Woman Wednesday: Lasheika

*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 Lasheika, Miami, Florida

“Everything happens for a reason, and don’t regret a thing because it’s all a part of your journey.”

 

Q: What are you passionate about?

A: Hi, my name is Lasheika. I am a mom of five boys and an author of experiences. I recently began my blogging journey, but my love of writing was recognized in middle school. I love to write and now that I’ve had experiences in love, life, family, and marriage. I choose to share those experiences with other moms in the hopes of them gaining more insight, support, and encouragement.

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Q: What were your younger years like?

A: I was raised by my mom and step father. Just having a nonexistent relationship with my biological dad was enough for me to go looking for love in all of the wrong places. I became a mom at the age of 17, which was one of the most scariest and happiest times of my life. Two weeks after giving birth, I returned back to school. I graduated three months later. The birth of my son was a true game-changer for me. Seeing this little human made me push past my own emotions and shoot beyond the stars. Now, five kids later, I was more determined than ever to find my purpose. I felt that by having five kids and being able to maintain my sanity was something that I could share with the world. Me feeling neglected and then me finding love in my marriage and through the births of my children have me wanting to share my experiences with those who faced similar challenges.

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

A: I would want other women to stay encouraged, continue pushing forward in faith. Believe and know that God will never leave nor forsake you. Most importantly, nothing is a mistake. Everything happens for a reason, and don’t regret a thing because it’s all a part of your journey.

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Q: What does feminism mean to you? 

A: Feminism is our unique flawlessness. It’s the strength that we possess that no other has. It’s our ability to bear weight that only we can carry. It’s our boldness, our beauty, our courage and strength to overcome.

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

Comment below!

 

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Woman Wednesday: Margarete

*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 Margarete, Ulster County, New York

“The most valuable thing I’ve learned in life is to never lose the lesson life teaches.”

 

Q: What are you passionate about?

A: I am passionate about living my best life, which includes helping others overcome life challenges, find hope and purpose, and doing all I can to support the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. Whether I’m speaking to a specific group or at a national conference, my passion and determination is to inspire audiences to step beyond their limitations and guide them to discover the power within and redefine what personal success truly means in this adventure called: LIFE.

The harder question is how I got to this point.

Like most people, I have had some tragically sad challenges. The worst was in 2006, when my daughter Jena lost her battle with cystic fibrosis. It was then that my whole world changed. For a long time following that terrible day, it was hard to call up the strength to take action, to move forward, to take a chance at life. I had been taught to look for and find gratitude in each moment, but when my little girl “moved up” to heaven at the age of thirteen, there was nothing I could see or find other than my grief and pain. I felt I had no choice. But in time, I learned that every day, I get to choose how to live.

 

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I believe in hope, in embracing the beauty in the broken. Life always presents us gifts, yet sometimes those gifts are brutally disguised as pain and suffering. My daughter once told me that pain is not a valid reason for stopping, so I continued on. I’ve taken many steps to get to a place where I can take charge of my life to become an award-winning author of two books: Beyond Breathing and See You at Sunset, a professional speaker, and a national advocate for The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. I’ve taken steps to stay happily married for twenty-eight years to my handsome husband Marc, and I’ve been blessed to watch my son marry the love of his life, which was the best day of mine.

Crisis, fear, and the anxiety of crumbling under life’s challenges have crossed my path so many times, I’ve learned that if I could change my attitude, my health, and my mental well-being, my life would ultimately change as well. Each challenge I faced in life taught me something more about myself and the world around me. Every decision I made, whether I was presented with a multitude of options, or no choices at all, changed who I am today.

 

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Here’s the thing, somewhere deep in my soul, every journey and every obstacle I faced helped bring me to a place where I can feel calm among the chaos. Every day, I give thanks for a grateful soul, a mind that’s confident, and an open heart that’s compassionate.

That’s what I’m passionate about and want to share that with as many people who want to hear it.

Q: What were your younger years like?

