Woman Wednesday: Felissa

*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 Felissa, Atlanta, Georgia  

“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!” 

 

Q: What are you passionate about?

A: I wanted to have a career where I could give back to people in a real impactful way. I had always wanted to help others and make a difference. Although teaching in the classroom was something I loved, I never felt like I could create the life I desired. Six years ago, I was a tired, overweight mom of two with no energy. 

 

I was always looking and doing the “next best diet” and as everyone knows, diets are not sustainable for life.  I finally decided it was time to educate myself on nutrition and health so I could create a healthy lifestyle for myself and my family. After losing 40 pounds and stopping being such a skeptic, I started sharing my success story with others. I partnered with a health and wellness company and a nutritionist and created a career that would inspire and empower people to live their best life through a journey of nutrition, wellness, and creating a healthy mind and body. 

 

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I was only looking to drop a few pounds and get my energy back, and what I found was a community of people with a vision that empowers others to do more than they thought they were capable of doing. As I continued to share my story: of the nutrition and our life-changing opportunity, to my surprise, by the end of that year, I surpassed my teaching income and decided to jump in with both feet (well, sort of). 

 

Actually, when I let go of worrying about what other people thought of me, and was open to new opportunities and possibilities, and that was when my life changed. I cared too much about what other people thought of me, and it prevented me from doing the things I wanted to do or being who I truly was. This has given me a sense of achievement, purpose, and community and a profession where I can be my own BOSS. Every day, I have the opportunity to help people change their quality of life both physically and financially. That feels pretty amazing.   

 

Q: What were your younger years like?

I had a wonderful childhood and was raised in a very loving home in Savannah, GA.  My parents always supported me and wanted me to enjoy every minute of life.  I graduated from the University of Georgia, where I received a bachelor’s degree in Audiology and Speech Pathology and then continued to Georgia State University, where I received my master’s degree in the Education of Deaf and Hard of Hearing.  I then taught grades kindergarten through fifth grade over the next 12 years.  

 

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During the last few years I was teaching, I began to realize I wanted more than just living for weekends and holidays. I found a way to plan my work and passion to help others around my life verses planning my life around my work—working days and hours that were best for me, with no cap on the amount of income I could earn. 

 

 

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

A: I learned very quickly that big dreams don’t come easily. 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! Learning to get comfortable with the uncomfortable was an important lesson for me and not easy. All my life, I cared what others thought of me. Life is better when you’re not so concerned about how other people will view you for your actions, choices, and decisions. 

 

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Sometimes you have to risk so much for a dream no one can see but you.  It became very apparent that I had to surround myself with people who supported me on my journey and would be there to lift me up when I fell (because I fell a lot). Whether it was the weight loss, the career change, or my new positive outlook on life, I had to stop feeling guilty about the decisions I made. I have had many challenges along the way. I could not make excuses anymore. It was time for results, and you can’t have both! If you take anything away from my story, I hope you will learn to be authentically, unapologetically you because it is your ultimate freedom and where joy is found.

 

 

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Q: What does feminism mean to you? 

A: Feminism advocates for social, political, and economic equality for men and women. 

 

 

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

Felissa Covin
Make the Shift
Healthy Mind and Body

 

Thoughts, questions, or comments?

Comment below! 🙂

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Woman Wednesday: Maria Tan

*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 Maria Tan, Entrepreneur Coach, Philippines

True abundance isn’t about what you have. It’s how comfortable you are being you, doing you, and staying you.”

 

Q: What are you passionate about?

A: I love making the impossible possible–turning “crazy ideas” into reality. 

Born into an entrepreneurial, immigrant Chinese family, I was wired into the “work hard, stay in your place, be practical” mentality.

 

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Pictured: We had the “work hard” mentality but HUMOR was a big part of our lives! Here I am in my early twenties with my parents and siblings.

 

Anything outside the norm wasn’t accepted and everything that had to do with dreaming differently wasn’t encouraged. Hobbies, passions, interests that didn’t result in direct payout/profit were kept as such. Little effort would be put into something “frivolous” like playing the piano or theater arts. As a result, I grew up with such a scarcity mindset and lots of self-limiting beliefs. 

