Woman Wednesday: Christine


Q and A with Christine, Boulder, Colorado

“When I did say ‘yes’ to trying something new and get out of my comfort zone, I almost always had a blast and was so proud that I accomplished something new.”


Q: What are you passionate about? 

A: I’m passionate about many things such as business, health, family, God, and helping people thrive by bringing them up and helping them see their potential that they have lost seeing. I currently am a project control analyst at Ball Aerospace, and I love my job so much. I get to work for an amazing company that provides crucial ideas, objects, and units that help keep our country safe from the ground up. As a young woman, starting my career at a place like Ball is empowering. I feel respected, I feel valued for all my opinions, I’m learning so many new things every day, and I get to use my passion for helping those around me by leading team meetings that remind everyone that even though we are working from home, we are a team and we are here for each other. I get to facilitate Q&A’s that the team have and haven’t voiced since working remotely has made people lose their voice that much more. By leading these team meetings, I help rebuild and restore our strength as a team, I get to build people back up and give them a place to vent all their worries, questions, and concerns, while also allowing them to have a place to speak their mind and say what’s working best for them and what they want to see happen in the future. From these meetings, management gets to hear from us all and everyone’s ideas, concerns, and voices all get heard and people couldn’t be happier, which makes me so happy. I thrive knowing I’m helping others to thrive and feel confident too!


Q: What were your younger years like?

A: My younger years were amazing; I couldn’t of asked for a better childhood. I grew up in Boulder, Colorado, in a great area and apartment complex where all us kids would constantly play outside together, explore what nature had to offer, and we all felt safe even though there wasn’t always a parent watching over us all. I’m the youngest of two; I have an older brother and having him made me feel as though I got interested in what men liked too like sports, video games, and wrestling around with one another. I am very girly, but because of him, I also am a girl that doesn’t mind getting her knees dirty, playing videos games with my boyfriend, and watching sports. My mom was a stay at home mom when we both were very young. She cooked and cleaned the house daily, she took naps with us, and really just made the house so warm and loving. My dad owned a restaurant at the local mall that was down the street from our house and, because of that, we went to the mall often for the free food and the really fun arcade place they had there. Having the freedom to be around so many kids in my community and then being able to run around the mall knowing everyone knew my brother and I (that we were my dad’s kids), they all would watch over us and we always felt so safe and a huge sense of community.

There is truly nothing better than being exposed to a diverse group of people at such young ages. It helped us understand other cultures. I grew up as both Christian and Catholic. God has always been at the forefront of my life. I have a big heart, and growing up with my dad owning a restaurant, whenever other kids from my school or neighborhood were hungry, my brother and I would take them to eat at my dad’s restaurant and my dad was always more than happy to feed anyone for free that needed the help. I learned how to give and help others in their time of need at a young age. My dad was always helping anyone out that truly needed it. God has always placed me where I needed to be in order to help the people He needed me to help and in order to thrive in areas He needed me to thrive in. Being able to help people and to motivate them and spread positivity in this world has always brought me so much pleasure, and I know that that comes from my religion and love for God and the love He has placed in me and the compassion and love He gave me for other people.


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

A: Something valuable I’ve learned that I want others to know is that life is too short. As we’ve all heard this many times in our life, it’s true. I blew off group gatherings before because I was tired or wasn’t in the mood that night. I’ve wasted some opportunities to go out and try new things because I was nervous to do so or too scared, and I’ve said no to potential job opportunities because I wasn’t sure if it was for me. We’ve all done things like that, and what I’ve learned was when I did say ‘yes’ and push through to go out with friends even though I was so tired, I almost always ended up having such a great time. When I did say ‘yes’ to trying something new and get out of my comfort zone, I almost always had a blast and was so proud that I accomplished something new. And when I did allow a random job opportunity to come into my life, it didn’t always work out, but sometimes, even if I left with just meeting inspiring and wonderful people, that was worth it to me. Life is too short to be unhappy, to over stress, to worry and be anxious. We don’t truly take advantage of every day, every minute, and every waking breath we are given by God. We need to let go of the nonsense, worry and stress less, get rid of toxic people and habits in our lives, and learn to take advantage of our everyday gifts of life. Meet new people, try new things, say ‘yes’ to the chances you do have to hang with the people you love, put yourself out there every once and a while, and don’t waste your life. You never want to look back and say, “I wish I did that, I wish I said yes, I wish I could hang with that person just one more time, etc.” You want to know that you lived a good life, made your mistakes, but came back stronger every time and really love that life you are living with the right people in your life and the right career. Life is too short, be happy, love hard, giggle as loud as you want, and eat that piece of cake!


