every day. 




When I was younger, I felt like there was so much more out there that I needed to experience. That feeling helped me to get out of my comfort zone and I sought out those experiences traveling to 23 countries, studying 6 languages, creating 3 bilingual music videos, being a board member of a nonprofit film group, working on commercials and TV movies in Kelowna and Vancouver, BC, modeling all over Canada and Europe, being signed with multiple agencies, completing my bachelor’s degree in business administration specializing in marketing, international business, and linguistics, plus giving birth twice with no epidurals.




Q: What is something valuable you’ve learned that you’d like others to know? 

A: First, ladies (and gentlemen), if a person uses suicide as a way of getting out of guilt from bad things they’ve done, give them a self-help pamphlet and please run away as fast as you can. I know that’s harsh but even if you think you can help them, you can’t they can only make that decision themselves. Here’s a video I recently posted about overcoming an abusive relationship that gives a bit more insight to my story.




Second, YOU are amazing!! Take care and love yourself. You are worth loving!! You have everything you need inside of yourself. You have the cognitive power to improve your life through your thoughts and emotions. If you’re stuck in a bad relationship or situation, know you have the power to change that. I highly recommend EFT (tapping- it’s like a full body reset), cognitive thought therapy (to reverse negative thought patterns and even disease–Louise Hay is amazing!), forest bathing and grounding (get outside for at least 10 minutes per day), and take your vitamins (B12, Magnesium, Zinc, Vitamin C & D and Iron are my go-tos along with Cardioflex). And lastly, meditation (or calm breathing if you prefer)…it is by far the most powerful technique to manifesting your true desires. Solfeggio frequencies are usually my go-tos–they can help repair your DNA! 


I posted about my recent marriage and how my life has turned around significantly in 2 years through manifestation and energy healing. I hope by sharing my story, I can encourage others to overcome trauma and create the life they truly desire and ultimately deserve.




I met my now husband, Elvis, when I was 6 months pregnant! At certain points, I never thought it would be possible to meet and trust a man. But I had this overwhelming feeling of love and I heard a voice that said, “Go for it!”. Something just clicked, we met and fell in love. He was so understanding of my situation and was like the perfect puzzle piece to the kids and I. 


Elvis came to the hospital a couple hours after my son Jude was born on January 20th, 2018. Just under a year later, we got engaged on my birthday January 10th, 2019, and started wedding planning asap. There’s been many other ups and downs (I had 3 surgeries within a year–check my YouTube, as I’ll be posting videos about those soon). Elvis has stuck with me through so much! I’m so grateful for him and the kids! And, grateful for staying strong with loving myself and manifesting my true desires.




Q: What does feminism mean to you? 

A: Feminism, to me, is a very loaded subject. I’ve tended to work in male-dominated fields (such as selling electronics, film and ecommerce). Being the only female gave me huge advantages. One of my favorite (dis)advantages was being underestimated. I constantly surprised people with my knowledge, ideas, and expertise. I’ve had older males literally push past me asking “I wanna talk to a man”. Once they realized I was in a management position and knew so much, they’d be shaking my hand while leaving the store or after signing a business contract. 

I personally prefer female empowerment over feminism. I feel women are rising up greater than we have been able to in many lifetimes. We’re taking over and the world will be a better place from it. 


Connect with me! I’d love to chat with you! 

Links: Unbound Market is business and Unbound Heart is personal.

Website Unbound Market

Facebook Unbound Market 

Facebook Unbound Heart

YouTube Unbound Market

Youtube Unbound Heart

Twitter Unbound Market

Twitter Unbound Heart

Instagram Unbound Market




Thoughts, questions, or comments?

Comment below! 🙂

Woman Wednesday: Porsche

*Note: Woman Wednesday is a part of our blog. Each Woman Wednesday post will feature a woman who would like to share information in the hopes of inspiring and motivating other women. Comments are welcome below.        

Q and A with Porsche, Nashville, Tennessee  

“Heal, be vulnerable, laugh, eat great food, and do what you love. My story has tons of pain and then happiness, but what you should learn is I spent far too long in pain…heal the wounds as quickly as possible.”


Q: What are you passionate about?

A: I am most passionate about helping women find their strength. I am an independent consultant with Paparazzi and Arbonne. I’m also an author and speaker. I am currently working on my brand, Introvertd Entrepreneur, book and my first dropshipping site. I am also a yoga instructor, so wholeness is very important to me. I found my passions through trauma, hardships, and finding my faith.




Q: What were your younger years like?

A: I grew up the eldest of three in a single-parent household. There was trauma that I was exposed to early in life, including the absence of my father. I learned early the importance of hard work to change my circumstances. Over the years, I have also learned that freedom is more important to me than anything.





Q: What is something valuable you’ve learned that you’d like others to know? 

A: I have learned life is far too short to focus solely on meaningless things. Heal, be vulnerable, laugh, eat great food, and do what you love. My story has tons of pain and then happiness, but what you should learn is I spent far too long in pain…heal the wounds as quickly as possible.







Q: What does feminism mean to you? 

A: Feminism is to celebrate women wholeheartedly. Complete equality.



