Woman Wednesday: Maja


Q and A with Maja from Croatia, living in Paris, France

“I learned to trust my inner guidance; whenever I followed it, it led me to amazing places and opportunities I wouldn’t have encountered otherwise.”


Q: What are you passionate about? 

A: I am passionate about inspiring people to follow their heart and live their best life! I teach meditation, breathwork, energetic alignment, and law of attraction [in order] to manifest a life of your own design that is aligned with your purpose. I’ve been living this way for a really long time, and I honestly couldn’t imagine my life in any other way.

Take a completely FREE meditation class with Maja by clicking here.

Ever since I broke through my fear of visibility as a teenage girl, I have been able to tap into my passions and share my gifts with the world. I’ve been pursuing my passion for music and singing for a long time and teaching others to free their voice, which led me to coaching and healing work. I’ve had my first spiritual awakening in my late teens and living in a spiritual way has truly helped me manifest amazing things from magical opportunities, performing in front of thousands of people, having my on radio show on national radio, traveling to amazing places, my life in Portugal and to today in Paris! I believe it’s all about energy and what you emit into the world. When you are aligned with your heart’s desire, everything flows effortlessly. In the past year or so, I have decided to expand my visibility so I started my podcast and YouTube channel, published several meditations on Insight Timer, I’ve been featured on many summits, blogs, and have done many guest-speaking gigs. I feel like that’s a better use of my energy, as I am able to help more people, so this where I’m heading next.


Q: What were your younger years like?

A: I grew up in a socialist country, and I have been through many hardships, [including] war, which affected me deeply and turned me into a patriot and a hippie. Ever since that moment, I stand for peace, love, compassion, and kindness towards all beings. I believe we all deserve to be loved and there is plenty of abundance for everyone. That is what everyone really wants: to be loved and accepted, and I like to help people find that love and peace within. Happy people=happy world, and that’s the kind of world I want to live in. I realized that if we work on ourselves and become better people, we are able to influence our inner circle and possibly more if we’re willing. One person can make a difference, and we all matter.

There was one activity in particular that helped me break through my fears quite a bit, and that is improv theatre! By making a fool of myself in front of other people many times, I realized I can do anything. It gave me a confidence boost I needed and honestly, without it, I wouldn’t be able to do anything I loved…as everything I do involved interacting with people. I also learned that by facing my fear over and over again, I get better at what I do and am able to handle it much easier.


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

A: Anything is possible if you believe it is. I was surrounded with nonbelievers who tried to put me in a box many times (some still do!). I learned to trust my inner guidance; whenever I followed it, it led me to amazing places and opportunities I wouldn’t have encountered otherwise. A big part of my success is faith, trusting in Divine timing and that I’m being guided all the time. I observe, listen, and act when inspired. It just works! It’s not always easy, as our mind and doubt interferes, but if you learn to be in the present moment and tap into your intuitive guidance, it becomes easy. I have manifested things many thought were impossible or unrealistic, just because I believed. Many told me that my example inspired them to do the same and pursue their dreams. That, to me, is worth the effort.


Q: What does feminism mean to you? 

A: I have been supporting women for many years now and believe that, if women support each other, we can do amazing things! We have a long way to go to get equal rights, but we are doing the work and I feel more and more women are stepping into their power and owning it. This is what is needed to take our place in the world, which is why I am very passionate about helping women tap into their inner power. We are much more powerful than we think, yet we have been lead to believe we are the “weaker sex.” I’d like to contribute to changing that perspective and doing whatever I can to inspire women to be their own superheroes.


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Woman Wednesday: U’ilani


Q and A with U’ilani, Kalaoa, Hilo, Hawai’i

“I think my journey and passion was guided not only by myself, but through the past events of my ancestors.”


Q: What are you passionate about? 

A: My name is Uʻilani Macabio. I am from the Island of Hawaiʻi. I was born and raised on this island my whole life. I am a mother of two boys, a 14-year-old [boy], and 5-year-old [boy]. Naturally, my interest is my Hawaiian culture. Being raised on this island, I was always immersed with the natural beauty of this island and the ocean as well as my culture. Therefore, my passion and interest comes from my foundation for the love of my land, culture, history, and language. I am currently a teacher at Honokaʻa High and Intermediate School, and I teach social studies and Hawaiian language. I find so much joy and pleasure in supporting my community with knowledge and helping raise the next generation to also love the language and culture of Hawaiʻi. I also support my students through social-emotional learning through the Foundations of Aloha. My goal is to support my community with problem solvers, effective communications, and community contributors that understand who they are, love their environment, and are willing to support.