A: My childhood was like most everyone else, complicated with drama, trauma, and not easily summed up as good or bad. I was a chubby middle child, diagnosed with dyslexia in 2nd grade, and my parents divorced while I was in the 8th grade. I lived in Germany with my great aunt when I was fourteen for a ‘cultural experience.’ I graduated from high school a year early and that same year, at age 16, I permanently moved out of my childhood house after an argument with my mother. I was pregnant before I got married and had two children before I was twenty-five. Both my children were born with a fatal genetic disease, cystic fibrosis, which currently has no cure. I’ve dealt with abandonment issues, weight issues, depression, and anxiety. All of which made me who I am today.

All our lives, all our stories, make us who we are, it’s up to us how we decide that value.

 

 

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Q: What would you like others to learn from your story? 

The most valuable thing I’ve learned in life is to never lose the lesson life teaches.

For all of my life, I’ve had a love of learning, and I’m pretty sure that’s why God, with his or her infinite wisdom and sense of humor, decided to fill the first half of my life with one crisis after another. Through all the trials and many errors, I’ve come to see that life’s challenges, including reaching midlife, doesn’t have to be a crisis.

 

 

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Wouldn’t you agree that sometimes life can come at you fast and a sucker punch can land without any warning? I’ve been there. I get it. In a split second, you’re in the middle of life-changing choices, insurmountable obstacles, and heartbreaking hardships. It’s what you do with the lesson just presented to you that can change the path you’re on. Chances are, someone has been down that path before and can help guide you out, if you let them.

If by me sharing my painful and crazy life journey can reach out and touch your heart in even the smallest way possible, and help you deal with and let go of the crises and pain in your life, then I’ll feel my words and stories have a purpose beyond what they already hold for me.

My advice to you is to share your story, it could make all the difference in someone else’s life.

 

 

Q: What does feminism mean to you? 

A: Feminism, to me, is an emotionally charged word, placing a person as ‘a feminist’ if they are for feminism or they are ‘a non-feminist’ against feminism. To me, this is divisive, and I’m not about labels, division, or exclusion as much as I am for united, equal, and collective for the common good of all civilization.

It’s was such a powerful and resurfaced word that Feminism was Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Year for 2017.

Feminism, by definition, is equality of both sexes, but its common understanding is the passionate responsibility of the equality of women in the workforce, home, and political front. Its wave of enthusiastic ideology and emotion can cause more opposition than necessary.

For me, I’d instead focus on the constructive influence of women helping women. The underlying power that comes from a place of growth, humanity, and the ability to rise together while helping one another achieve each individual’s best possible life. The alliance of women reaching back and helping those who are struggling is where the real strength lies. Women being brave in adversity, sharing their story to help others, and using their voice against injustice is what I support. We, as women, can do so much to change the landscape of our future when we rise up, lean in, and stand tall without having to put down, degrade, or alienate any opposition that confronts the process of growth.

 

 

Let’s connect! 🙂

Contact page: https://margaretecassalina.com/contact/

Books:
Third book to come this fall! 🙂

Margarete & My Lilianas would love to hear from you! Comment below!  

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Woman Wednesday: Brittany

*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 Brittany, Mercer County, New Jersey 

 

“Life is short, and you should do anything and everything you want to/love. Whether you are miserable at your job, doing things that don’t serve you, or you want to do things that seem out of reach, whatever that is…work toward your goals, do the things you love, and don’t stop loving your life.”

@BlissfullyBritt_

 

Q: What are you passionate about? 

A: My passion is practicing yoga and bringing it to others. I came to yoga after being interested in it for a long time and never having the time to pursue it. For a long time my sole focus was on school, and then college and then finding a 9-5 job. I started to feel like I was losing myself and didn’t have any hobbies or things just for me. I eventually became so miserable with the lifestyle I was living, left my job and threw myself into all of my interests, yoga being one of them.