Q: What does feminism mean to you? 

A: Feminism means a few things to me. It means equal pay and equal rights amongst men and women, but it’s also more than that. When females come together and build each other up instead of tear each other down, I love that. I love seeing women who feel weak be empowered by other women, have their crown readjusted and put back together by other women helping them and rebuilding them to be the strong, confident queens. I hate seeing women tear each other apart through their own insecurities. When we come together, help each other out, build each other’s confidences back up, and stay strong together, we are one heck of a tight force that no one can then mess with. Empowering each other, inspiring and motivating one another, and pushing each other further than our comfort zone makes my heart full and that to me is what feminism should be all about.


Q: Is there anything else you want to tell readers?

A: I want to thank Samantha for reaching out to me and giving me this opportunity to be a part of this wonderful website. When she did that, it reiterated how I love when people are so kind to one an another and when you can inspire people you don’t even know is watching. I love inspiring people for the positive and knowing I somehow did that to her by posting my usual posts, that felt amazing. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to be a part of this!

Thank you for reading!



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Woman Wednesday: Kripa

*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 Kripa, from Fiji, living in Melbourne, Australia.

“Whilst the struggle was raw, real, and overwhelming, it was one of the best things that happened to me. It was the start of a deeply personal and spiritual transformation that brought me back to who I am and what I stand for.”


Q: What are you passionate about?

A: I am passionate about empowering women to be seen and heard with confidence through authentic self-expression and wellbeing. There is nothing more captivating than seeing another woman show up in her truth, authenticity, and wholeness. For those that love Netflix and have watched Self Made and Becoming, you will know exactly what I am talking about.

I grew up in a conservative family and culture where women stayed at home, made sure meals were available on time, and looked after children whilst men went to work to earn an income to provide for the family. A woman was seen through her meals, upbringing of her children, and upkeep of the house. Her role was to work behind the scenes and not be seen or heard for who she really was and what she desired. This way of living was defined by customs and traditions which were passed down for many generations and shaped a lot of who I was and who I became in my earlier years.

 

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Following the tradition, at the age of 22, I found myself in an arranged marriage to a man who neither my family nor I knew much about. I moved from Fiji to New Zealand with my then-husband and 12 months later, I moved to Australia. After being married for three years, moving to two countries, having bought a house in Australia within 12 months of arriving, and having a good job, I was deeply unhappy and felt unsafe and unloved. This marriage was not built on love; the idea of an arranged marriage is to fall in love once you are married and as you get to know each other. My parents, grandparents, my great grandparents, uncles, and cousins have been in arranged marriages, which have been quite successful.

Unfortunately for me, I was married to a narcissist who knew my family and friends were far away and the only person I could rely on was him. I tried marriage counseling, personal coaching, changed my work arrangements, and no matter how hard I tried, there was nothing I could do to save this marriage. When we divorced (culturally a big no-no), I found myself homeless on the streets of Melbourne with no roof over my head in a foreign country with $0 in my bank account and no family or friends. I hit rock bottom.

The only thing I had was my job. At that time, I had two options, to stay or to move back to Fiji with my family. I chose to stay.

Whilst the struggle was raw, real, and overwhelming, it was one of the best things that happened to me. It was the start of a deeply personal and spiritual transformation that brought me back to who I am and what I stand for. Through my struggles, experience, and journey, I met so many other women who were going through similar experiences who needed help and support and most of all wanted to be seen and heard for who they truly were.

My own journey and experience became my passion and has been for many years except, I did not fully realize it until I found more and more women asking me for help, support, and guidance which gave birth to my business.
I help my clients by sharing the same tools, techniques, and resources that have helped me to go from:
✨Being homeless to owning two properties
✨$0 to multi-six figure income
✨A narcissist relationship to soul-mate love
My biggest achievement by far has been my ability to be myself 24/7 and unapologetically show up in my divine truth in alignment with my purpose, passion, and path-priceless.

 

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Q: What were your younger years like?

A: On 28 December 2019, I lost my father, my best friend. He passed away with stage 4 cancer. He was such a brave man and he never gave up. My father was my champion, my mentor, and my greatest supporter. He taught me to value education (he was a top performer in his class, but he was forced to drop out because he failed English being his second language). Among many other things, he taught me the values of kindness, care, love, and independence.