I also have been gardening and supporting small farms on the Hāmākua and Kohala Coast on the Hawaiʻi Island. It has been enriching to ground myself in the land and to continue that positive reciprocal relationship to land. I also have been promoting self-healing with plant-based CBG and CBD products to support the mind and body. Hemp extract is so important for humans to operate at the best optimal level, and [being able] to use and promoting the products brings so much happiness to know that people are on the positive journey to feeling good and operating at the best level possible. I also dance hula for Hālau Nā KĪpuʻupuʻi in Waimea, Kohala. Hula has connected me to my culture, it allows me to share my ancestors’ stories and knowledge, and it awakens my spirituality. I paddle canoe with Kawaihae canoe club. My coach, Uncle Manny Vicent, has taught me so much as an athlete and as a person. Paddling has been a family sport for over 10 generations. Lastly, my family and I are surfers, fishermen and fisherwomen. The things we do in the ocean bring us together and continues the family knowledge and traditions that have been passed down from generation to generation. Therefore, my passion comes from my upbringing. I am forever grateful for my parents, my ancestors, the land and ocean of Hawaiʻi, and all my teachers and mentors for always being there and supporting me.


Q: What were your younger years like?

A: I grew up in a small little town called Kalaoa in Hilo, Hawaiʻi. Life was so fun. I had family always around me. My cousins and I would play in the rivers, bushes, and trees. We would stay out all day and come home for dinner. We would drink water from springs and water hoes. Later, in high school, I was a surfer girl always at the beach or in the farm. I started to value education in my high school years because I started to make connections from my Hawaiian culture to the things I was learning in school. Subjects like math, science, and history I could always find a connection someway or somehow to my Hawaiian culture. I graduated from Pāhoa High School. I want to say I am so blessed with my upbringing; I would say I am lucky. I went to college and got my bachelor’s degree in anthropology and minor in Hawaiian studies at UH Hilo. I then got my master’s in education at Grand Canyon University. I want to say there has been so many teachers, mentors, and friends that I have made [who have] helped me become the person I am today. During my time at UH Hilo, I have been in so many great programs. One was Wahi Kupuna internship with Huliauapaʻa, and PIPES, who allowed me to learn and practice cultural resource management as a Hawaiian and a Hawaiian practitioner. I think this was such a pivotal moment not only in my life, but for archaeology in Hawaiʻi. Where it was a shift in perspective of how archaeology in Hawai’i should be conducted in a Hawaiian perspective and methods, where it is less invasive to the cultural sites and cultural remains. Also, during that time, I knew that I wanted to be a teacher to promote more students to be the new innovators, shifters, and movers in Hawaiʻi.


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

A: I think my journey and passion was guided not only by myself, but through the past events of my ancestors. There is so much of why I do and believe what I believe in is because of the rich Hawaiian culture I live in, but also because of the stories of my ancestors continues to live within me. Meaning, I am the product of the story, and my children and grandchildren will continue the story as well. If I could leave something valuable, it would be to be the person, the story that your children or grandchildren can learn, value, and use in their future.


Q: What does feminism mean to you? 

A: I think feminism is a new or Western terminology. I never felt less than or unequal to [men]. Women here can say, do, and make big movements, and it’s not a big thing. I think a lot of women that came before might have done something to make things so much easier for us. However, because around 1820s and 1830s, the Hawaiian Kingdom adopted the European style of ruling; that’s when a lot change happened, and now, women are identified as less, invalid, even to our royal queens and princesses. Although these women lived in a new Hawai’i, they still carried on their duties. Most if it would be considered heroic or would be consider a feminist movement.

One of the events was the Kūʻē petition, where both women and men went around each island in Hawai’i asking them to sign this a petition to be against the illegal annexation of Hawai’i. At the time, only men with land could vote. However, these women went so that all voice is valid. Another example is of princess Kai’ulani. Her story is widely known. Her mission [was] to share the story of her people throughout some of the United States. She did it during a time of man-driven world. Soon after, President Grover Cleveland sent James Blunt to investigate about the illegal happenings in Hawaii done by the provisional government. Therefore, women today and before me are risk-takers and go-getters. Therefore, feminism is new because we have nothing to fight for besides just voice our thoughts and do what we need to do, and we get it done.


Q: Is there anything else you would like readers to know?

A: Hawaii is my home, and I hope it will continue to be the home of my future grandchildren for many generations. Our culture is living and thriving, and some people might not know that. However, please learn the history and culture of any place, and I know there will be value to gain from it.