After continuously practicing yoga for a couple of months, I felt like a new person and realized just how much I was neglecting myself.  I enrolled in a yoga teacher training program and graduated this past June. My new focus is bringing yoga to others. I truly believe there is something in it for everyone- whether it’s the exercise through holding poses, learning how to breath, or the spiritual aspects to it. I think the general skills you learn in a yoga class can help any individual be more present and mindful in every day life. I’m working on brainstorming how exactly I want to do this while teaching/subbing occasionally at the studio I trained at!

 

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Q: What were your younger years like?

A: In my younger years, my mom got me involved in lots of extra-curricular activities. At the time I hated it and always felt busy.  Later in life, when I was looking for a hobby for myself, I appreciated that I had some exposure to different things to try out. One of my favorites was gymnastics, and I believe my childhood love for this is what drew me to yoga and made me start this path toward a career in yoga! I also used to play the piano and guitar, was very artistic and liked to paint/draw. Exploring different extra-circular activities led me to finding my passion.

 

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

A: Life is short, and you should do anything and everything you want to/love. Whether you are miserable at your job, doing things that don’t serve you, or you want to do things that seem out of reach, whatever that is…work toward your goals, do the things you love and don’t stop loving your life. This realization smacked me right in the face when I left my job that I only have one life and I realized how I was getting caught up in all the wrong things, trying to live in this box that society teaches you to live in, and I wasn’t truly enjoying life. Smile, be happy, travel (if that’s your thing), love, do, create! Just find whatever it is you love to do and do it, and get rid of/leave behind anything that does not serve you. Listen to your heart and not other’s people’s opinions if they bring you down.

 

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Q: What would you like others to learn from your story?

A: I would like others to know that you can start over at any time. The things you want are within reach if you visualize and work toward them. Be patient and work in baby steps.

 

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Q: What does feminism mean to you?

A: Feminism is important to me. I think a lot of people can take feminism as a negative thing, but I see it as being proud of being a woman, or (if you are not a woman) recognizing all of the positive and beautiful things that women bring to the table.

 

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Q: Why should more women take roles in business?

A: It has taken a few decades, but there are more and more women in business now than ever before! We are equal inhabitants of this Earth and should be involved in all of the things we’ve created as a society.

 

You can reach Brittany via email at: Brittthatcher314@gmail.com   or  on her instagram @BlissfullyBritt_. She is trained in Aerial Yoga and floor yoga and is available for one-on-one sessions or group sessions! Feel free to contact her about questions, inquiries, or to just say hello! 🙂

Professional photos: Credit to Dennis Pike Photography

 

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Brittany & My Lilianas would love to hear from you! Comment below! 

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Woman Wednesday: Alysha

*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.  


 

 

“Don’t look at someone’s life and think you should be doing what they’re doing – you should do what makes you happy and what you are passionate about. I think life is too short not to live in a way that makes you approach each and every day with a full sense of joy and enthusiasm. There is always something to be grateful for and that can bring a smile to your face.” -Alysha 

 

 

Q and A with Alysha, Berks County, Pennsylvania 

Connect with Alysha:  

Blog: https://alyshathekitchenologist.com/

Instagram

LinkedIn

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Q: What are you passionate about?

A: In a broad sense, I am very passionate about helping individuals. More specifically, I have always believed that information is power. I knew that I wanted to work in a career that provided individuals with information so they could make the best well-informed decisions for themselves and their lives. This definitely intermingles with two things career-wise I am involved in: working as a clinical writer for a nonprofit organization in the healthcare field and as a recipe developer/food photographer for various projects that fall under my blog: The Kitchenologist©.

 

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Read and see more at  The Kitchenologist©.

 

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As a food recipe developer /photographer, I love showing people what to do with a “mystery vegetable” they may have or how to make a dish they love in a healthier version. I believe if you are able to educate someone or expose someone to something they have never done before, it could change the way they think and affect the way they act, which may ultimately influence their lives as a whole in a potentially positive way. In regards to food, maybe someone could make a healthier diet change at home by cooking more now that they have some recipes they enjoy versus grabbing fast food or eating out. I was inspired by the impact nutrition can have on your life after taking a class entitled “Sustainable Food Systems” in college where I had the opportunity to read food system research and work in our community garden, in addition to living abroad in Australia for a semester where I ate a lot of very simplistic, fresh foods. I felt a completely new appreciation for food, where it comes from and how it affects our lives as a whole after these experiences. There are so many information gaps that exist in our world today, whether it be healthcare or food, and I love being able to help bridge some of those gaps through what I work in.