Like my pages on Facebook here: 




Follow me on Instagram: 






YouTube : Introvertd Entrepreneur

Blog: introvertdentrepreneur.business.blog


Shop sites: 





Connect with me! I’d love to chat with you! 

Comment below!

Woman Wednesday: Nancy

*Note: Woman Wednesday is a part of our blog. Each Woman Wednesday post will feature a woman who would like to share information in the hopes of inspiring and motivating other women. Comments are welcome below.        

Q and A with Nancy, Puerto Rico

“Life is all about working with what bothers us, not giving power to the problem but looking for solutions. And it is precisely why I tell my story. I had all the reasons to give up and be a “no one” in life.”


Q: Tell us about yourself.

A: I was born in North Carolina, USA, but I grew up in Puerto Rico. I have an incredible mix of culture and beliefs and I’m fully bilingual, thanks to this.  I’m the mother of a girl who is 17 and a boy who is 9. I’m a coach, educator, lecturer/motivator, host of a radio program “Lazos Latinos” and businesswoman–President of Family Secret Helpers, Inc., and Founder of the projects: BEmpower Women, Strong Military Family and Fundación Félix Fuentes. Also, I’m the creator of the event Mujer Empoderando (a women empowerment event).


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Q: What are you passionate about?

A: I love to help and empower people, families, couples, and the community. Seeing the transformation in people is something incredible. Many times, people just need help, a word of motivation to help them take a step and get out of their current situation, turn their passions/ideas into a business or make decisions. I like to work for causes, give a voice to those that can’t talk, help the needy, put on the worker’s boots, and reach out to those who feel lost. These things bring me emotion. I feel that I am collaborating to make our world better, and I know it may sound very common, but it is a reality, the satisfaction that I get when I see the transformations is one of the best feelings that I have been able to experience.


Another detail is that I feel good knowing that my kids are seeing me as a positive example. After all, they are the future. Seeing their faces when we achieve a goal and see them get involved in our projects gives me peace knowing that whatever happens, our legacy will continue for generations. I worked for 11 years as a teacher and then I directed educational projects in a nonprofit corporation. I became certified in coaching and studied psychology, all in order to be able to help people.




In 2012, I founded my nonprofit corporation, Family Secret Helpers, Inc. During the last few years, we have been able to help families, people, and communities. We have had ups and downs, but today, we are on a very good road. Family Secret Helpers has a mission to provide empowerment tools to people who need to balance their lives and rebuild their relationships–personally and professionally through our events, training programs, and coaching training.



Q: What were your younger years like?

A: The first years of my life were very difficult. My parents got divorced when I was 12. My mother understood that the best thing for my brother and I was to live in Puerto Rico. When I lived with both of my parents, I experienced domestic violence. I swore that if one day I was a mother, I would do everything possible so that my children would not go through what my brother and I lived through. Thanks to the experiences, today I am who I am and I am dedicated to helping people.




Q: What is something valuable you’ve learned that you’d like others to know? 

A: We have all gone through times when we thought we could not continue, moments when we thought we could not get out of that situation, at which time we felt that the roof of our house was falling on us.

The reality is that we all have drowned in a glass of water. We have all faced great challenges. We all have failed. We have all had a voice that has told us that we cannot do it. We have all been through a betrayal. Some have experienced more intensity than others, but we all have lived a moment in our lives that we would like to erase or not remember. The question is, what stops you from living that life which you have dreamed? The answer: YOU!


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During the last few years, I have had the opportunity to work with many people, help them find their passion, find the tools so they can live the life they have always dreamed of and overcome their fear to make important decisions in their life. I remember one Sunday, after finishing my radio program, I received a phone call from one of the radio listeners, who thanked me because she had been thinking about committing suicide. I can tell you that moment I had goosebumps, she told me for some reason she had put on the station and listened to the program that day, the words I had said helped her understand that the solution was not to end her life, but to face that which tormented her so much.

Life is all about working with what bothers us, not giving power to the problem but looking for solutions. And it is precisely why I tell my story. I had all the reasons to give up and be a “no one” in life. I offer people tools so that they can leave the comfort zone and dare them to start doing wonderful things and see life with different eyes. I know that those who lived with me during the dark stages of my life are surprised with who I became, as I’m also sure that those who know me now would be surprised to know that I had such a dark past.

Most people, especially women, think about the idea that we should live the life that society has prescribed for us. If we deviate from that path, they ridicule us, label us, and isolate us.


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Q: What does feminism mean to you? 

A: Feminism is a movement that pursues social change by combating the discrimination suffered by women for the simple fact of being a woman. In these times, there are countries where being a woman is really complicated due to the suppression of rights and the discrimination that exists. There are places where women, for the simple fact of being so, have to fight against social barriers and injustices: forced marriage, veto in politics, or wage inequality–just some of them.

I confess that as I write these lines, my eyes are full of tears. I find it so difficult to believe in these times there are so many women living a life with so many limitations, submerged to what society decides.


book cover Compartiendo Vivencias (1)




Today, there are many women who are in charge of organizations that serve to empower women. Groups that help other women to leave abusive relationships. Companies that offer women tools to convert their ideas and passions into businesses. One of these is our project, BEmpower Women. Like this project, there are many groups to support you. This means that you are not alone and that there is no reason to walk on this new route alone.