Losing him has been the biggest wake-up call for me. In his last days, I learned many things; he wanted to travel, retire (he was 65), spend more time with mum and his children (we all live in different countries). His passing has made me realize that LIFE IS TOO SHORT and enough with the excuses.

After being back from his funeral, I hired two coaches so I could start to serve more deeply and do what I am here to do in this lifetime which is to empower 5 million women to be seen and heard and to protect the planet and its inhabitants (around the same time as the Australian Bushfires). This is what motivates me, this is why I show up, and this is why I do everything I do.

Getting this clarity for me has been priceless and being able to serve and support other women on their journey a blessing.

PS My grandmother passed away on 7 May 2020 (she was the last grandparent alive for many years and was a pillar of strength for me and my family). She was a strong woman who lived through hardship and poverty and raised seven children. She was one of the strongest women I knew and her passing has made me even more determined in my mission to serve, empower, and show up for women who know there is more to life and want to live a full, happy, and healthy life which is their birthright.

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

A: Happiness is not something you seek; it is something you feel. It is available to you whenever and wherever you choose whilst being you.

 

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Q: What does feminism mean to you?

A: Feminism to me is being who you are and showing up in your wholeness, fullness, and being-ness. It is about embracing all parts of yourself; the feminine and masculine while being AUTHENTIC to who you are at the very core of your being. It is about embracing and living in alignment with your divine truth with ease grace and flow.

 

 

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Woman Wednesday: Thao

*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 Thao, Newark, California

“It’s best to live life to the fullest of our ability, and it’s critical to keep going and get back up when life knocks you down.”

Q: What are you passionate about?

A: I am passionate about connecting with and helping people! I have been a stay-at-home mom with a home-based business, but prior to that, I was working in corporate in the human resources field. Despite being great at my HR jobs, I was not fulfilled. Then I became a full-time stay-at-home mom, and that has been challenging. For years, I felt guilty about not fully enjoying being at home with my kids as much as I thought. The thing is, I know to my core that I’m made for more. It was not until I decided to take a huge leap of faith last year and started my home-based business that I finally feel empowered to create my own joy.

I now have a balanced life in that I get to be home with my children but also have something of my own! Aside from the flexibility, what I love about my current job is I get to help and impact other people’s lives in ways I never knew I could. It brings meaning and purpose back to my life all because I learned to listen to my gut instincts and did it despite uncertainties.

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Q: What were your younger years like?

A: I grew up in Vietnam and immigrated to the United States when I was 9 years old. Growing up, my parents had a successful home-based bakery and were extremely busy with their business that there was no family structure and minimal quality time. Needless to say, I was an unhappy child and didn’t feel I had anyone to go to. My upbringing definitely had a huge impact on the person I’ve become. I struggled with self-esteem and insecurities as a child, and this played well into my adulthood despite having a bold and outgoing personality. However, I’ve done well academically and achieved both my bachelor’s and master’s degrees by the age of 24.

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I was ambitious, focused, hardworking, and driven. It wasn’t until after finishing my master’s and entering the real world and workforce that I became more lost than ever. For the first time, I didn’t know what I wanted to do in life! I went into HR, left it, came back to it, and then finally left it altogether after having kids. I desperately tried to figure out my purpose and direction in life, but I wasn’t able to do it for years. I think my self-awareness, resilience, and persistence have been instrumental to my growth and overcoming challenges. After I became a mom, I have been secretly living with depression and anxiety. Finally, I had the courage to share my story last winter on Facebook. It’s mind-boggling what these mental disorders can do to someone’s self-belief and ability to enjoy life. I realized during my darkest moments that the one person who was always there for me despite anything has been God. My struggles have indeed deepened my spirituality and commitment to redefining my life. The only person who could bring real change to my life is me and only me. I am not a quitter!

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

A: I have learned that no worldly achievements will bring lasting meaning and happiness to my life if I don’t make an effort to develop myself and become the best version of who I am meant to be. Self-growth is the best gift anyone can give to themselves and has personally helped me cope with my mental disorders and life challenges in general. Unfortunately, there’s still a stigma in our society and in most cultures about mental illness. I want to be the voice of people living with mental illness and show others that it is definitely possible to thrive in life despite your mental conditions. I also want young people to know that it’s okay to not know what you want to do in life. Some of us still couldn’t figure it out in adulthood! It’s best to live life to the fullest of our ability and it’s critical to keep going and get back up when life knocks you down. I also wish I was less fearful of trying new things for most of my life. Now, I’ve learned that doing things despite fear is the key to unlocking my best self and best life. It’s never too late!

