Woman Wednesday: Dana

*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 Dana S., Huntington Beach, California

“All the things I’ve overcome have brought me to be the strong woman I am today.” 

 

 Q: What are you passionate about?

A: My passion is to serve others as much as I can before I leave this beautiful Earth. After becoming sober, I went (and continue to go) through a transformation of my heart. I currently work as a licensed life insurance broker helping others through those difficult conversations. Two projects I am working on launching this March 2020 are my podcast with my husband and my wellness coaching venture. With so many years doubting myself and participating in wrong behavior, I want to show others they’re not alone. The story hasn’t ended yet.

 

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Q: What were your younger years like?

A: I grew up with my grandparents raising me. My parents fell into their addictions, and I followed their footsteps at an early age. I was able to be in my addiction while living what others thought to be a “normal life.” I finally came to grips with my problems and was able to celebrate my 1 year of sobriety in November of last year. I also finished my degree in business in December. All the things I’ve overcome have brought me to be the strong woman I am today.

 

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

A: I think the most powerful thing to learn early on in life is to love yourself for the good and bad. Coming into your own helps with the foundation of what you do and don’t allow to happen in your life.

 

Pictured: On the right and left are members of Dana’s family. 

 

Q: What does feminism mean to you?

A: To me, feminism is the utmost act of love to extend to women. Fighting for the rights of women to be equal and not be predisposed to the inequality we face today.

 

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I’d love to connect with you!

Reach out to me on Facebook! 

Facebook, Agent Profile

Facebook, Podcast Coming March 2020

 

Thoughts, questions, or comments?

Comment below! 🙂

Woman Wednesday: 25 Christmas Gifts That Don’t Cost a Thing

Merry Christmas to all of our readers who celebrate the wonderful holiday of Christmas! And warm wishes and Happy Holidays to our readers around the world who may or may not celebrate other holidays. In the spirit of today, December 25, Christmas, we’ve collected 25 “gifts” for you. These “gifts” are 25 life “gifts” that cannot be bought with money, and they are “gifts” mentioned by our featured women on The Woman Wednesday Blog. Enjoy! 

 

  1. Family. They might not always be there, so appreciate the time you have with them. Three years ago, I lost my Dad to cancer and that has been one of the most difficult things I’ve ever been through. He was gone 3 months after his diagnosis. My family and I barely had time to process one piece of information before being hit with something new. It rocked my world losing someone so close to me.” ~Jessica M., Maryland

  2. Friends. True friends are there for your ups and downs, successes and failures. They like you for the person you are, and they cannot be bought.

  3. Love. True love is one of the most beautiful and magical aspects of life. Of course, it cannot be bought!

  4. Positive mindset. You can make today a good day or a bad day. It’s all about your mindset. “I learned very early on that I could either be a victim of circumstance or I could take those challenges and grow from them. I try really hard to be a force of positivity and a problem solver.” ~Melissa, Utah 

    “If you don’t believe in yourself first, you will fail every time. So for me, first and foremost is get your mindset right in the beginning, and set the foundations to build an amazing life for yourself and stick at it! The only way you will stick at anything is self-reliance, discipline, and self-belief.”   ~Carly, Melbourne, Australia


  5. Moral support. Whether giving moral support or receiving it, being there for someone does not cost a thing.“He was so understanding of my situation and was like the perfect puzzle piece to the kids and I.” ~Lisa, Canada 

  6. Giving back. Giving our time to others is one of the greatest gifts we have to give, whether we are making dinner with our family, visiting a grandparent or old friend, or volunteering for a good cause. 

  7. Hard work. It feels good to know hard work.“I have learned that nothing comes easy that is worthwhile, and this is where hard work and grit comes in.” ~Sarah, Washington

  8. Success. When you finally achieve what you set out to achieve, there is no other feeling like it! 

  9. Independence. “Be you, stay you, do you. There is no one like you and the moment you appreciate that about you, the rest of the world will!” ~Maria Tan, Philippines 

  10. Passion. “Passion is what makes you persevere through setbacks, unhappiness, and fear of failure to achieve your dreams. It is the core drive of your motivation.” ~Ashlee, Florida

  11. Proving haters wrong. “People will judge you, try to change you, try to break you, and even try to stop you. But that is all in the process of getting to the top!” ~Felissa, Georgia

  12. Health. We don’t have full control over our health, but what we do each day matters. If you are able to get out of bed right now, that is a gift. The doctors told me I might never walk again. When you’re faced with that kind of news, you have a choice—accept what you’re being told or try and do something about it.”  ~Kezia, England

  13. Exercise. People would pay big money to live longer. Here is one FREE way to live longer: exercise! Though it may be difficult to get started, exercise has amazing benefits! The studies don’t lie; exercise can make you live longer! So, if you are able, find something you like that gets your body moving! If you have the ability to move your body, that is a gift. 