What I have learned with my work is the power of women. We have to be available, open, and receptive to make enormous transformations in us. I invite you to continue, believe, empower yourself, and to know you will find excellent tools that will help and motivate you. Don’t ever give up!

Finally, my mission does not end–while there are women who are not yet free. Empowering women and fighting for the rights of women is a mission I will continue for many years.

Links to my site/social media:

Website/Blog: www.familysecrethelpers.com




Family Secret Helpers has other projects:

– Strong Military Family helps to empower and assist veterans, military, and their families.
– BEmpower Women empowers women in different facets of their lives.
– Fundación Felix Fuentes, the most recent project that joined our services, offers support groups, coaching, and assistance to those who are experiencing the grieving process.
– Mujer Empoderando event gives women who are business owners the opportunity to exhibit, promote, and sell their products and services. In the event, we also offer talks and workshop in the business, personal growth, beauty, health, and lifestyle areas.

In addition, I am the author of the book, Compartiendo Vivencias, which is for sale at amazon.com. The book’s goal is to empower those who read it. I am in the process of finishing my second book, Empútate. This book is going to empower, inspire, and motivate women.

To learn more about what we do, you can visit www.familysecrethelpers.com


Connect with me! I’d love to chat with you! 

Comment below!

Woman Wednesday: Chloe

*Note: Woman Wednesday is a part of our blog. Each Woman Wednesday post will feature a woman who would like to share information in the hopes of inspiring and motivating other women. Comments are welcome below.        

Q and A with Chloe, Sydney, Australia 

“You’ve got one life and you get to take responsibility for it and make it what you want.”


Q: What are you passionate about?

A: It might sound a little cliche, but I am incredibly passionate about helping others see what is possible and go for it! So many of us, including me a few years back, have been conditioned to feel and stay stuck in our health, careers, travel, following our dreams; that’s got to change. And so I tied that in with my passion for the past 9 years of business strategy, from supporting my corporate clients through to now in business utilizing unique and free strategies to have female health coaches go from zero to fully booked out using organic and free marketing methods. ️




So now, with the two combined, I help health coaches get more clients so they can help others change habits that are holding them back from living their best life and coolest job ever! And the best part, I’ve been able to travel and work 10-15 hours per week to make such an awesome impact! And this is what I stress as important as well, to establish balance right from the get-go. And because my 1-1 spots are filled, I decided to focus the rest of this year on bringing the very same Passion to Prosperity blueprint that had me go from zero to fully booked out as health coach to more certified health coaches in more affordable ways. I’m so excited!




Q: What were your younger years like?

A: I moved around a lot as a kid and it makes me wonder if that created a lot of resilience in moving schools, leaving friends behind, and starting again. Resilience has been essential for me in the past few years to really go for my dreams, fall on my face, and get back up.




Family life was awesome, we are such a tight family–with me, my sister, and my parents. We had to be close since we truly relied on each other with moving so often. Our parents really pushed us to finish school and go to university, an opportunity they didn’t really get to make the most of. So, both my sister and I  studied psychology; we’ve always been so fascinated with human behavior.




I think I would be on a different trajectory if I hadn’t gone to university. I wonder if I would have been called back in coaching and mentoring others or if I would have seen that as an opportunity for me. Now, I run a successful business in mentoring people who are leading the change in health and wellness and helping people to experience life fully. I couldn’t ask for better work if I tried!





Q: What is something valuable you’ve learned that you’d like others to know? 

A: I dreamed about leaving a legacy for a long time. I had no idea what kind of legacy, but I was always waiting for something to happen (like winning the lotto without entering…). And after I was locked up in a cell for nearly a day in a very dangerous situation (for a visa issue), it got me thinking very clearly that I was responsible for my life completely and only I could decide and create my own legacy.




Q: What does feminism mean to you? 

A: Feminism for me is about having a dream and going for it unapologetically and without permission–you’ve got one life and you get to take responsibility for it and make it what you want.

People will probably read that and think, “Yeah, but I have to look after the kids,” or “I have to pay the bills,” or “I can’t afford it,” or “I’m not allowed,” or something else, and ultimately, we are responsible to put our family and safety first, but if you got to 90 years old and looked back on your life, would you be proud? Would your kids be proud and inspired? Or would you wish you had done something differently?




In my coaching career, I’ve met so many people who feel stuck because of responsibility, others who they’ve given their power to say no and as a result, they’ve put their lives on hold, resenting and regretting not going for their dreams sooner. You don’t want to have a terrifying experience like getting locked in a cell to be the deciding factor on you taking charge and doing something with your life–TRUST ME!




So, I know what’s important for me is to look back and have left a legacy, to have made an impact on people’s lives in the most positive sense, to have shown my kids what they dream is possible and to go for it, and to have actively chosen to figure out how to have everything I need in terms of money, fulfilment, relationships, passion, and just life in general.

And I hope that others see that, too.

You can contact me through:
Check out my website here:


Connect with me! I’d love to chat with you! 

Comment below!