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Q: What does feminism mean to you?

A: For years, women have been limited by what we can do, and feminism to me is about breaking boundaries and glass ceilings. I see the ideal world of equality, and if that is desiring the same rights and privileges as men, then call me a feminist!

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Woman Wednesday: Lorie

*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 Lorie, Cincinnati, Ohio

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 Q: What are you passionate about?

A: I think of myself as a cheerleader with the core message that life is difficult but doable. I am passionate about sharing this message with my various audiences. I have worked as a motivational speaker, as a syndicated columnist, as a published author, and now as a blogger. In all cases, my method of operation has been to tell the stories of my life hoping other people will glean life lessons from them. By the way, I am also a professional quilter and even the quilts I make have words and symbols pieced into the design as they, too, tell stories with life lessons. Here are two examples:

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This quilt addresses my professional life where there is a mountain after mountain to climb in order to find BIG success. Sometimes, it seems like the sky is falling, as the sky-blue background fabric does on the bottom of the quilt. But instead of quitting, I persistently climb one mountain after another, planning someday to be an “overnight success,” though it may take 20 years to get there.

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On this quilt, I address the issue that I have always felt odd in life. When my girlfriends giggled over boys in high school, I made appointments with my rabbi to discuss existentialism. When my friends were celebrating a decade or two of marriage, I was getting divorced. Thus, on this quilt, I am the green bird when everyone else is red. And I’m headed west as opposed to the eastward heading flock. But guess what? I am perfect just the way I am, and I am proud to be a strange bird!

NOTE: My quilt designs–printed out on quality giftware–are available on Etsy.

 

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Q: What were your younger years like?

A: I grew up in a tight-knit family where love abounded. I was always neat, sweet, and in my seat, because there were so many loved ones who cared. I couldn’t step off the straight and narrow because I would have disappointed them all.

Throughout my life, people have always come to me with their problems, needing me to cheer them on. As a teenager, I often got off the phone in tears after talking to friends who needed help. My dad told me that if I couldn’t talk on the phone without getting so upset, then I couldn’t talk on the phone! I think his words sent me in the direction of my motivational speaking, my writing, and my quilt art. All of these allow me to reach a lot of people without getting personally involved with each one. 

I don’t mean to sound like a woman who thinks she has all the answers. Instead, this is a quote that defines me and my work: We tend to teach best that which we most need to learn. So, the things I talk about in my creative work are things I need to learn myself. This recent blog will attest to that. Try as I might, I just can’t learn that good enough is good enough! Hopefully, my readers will catch on even if I never do!

By the way, I graduated magna cum laude from the University of Missouri with a degree in Elementary Education, but I have never had a classroom. Instead, I have had lecture audiences and book/blog/column readers.

 

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

A: As I said earlier, I think life is difficult but doable. I even have a very simple recipe for personal and professional success: You need to take one step a day–even if it is a teeny tiny one–in the direction of your goal. You have to do this day after day after day. 

For the last two years, I have been spreading this message via social media posts. Below you will find some examples of my “keep on keeping on” philosophy. There are 800 posts like these on my social media accounts: on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.

Please note that it is easiest to see them all in a row on the Instagram account.

 

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Q: What does feminism mean to you?

A: Women are every bit as capable as men; therefore, women should get equal pay, equal respect, etc. Also, for every glass ceiling women shatter, the world will be a better place.

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Q: What are you currently working on? 

A: At the moment, I am focusing on my writing and on promoting it. To further this goal, I ask your help in two ways:

  • Please consider reading my newest book, Love, Loss, and Moving On. If you’ve ever reinvented yourself after the loss of a loved one, this book’s for you. Did you go a bit crazy in the process? Yep! Me too. The book is available on Amazon in paperback and eBook formats.
  • I hope you will also subscribe to my blog/newsletter. When you do, you will receive a FREE downloadable booklet with a dozen motivational images/messages entitled, “Some Do’s and Don’ts in Life.”

 

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And don’t forget to visit my website: https://www.loriekleinereckert.com!

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Woman Wednesday: Cait Scudder

*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 Cait Scudder, Los Angeles, California 

“Spend time getting quiet and getting clear on what you want to create and bring into the world. Vision is the birthplace of all creation, so you need to take the time to do this.” 

Click the video above to watch Cait’s TEDx Talk.