  14. Creating. Creating something with your own hands feels amazing. Create a story, a poem, a drawing, build something. “Don’t be afraid to put your work out there. It’s very daunting at first, but it’s so rewarding when people read your book and tell you how much they love it.” ~Dee J. Stone, Surname authors in USA

    “Whenever you feel completely disappointed, desperate, and that life is completely pointless, turn to that color or canvas, pot or music, or whatever makes you feel joy.” ~Ioana, Romania


  15. Patience. If it does not come easily to you, it can be learned.

  16. Mindfulness. “I have to take care of myself by sleeping, eating healthy, exercising, spending time with God through prayer, and meditation as well as reading my Bible. I have to be intentional about making time for myself, family and friends, as well as work.” ~Ruby B. Johnson, West Africa

  17. Curiosity. We can be curious and try new things and explore this beautiful planet.Something I’d like others to know is that whatever you want to do is possible if you really want to make it happen. I make traveling and seeing the world a priority. This isn’t to say that I spend an extreme amount of money on it either. I budget it into my expenses just like groceries. I need to see the world. And while I love my job, I always feel a constant urge to know that the world and my life is bigger than sitting at a desk or on a train. It’s always worth it, and it is totally possible!” ~Justine S., New Jersey  

  18. Knowledge. You never know what you might learn next and how it may impact the rest of your life. “I signed up for one design class and absolutely loved it! I found that I not only had a passion for interior design, but I had a God-given gift to envision a space based off my clients’ wants and needs.” ~Ariel, Texas

  19. Choice. Knowing you have choice to eat that sandwich, see that friend, to remove someone negative from your life. It’s your choice.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.” ~Lisa, Canada

    “In my point of view, during our lives, we have the chance to make positive impacts in our environment by understanding that life is full of good intent. I am passionate about people. Each of us has a story—something to tell the world. As human beings, we all deserve to be unique and to make mistakes in order to learn.” ~Idoia, Spain


  20. Forgiveness. Forgiving someone doesn’t necessarily mean letting someone who is negative back in your life. You can forgive without compromising your happiness. Forgiving someone will most likely make you happier; you can forgive this person to their face or just in your heart. 

  21. Appreciation for the good and bad. Being able to appreciate not only the good but the bad. See the bad as opportunities to make you a better person, to learn, to experience the world fully. It is all a part of the ride. “What I’ve learned in my journey is that life is a journey full of hills and valleys. I used to believe that I was a victim to life’s circumstances, but what I had to be awakened to is that I also had choices in the decisions I was making in my life.” ~Amiee, Indiana

    “I have learned to enjoy every moment. I wish I could go back to my 16-year-old self and tell her that nothing in life is as important as you think it is when you think about it. Everything in life moves on and changes, and everything is about different stages.” ~Leire, Spain


  22. Nature. “My favorite quote is ‘There’s a sunrise and sunset in every single day, and they’re absolutely free. Don’t miss any of them.'” ~Stacy, Florida

  23. Senses. The smell of roses. The feel of cotton. The sight of flowers or clouds in the sky. The touch of a hug from a loved one. The taste of pizza. We derive a lot of happiness from our senses. They compromise the human experience! Having a bad day? Go pick yourself some flowers, eat your favorite food, take a warm shower, watch the sunset, or give someone a hug! 

  24. Ability to read. When you can read, the world is at your fingertips. You can learn anything, do anything. Anything is possible. “I learn from these stories and it’s important to me. They color the dreams of my reality and future and help me find the adventure in my life. Find your life’s adventures.” ~Lachelle, California

  25. Being alive today. 

You are alive today. While you have probably heard the saying, “Life is a precious gift,” a question you must ask yourself is…

Do you live each day as if it were a gift?