 

 

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As a clinical writer, my career allows me to break down dense scientific information into key facts and data individuals can grasp and understand. I view what I do as “scientific translation” in a sense, and I love knowing the work I do helps individuals make better decisions for their hospitals and patients. I credit a speech I gave my sophomore year of college at Susquehanna University for the Honors Program as the reason why I was drawn to scientific translation and presentation. The speech was entitled: “Vaccines and the Childhood Autism Scare: Solely a Media-Generated Correlation.” A community member from the audience came up to me after the speech and thanked me,because she believed that she had given her son autism because she chose to vaccinate him and now knew that the facts proved otherwise. I later went on to work with Johns Hopkins Medicine on a research project looking at supplement manufacturer claims and was blown away by the evidence gaps existing. I have been incredibly excited to attend a few conferences for work this summer, allowing me to interact with a wider audience on these types of topics and facilitate these types of informative discussions.

 

 

Q: What were your younger years like?

A: I grew up in a very loving and nurturing environment. My parents really balanced each other out when I grew up, with my dad really encouraging my younger brother and I to do well in school and my mom always asking us if we were happy (and making sure we were) in addition to fostering other passions like reading and drawing. In retrospect, having both of those perspectives was incredibly important to where I am today,because I have realized how important it is to work hard to be able to succeed. However, I also know that happiness is truly the key to everything. And if you aren’t happy, nothing else really seems to matter.

 

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My parents also made large decisions in regards to their careers before they started a family. My mom decided to leave her management job to raise a family full time, and my dad found a different executive position that would allow him to spend time with his family and not work 24/7. I did not realize how impactful that was in my life until I got older. My parents were at every soccer match, swim meet, softball game, honors ceremony, chorus concert, etc. I knew if I would look out in the stands, they would be there enthusiastically cheering me on. That really taught me the importance of supporting individuals you love. I have really strived to do that in my adult years by always making the trip to see a friend, visiting with family, sending out a check-in text or mailing off a snail mail letter. It truly means the world to know you have people who care about you and want to make that time to be with you and care about you.

 

 

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I also would like to credit my parents for always showing my younger brother and I that money is not everything. My younger brother and I were incredibly fortunate to grow up in a home where we never needed for anything, but my parents were also not quick to buy us that “new thing.” Instead, they really emphasized the value of experiences by going on trips and going out to meals. As an adult, I find that I want to spend my money on travel and seeing the world. I would rather spend my money and time experiencing things and meeting new people versus getting a fancy car or new outfit. These experiences I find have made me grow and look at the world in ways I never thought I would, and it is a really beautiful and empowering thing.

 

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Moraine Lake in Banff, Canada

 

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

A: The first thing I have learned is don’t be afraid of not living up to other’s expectations – at the end of the day, you should only be living up to your own. Especially in your 20s, I just find there are a lot of things being thrown at you question-wise from a variety of people or what you see on social media in regards to topics like getting married, having kids, buying a house, going back to school, switching careers, earning more money, etc. All I can say is to do what makes you happy! Don’t look at someone’s life and think you should be doing what they’re doing – you should do what makes you happy and what you are passionate about. I think life is too short not to live in a way that makes you approach each and every day with a full sense of joy and enthusiasm.

 

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The second thing I have learned is to always try to understand and help people. People will have opposing views from you, different life stories, varying backgrounds, etc. but you should never miss out on the opportunity to have a conversation with someone who has different views than you or looks at something through a different perspective. Conversation and understanding is an opportunity to grow. Additionally, if someone needs a helping hand and you can provide it, don’t be afraid to pitch in and offer help. Doesn’t matter how simple it is. It could be just running to grab extra napkins for a coworker who spilled there coffee everywhere or helping to pick up someone’s spilledchange at the grocery store. Try to put out in the world what you want to receive back. I am always game for putting more goodout there.