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Woman Wednesday: Lynda


Q and A with Lynda, Long Island, NY

“I feel we live in a world where people have become very egocentric, not necessarily because we want to be, but because social media feeds into it and says it’s okay.”


“As a child in elementary school, my mother was told I would never go to college because I wasn’t smart enough.”


Q: What are you passionate about? 

A: I am passionate about so many things. Besides being passionate about being a Christian woman of faith, wife for 24 years to the love of my life, and mom of three pretty great kids, I have always loved my 20+ year career as a speech language pathologist.

In my field, I feel rewarded when I can help improve the communication skills of others to help them succeed in whatever situation they find themselves. Be it interviews, customer service, presentations, conflicts, leadership skills, or personal relationships, we all need to be able to communicate our best selves in each situation and more.


Q: What were your younger years like?

A: I grew up on Long Island in a family that embodied both the Italian and Jewish cultures. Growing up was always about food and family and getting together with extended relatives whenever humanly possible. Yes, it was always loud with many people speaking at the same time! I also come from a family of 3 electricians that believe in hard work to get any job done. Heck, I could have been an electrician if I wanted. Growing up in not only a tight-knit family, but also a Christian home, is the basis of how I formed my strength in my family, faith, and wanting to help people.

As a child in elementary school, my mother was told I would never go to college because I wasn’t smart enough. I always struggled with reading, so I guess that’s how they made that determination. Something I always found joy in was singing…so much so that I took private lessons, sang in many groups and, proving the elementary schools wrong, was a vocal performance major in college. In my sophomore year of college, I was introduced to speech pathology by a professor teaching phonetics. She opened up a whole new world to me that I didn’t even know existed. While I loved singing, I disliked the competitive cutthroat nature of it all. When I realized many singers required speech pathologists to help with their vocal health, that was it, this is what I wanted to do.

While in graduate school, I worked with elementary school children as a speech therapist within the Florida school system. During that time, I found that I enjoyed helping children succeed with their speech and language skills, giving them the tools they needed to communicate with others to help them be social, interactive, and connect with their peers and adults. After receiving my master’s degree in 1998, I moved back to NY as an ASHA and NY state certified speech pathologist working with preschool/elementary level children.

Years later, I began working with teenagers and young adults who were also diagnosed as needing to improve their communication skills. I loved working with them even more. I saw how obtaining the communication skills improved every area of their lives, especially when it came to their work situations where these skills were imperative to their success outside the classroom.

Fast forward 10 years, 3 kids, and the explosion of technology and social media…I found that it wasn’t just my students who were diagnosed that required help with their communication skills; it was everyone all around me! From my children’s friends to the salesperson at the car dealership, from the cashier at the fast food restaurants to the hostess at an expensive steakhouse where you spend $500 for a dinner; they all exhibited difficulty with communicating in a way that acknowledged the people around them. I thought I was the only one who thought communication skills had become a bigger problem and that social media had desensitized people on how to understand and use interpersonal communication skills. Then, there it was on the news; something that confirmed and validated everything I was thinking and feeling, LinkedIn had completed a study identifying communication skills as the #1 skills gap in the work environment across America. It was clear that people were no longer aware of how important these skills are in order to succeed professionally and personally. It was clear I was onto something and knew, with my skills as a speech pathologist, I had to help others improve the art of great communication skills.

I decided to work on developing specific classes targeting communication skills and situations where you would need to have great communication for a specific purpose. I pitched my classes to a professional development administrator of a local college and they contracted me to instruct my classes to staff (administrators and professors) monthly for approximately a year. This propelled my husband to push me to open my own business, Antonetti Communications & Speech Consulting, PLLC. I now go to post-secondary trade schools to help them prepare for interviews, communicating with bosses, coworkers, and customers. To bring it full circle, my husband, who is in the electrical industry, had a connection with a trade school called the Electrical Training Center. They became my first trade school client and I have now been working with them for approximately 2 years. I have also worked at a few medical trade schools and have provided one-on-one coaching to help prepare for interviews. Additionally, I host a weekly podcast called “The Digital Divide,” where I record short episodes that provide communication tips. Currently, given the new world we live in, I am working on an online course to make it accessible to everyone.

While I continue to work part-time with my students who have been diagnosed with a deficit in their communication skills, I am excited about building my business. I want to build help and inspire those who want to transform their communication skills so they may be successful in all facets of life.