It is easy to get caught up in the day-to-day stresses and activities and requirements we face each day. Requirements to go to work, to feed our family, to clean our apartment or house, to pick up this, do that, cancel this, and so on. Maybe someone cut you off on the road, you got in a fight with your mother, or you got stuck in traffic for two hours. Or worse, you are drowning in debt, you lost someone near and dear to you, or you are suffering from a health condition (physical, mental, you name it). The fact is you are alive now. You may not be tomorrow. It’s simply the truth that you just don’t know what tomorrow could bring. We need to try our best to enjoy every single day that we are alive. And that may be hard sometimes, especially if you are suffering from a terminal disease in a hospital bed, or you lost someone who means the world to you, or you suffer from depression and you constantly feel it. No one lives this life without suffering, and no one makes it out alive. While we could be sad and harp on death, choose to harp on life. Because you are here now. Make choices to live your life the best way you can. Choose to see the good. Choose to see life. Choose to live it the way you want. 

At the end of the day, there is nothing greater than the gift of life. You are alive. So, what do you want to do today with your precious gift of today? Do you want to say hello to a stranger and make their day? Do you want to go for a walk outside? Do you want to bake cookies with your mom or go to lunch with dad? Do you want to catch up with a sibling or an old friend? Do you want to snuggle with your cat? Do you want to finally take the first step toward following your dreams? Do you want to tell your family how much you love them? Do you want to watch the sunset? Do you want to go try the tacos at that new Mexican restaurant that just opened? Do you want to drive or fly to a place you have never been to before? Do you want to profess your love to someone you can’t get out of your mind? Whatever it is you have always wanted to do, ask yourself, “Why not do it today?” Because today is a gift. Use it however you choose. 

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays! 

Wishing you health, happiness, and the power for you to create your day as you wish.

 

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Photo by Public Domain Pictures on Pexels.com

 

For more inspirational content and stories of women from across the world, visit The Woman Wednesday Blog.

Woman Wednesday: Ruby B. Johnson

*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 Ruby B. Johnson, Sierra Leone, West Africa

“Three things: take care of your mental health, control your narrative, and work smart and do your research.” 

 

Q: What are you passionate about? 

A: I am a mining engineer and currently work at a gold mining operation. I am also the founder and editorial director of STEMher by Ruby B. Johnson Magazine. Premiered in September 2018 with its autumn issue, STEMher Magazine is a print magazine showcasing the education and experiences of girls and women in science, technology, engineering, and/or mathematics (STEM) academia, careers, and programs. STEMher celebrates women thriving in their careers and inspires others to fuel their curiosity and interests in STEM; the status of individuals featured range from middle school through retirement. In one year, STEMher has featured more than 50 STEM girls and women worldwide from countries like the United States of America, Australia, Ghana, Canada, South Africa, India, France, Nigeria, Channel Islands, The Bahamas, Sierra Leone, and England. All magazine issues are available for purchase on stemher.com and Amazon Marketplace.

 

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Summer 2019 Cover

 

Q: What were your younger years like?

A: I was born in Freetown, Sierra Leone [in West Africa]. I moved to the United States when I was 12 years old, which meant growing up and completing my middle school and high school education in Maryland. I graduated from Virginia Tech with a BSc in mining engineering and a minor in women’s studies leadership. While in college, I founded When You Believe Foundation, a program that empowers women and girls through social media engagement, workshops, and donations. In 2012, I competed in my first pageant, Miss Sierra Leone USA, with the platform of advocating for the recruitment and retention of girls and women in STEM fields, since I was a STEM college student at the time and women’s empowerment was something I was passionate about. I won the pageant and with that title, I was able to travel across the country as well as in Sierra Leone, encouraging girls and young women to pursue STEM. After the crowns and titles, STEM advocacy and women’s empowerment continues to be my lifelong platform. I wanted to take this platform to another level to be able to reach women and girls I may never cross paths with, so I created STEMher by Ruby B. Johnson Magazine last year. 