 

 Q: What are you passionate about?

A: I’m obsessed with helping women monetize their genius. To dial into exactly who they are, what makes them unique, and to help them bring forth those gifts into the world, and ultimately, turn them into a business that changes the world. I ‘ve always been most lit up and passionate when I am helping people. I am so passionate about helping women leverage the power of energy, strategy, and sales to grow a business because so many women struggle to believe it’s possible, that they have something unique to offer. Nothing could be further from the truth. To watch the women I serve A) fall in love with their own capacity and uniqueness of their genius and B) develop a roadmap to turn those gifts into a profitable business, I feel like I’m doing what I was put on this earth to do. I share these nuggets inside my FB group, podcast, and daily motivation on my IG stories. Outside of my career, I’m also passionate about my health (I run daily) and emphasize inner work-mindset and spirituality as much as maintaining my physical health.  Now that we’ve settled in LA, I’m also loving the process of slowly settling in, setting up a home, and doing all the domestic things like cooking. After jet setting around the world and living in Bali for 4 years, I’m loving the change of pace.

 

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Q: What were your younger years like?

A: Ever since I was a little kid, I dreamed of going big. Be it on stage speaking, on the sidelines coaching, or teaching at the front of the room—I knew I was meant to be a leader.

I attended Amherst College and spent my undergrad years keeping straight A’s in the classroom and getting my hands out in the world. At the ripe age of 20, I became the Director of International Programs for a local non-profit organization, raised $10,000 of capital, and founded a thriving rural literacy initiative in Costa Rica that still, to this day, is one of my proudest accomplishments.

Upon graduation, I felt the urgency of the world’s needs and desire to bring my gifts to the table in an even bigger way. I knew that teaching, leading, and inspiring others was my core purpose and work on this planet, but I didn’t know how or what this looked like, yet. So, I did the safe thing. I dove straight back into academia and earned another degree because my mind told me I needed more letters after my name to be worthy of serving at the level I wanted to serve. I earned my Master’s in Teaching from Smith College at 23, shouldering twice the workload of required of me and volunteering 10 hours a week on the side (yes, while in graduate school). On the outside, I was a beacon of success. A peak performer and giver to boot.

But on the inside, I felt utterly depleted. I was an anxious, depressed wreck, burning the candle from both ends, leaving nothing for myself. And we all know how sustainable that is. I hit rock bottom midway through the year and knew there had to be another way. What kind of educator, mentor, and leader could I expect to be if I wasn’t taking care of myself first?

 

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Two years later, I quit my teaching job and got a plane ticket to Bali to pursue a women’s leadership training and advanced yoga certification program that rocked me to my core. I invested in myself and my growth at an unprecedented level and taught myself in the process that I didn’t have to play by anyone’s rules but my own.

And guess what happened? I spent a month deepening my relationship with myself, and days later, I met the most mind-blowing, heart-blasting love of my life in pure serendipity. I traveled to 7 countries in 6 months and kissed goodbye for good to the conventional 9-5 life I thought I needed. I gave myself time to dream big and permission to have it all. I launched my business in mid-2017 and scaled to 6 figures in under a year, all from my laptop while traveling the world. There were times I thought I couldn’t do it. Times it felt scary AF. But staying trapped in a world where I was grinding myself into the ground, not using my gifts, and denying myself the fulfillment, freedom, and impact I desired was way scarier.

 

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

A: Spend time getting quiet and getting clear on what you want to create and bring into the world. Vision is the birthplace of all creation, so you need to take the time to do this, and if your vision gets muddied by everyone else’s business [or dreams], you could very well end up creating a business [or dream] that doesn’t look like you.

And with that said, don’t try to be everyone else. In the coaching industry, there is a lot of ‘the blind leading the blind’ and women scrambling to imitate other successful coaches. The women know who are the most successful and have created sustainable success in their businesses are those who have done it their way and created a true niche for themselves.

 

Q: What does feminism mean to you?

A: Feminism to me means women taking a stand and having a voice that weighs equal to men. It means knowing I don’t have to marry into wealth and success, I can create it for myself. It means knowing that I don’t have to wish and hope for a boss who can provide me security, that I can go ahead and become my own boss. Most of all, it means knowing that by taking an unapologetic stand as a woman leader blazing a trail, I’m doing it for all the women who will come after me, and in so doing, be a living example that for them, too, everything is possible.

 

Click the video above to watch Cait’s TEDx Talk.

 

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