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

A: I feel we live in a world where people have become very egocentric, not necessarily because we want to be, but because social media feeds into it and says it’s okay. I want people to have the ability to truly connect with one another by being present when with others, having the ability to relate, built trust, have empathy, have compassion, and being able to genuinely listen to one another without judgement. I could go on and on about all the things I would love to help improve, but ultimately, it’s about being able to build long lasting trusting relationships, be that professionally or personally. For me, the key to that is by embodying the understanding and use of effective communication while keeping the other person in mind.


Q: What does feminism mean to you? 

A: To me, it means that, as a woman, I have the opportunity to succeed professionally and personally without oppression or judgment from others based on my gender. It means that I am given the same opportunities and am respected, not because I am a woman, because I am able to the job just as well or better than the next guy.


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Woman Wednesday: Lea Ann

*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 Lea Ann, Jeffersonville, Vermont

“A valuable lesson I have learned through my journey is to just keep working on things little by little and be patient with myself.”


Q: What are you passionate about? 

A: I’m passionate about food, community, and bringing people closer together. I am currently working on my food truck, which is in its 2nd year. Business is doing great and I am expanding quickly. I have always been a chef and I seek validation through my food. But I thoroughly enjoy making people happy with the food.

 

 

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Q: What were your younger years like?

A: My younger years were a mess. My twenties were crazy, but I learned how to focus and work on my goals (even though mentally and emotionally I was very unstable). I have an anxiety disorder that was a graveyard by drug use. Now, I am more centered, but it’s really because I’m so busy. I thrive in high pressure.

 

 

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

A: A valuable lesson I have learned through my journey is to just keep working on things little by little and be patient with myself. I have learned a lot and continue to learn a lot about validating my own work and learning to delegate. I can’t do it all myself, and I’ve created this amazing momentum that makes people want to work with me!

My dreams have become my reality through my actions. Learning to love myself and consider myself worthy of a good life, a loyal and loving partner, and family has been a journey that I will continue to travel. Overcoming fear and becoming the person I am meant to be on this planet: spreading love and inclusion, being one with all my brothers and sisters, lifting up the downtrodden, and creating magic.

 

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Q: What does feminism mean to you?

A: Feminism means living in a world where I have access to the same opportunities as anyone else as a woman of color. Feminism means I will fight for everyone to have the same access to resources and respect from one another. A world where liberty is truth. Strength comes in numbers and women lead, guide, and support humanity as it should be.

 

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Woman Wednesday: Aina

*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 Aina, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

“The very gifts that God instills in us are not for us to keep to ourselves; it’s to go out and share that very gift to the world!”


Q: What are you passionate about? 

A: I am passionate about anything that will get me out of the bed the next day without getting paid to do it. As a curator of many things, I find myself anticipating the next BIG thing and/or project that I can get my hands on.

My passion normally comes from things I share an interest with, such as becoming an owner of Bona Fine Kisses Cosmetics, an all-vegan cosmetic line, which I absolutely loved because I’m a huge makeup/lipstick lover. And it didn’t hurt having a bachelor of science degree, which allowed me the experience to hand-make all my lipsticks! I’m also very passionate about the community of women, and how every day we find more and more ways to unite and support one another. Being the face of Sip N Seal Sist’HER Women’s Empowerment Circle on Facebook has empowered women from all over and myself to overcome fear and to begin living their best life!

 

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And by being apart of such a well-rounded women circle, it allowed me to recognize my talents and that I needed to share whatever those talents consisted of with the world and so, I did!

I now have the total confidence to wake up every day and do what I love, and that’s bake! I am now using my talent that I was afraid to share with the world because I was afraid of the unknown…I am pleased to say that I am now known as “The Cheesecake Lady,” a home baker serving delicious gourmet cheesecakes to people from all over! 

 

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Q: What were your younger years like?

A: I grew up the youngest of two siblings and was raised by a phenomenal single mother in Oklahoma. Growing up, my mother made it her duty to provide for her children as well as providing us with the best life possible that money couldn’t buy! I was exposed single-handed as a child to see and know what “hard work” looked like as my mother showed me what being resilient looked like at an early age. 

That same resilience that my mother had was instilled in me to never give up no matter what, to always keep God first in all that I do to truly experience success…it’s been a stepping ladder for me ever since!

 

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

A: Just go for it! Whatever it is that keeps you up at night, is worth trying! The very gifts that God instills in us are not for us to keep to ourselves; it’s to go out and share that very gift to the world! 

 

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Q: What does feminism mean to you?

A: A tribe of women in a variety of different shades, color, height, weight, etc come together to support and encourage the female woman!

 

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