 

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Q: What would you like others to learn from your story?

A: I truly believe you attract the people and things you are supposed to in life through your actions and words. And I think that if you are doing what you love, you will attract the rightopportunities. I believe if you are a good friend, you will also attract great friends in your life. And I believe if you give love, you will receive it. I always think of this concept when I am having a really bad day. I always try to put positivity out there through my actions and words despite how bad things are. And I really do believe this has served me well in life. I know that it is definitely easier said than done, but I really have felt it has made such a huge impact on my life by acting in this fashion. Every day isn’t good, but I have always believed there is a piece of good in every day. And on days when it feels like absolutely nothing is going right, I am always thankful for my family, boyfriend, friends, pets and the good experiences I have had. There is always something to be grateful for and that can bring a smile to your face.

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Woman Wednesday: Leilani

*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 Leilani Romero, Fairfax County, Virginia

Website: www.leilaniromero.com

WATCH LEILANI HERE VIA A SHORT VIDEO CLIP.

Author/illustrator of The Little Things: A Collection of Happy Things

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“Since I was a little girl, I loved all things artistic. I would draw people for fun since I could remember and gift them the drawings just to make them smile. I would create cities out of art supplies and colored cardboard…creating my own little world. I would spend hours on Microsoft Paint drawing pretty things simply because I enjoyed it, and little did I know that this was called design.”

 

Q:What are you passionate about? 

A: I’m a graphic designer, international portrait and wedding photographer, an illustrator, and most importantly an entrepreneur. I graduated from the school of art and visual technology at George Mason University with a concentration in graphic design and a minor in art history. Although this might sound very cut and dry, my college career was far from it. I changed my major three times, and for a while I thought I’d be an architect…It took a little soul searching to find my passion, but in the end I chose happiness over all.

Since I was a little girl, I loved all things artistic. I would draw people for fun since I could remember and gift them the drawings just to make them smile. I would create cities out of art supplies and colored cardboard…creating my own little world. I would spend hours on Microsoft paint drawing pretty things simply because I enjoyed it, and little did I know that this was called design.

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In high school, I began to explore photography and in college a friend gave me my very first canon camera because I was really good at photography. I later learned dark room film photography and continued to take portraits of the people I loved because I didn’t want to forget a thing about this beautiful life. As I took more and more photos, I began to receive requests, and friends and family pushed me to launch a Facebook page. Next thing I knew, I was starting an official creative business: Leilani Romero Co. and taking portraits and shooting weddings professionally! It’s been five years since and I wouldn’t have it any other way. After that, I began to expand the design side of my business and launched The Flower Shop, a place for handmade prints. Pretty soon I published my very first book, an illustrated work— The Little Things: A Collection of Happy Things.

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While running a business became my passion, in order to support it, I worked in the professional world for five years in the non profit, corporate, and consulting spaces. As a consultant, I was able to learn about marketing strategy, communications, and social media marketing. It was through these many corporate career opportunities that I became a digital marketing subject matter expert. Although I’m only 23, I’m proud to say that I have worked professionally in this space for five years, and it was well worth it.

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Q:What things have you learned that have been valuable to you?

A: One of the most valuable lessons I learned is to always be clear and open with others. In business it’s very important to always be professional, learn as much business knowledge as you can, and always educate yourself. Business law is crucial, and drafting the appropriate contracts can really be the best decision in the long run.

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Q: What do you want others to learn from your story?

I want others to learn to never stop working on their dreams, and always follow them with all their hearts, because it is so worth it.

The grass is always greener where you water it. Fairytales and daydreams are possible as long as you work hard for them. Nothing comes easy, even if it seems that way, but if you believe in yourself, good things will come. Always be passionate, true to yourself, and constantly search for motivation.

The biggest takeaway is to focus on what will make you happy, and live life to the fullest. If you have a dream, you need to listen to it, and chase it with passion!

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