 

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

A: Three things: take care of your mental health, control your narrative, and work smart and do your research. (1) From Monday through Thursdays, I work ten-hour days and a two-hour commute to and from work. Additionally, I am an entrepreneur who runs her own business creating content and putting together each issue for STEMher by Ruby B. Johnson Magazine. I also serve in a couple of ministries at my church. Life gets busy. In the last year, I’m being intentional to prioritize my mental health. Making time to rest and slow down when necessary. In order to be productive with work, I have to take care of myself by sleeping, eating healthy, exercising, spending time with God through prayer, and meditation as well as reading my Bible. I have to be intentional about making time for myself, family and friends, as well as work. It’s okay to say “no” or “not yet” sometimes. I cannot fill the cups of others when my cup is empty. It’s also okay to ask for help—whether it’s in prayer, family and friends, community, or therapy.

 

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(2) As I navigate through the professional world and life in general, I’m realizing how important it is for one to control their narrative. Of course we cannot fully control what people say about us or how they feel about us; however, I believe we can play a role in those things. The way we carry ourselves is very important. We have to learn wisdom on when to speak up or be silent. We must be our biggest defenders and tell people how we want them to treat or address us. (3) Running a business is no easy feat and it’s time-consuming. In college, I learned to not study hard but study smart. I believe that’s important to do when you are a business owner. Being that I don’t have a business or journalism background, I spend a lot of time learning—asking questions, reading articles, listening to podcasts, and everything else in between. I want this magazine to go beyond, so that means I have to put in the work. I may not see harvest immediately, but sowing seeds each day counts. All in all, I believe it’s important to know who you are, stand firm on your values, always remember your why, and never lose your humanity no matter what environment you are in. 

 

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Q: What does feminism mean to you? 

A: To me, feminism means being my authentic self, living out my God-given purpose, and being intentional about making a difference in the community. While working on my women’s studies leadership minor in college, I learned about intersectionality. I am a Christian woman, born and raised in Sierra Leone, a naturalized American citizen, a woman in STEM, usually one of few or only black people in some professional settings, and a family-oriented individual. I thrive because of these lived experiences but also have a heart and a curious mind to learn about those who are different from me. Feminism to me is never compromising my faith and also being compassionate to others. To me, feminism means to reach for excellence and nothing less.

 

I’d love to connect with you!

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Woman Wednesday: Kristen S.

*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 Kristen, Texas 

I once felt like a slave to my debt. It controlled nearly all of my decisions. I learned how to take charge! I want everyone to know, you’re not alone!

 

Q: What are you passionate about?

A: Hello! I’m Kristen Sierra. I’m a financial healer and accountant. I discovered my passion for financial healing when I was on my own journey out of debt. I enjoyed the puzzle aspect of it a lot, but the part I love most now is being able to work with and help others. I feel like debt is a sort of plague that affects many and is difficult to heal from. I just want to save everyone! I’m currently developing an online group coaching program. We will focus on mindset, accountability, budget tips, financial communication, financial planning, and more! Enrollment has just begun! 

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Q: What were your younger years like?

A: I grew up in a big family. We didn’t always have tons of money, but I never felt poor. My mom was amazing at stretching a recipe, finding free family activities and planning ahead. She taught me so much! As a mom of five, I use many of her tricks in my home now. My mom is also an accountant. I discovered my love for accounting as a teenager when I did work for her. In my very early childhood (and before), my mom had many challenges with her first marriage. She rose above them all and taught her daughters, by example, how to be strong, confident, and to create our own circumstances. 

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

A: I have learned that no situation is hopeless. It’s not too late to rise above your situation and make your life your own. While I haven’t had as severe or as many struggles as my mom, I once felt like a slave to my debt. It controlled nearly all of my decisions. I have since learned how to speak to creditors, how to communicate my circumstances, how to stop shaming myself. I learned how to take charge! I want everyone to know that you’re not alone!

Q: What does feminism mean to you? 

A: To me, feminism is about being in charge of my life and making myself heard. It is about leading through example. Feminism is about teaching my daughters to be strong, compassionate, responsible, independent, and aware members of society. It is about teaching my sons to love and respect women. Feminism is about equal value teamwork and building up those around us; men or women.

If you are interested in reaching out to me, I can be reached at: 

Email – krissierrabooks@gmail.com

Facebook group (coming soon, so bear with me on it!) Everyone starts somewhere! 

https://www.facebook.com/groups/healingfamilyfinances/

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

Comment below!

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!