 

What’s curious though, I inherited my ancestors’ entrepreneurial skills and was making money from the age of 6 by buying and selling stationery and confectionary items, dried foods, and other things I could sell. Later, I was selling my services as a teacher and consultant. For someone so “young”–I had my choice of clients and was paid above the market rate.

 

 

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Pictured: Me facilitating a communications workshop in Taipei, Taiwan. 

 

But I felt something was missing. I needed to BE MORE and think beyond what to sell next and how to make more money. I talked to my mom about the meaning of life and she pretty much dismissed my question as something frivolous and overreaching. I can’t blame her though–she comes from a generation where having a white picket fence was the dream). After that talk, I went even deeper into depression. I was living my life void of any life. I would go from one task to the next and have no memory of doing so. 

 

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I was honestly contemplating to end my life, but something in me said: “I can’t give up on myself–life has got to be better than this.” I went full-on into exploring my spiritual gifts and somehow I embraced being an empath. When I talked to people, I just knew which buttons to push to help them talk about what really mattered to them. Today, I am able to combine that spiritual gift with my talent in teaching, consulting, and seeing the big picture. 

 

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Check out my homepage: https://www.maria-tan.com/

 

I now coach “Misfits”–people who feel like they can’t conform to the norm and what’s expected of them, to turn their “deepest desires” and “crazy impossible dream” into reality. I help elevate their lives by guiding them in creating an eco-system around who they are and what they offer. 

 

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

A: True abundance isn’t about what you have. It’s how comfortable you are being you, doing you, and staying you.

I’ve made money from an extremely young age. In fact, making money comes easy to me because I’m good with people and I can sell lots of things. When I was selling my products and services to anyone who wanted to buy, I was working day and night. The money came in fast. But my scarcity mindset back then simply drove me to doing more and feeling disconnected with the part of me that knew I was meant for more.

 

I couldn’t enjoy the money I made and was so concerned about how other people saw me and my means. I made monetary decisions out of the fear that people would look down on me and think I couldn’t afford something. What should be a blessing became a burden. Only after I embraced my spiritual self and embodied a more abundant state of being did I fully appreciate life and find joy in my existence.

 

This may sound like a cliche, but the moment you embrace the totality of who you are, the money will come anyway. So 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! 

 

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Pictured: This was a big milestone in my life. Since 2013, I sat on different boards and committees of non-profit organizations (Rotary Club and the International Women’s Club). But nothing brought me more honor than being part of an education foundation in 2018. I was a recipient of scholarship since I was 11 until about my college years. To be part of this education foundation was me paying it forward. 

 

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Q: What does feminism mean to you? 

A: I was actually brought up in a matriarchal society. Even within my extended families, women are held in high regard. In fact, women can be so strong and as capable as the men in my family, but they wouldn’t be dressed down for “failure” as a male would.

 

When I left my home country (the Philippines) to pursue my tertiary education is when I saw the favorable treatment to men. I was harassed by a male professor and when I asked an administrator where I could file a complaint, I was strongly suggested not to. The reason was simply “You’re female and you’re from the Philippines. In this country, people listen to males, especially those that came from a developed country.” 

 

I never felt more violated than the moment I heard that. And I vowed since then never to let my nationality or my gender get in the way of empowerment. Feminism, for me, isn’t about equal rights. It’s about mutual respect and compassion. That country had “equal rights” but the societal beliefs then were programmed against women.

The way I was brought up, women are heard. When a woman isn’t happy, the entire family walks on eggshells. Women are loved for being caring and nurturing, for thinking of everyone’s needs, and for being non-linear in their thinking. Women are respected because they make life easier. 

That, for me, is feminism.

 

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

Maria Tan is an Entrepreneur Coach for Misfits (people who don’t like to conform to the norm), Multipassionates (people who are extremely multifaceted and multitalented), and Millennials (people born between 1981-1996). She helps her clients create an eco-system around who they are and what they offer. She’s taught more than 1000 people from all over the world! Connect with her on IG (@maria_k_tan) and check out her website (www.maria-tan.com). 

 

Thoughts, questions, or comments?

Comment below! 🙂

Woman Wednesday: 50th Post!

*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. 


 

For our 50th post, we’re taking a look at some of our best advice from 2019 (so far)! We’ve selected some of the best words of wisdom from our past featured women from our 2019 Woman Wednesdays! Enjoy! 

 

 

Our dreams can change over time. Whether they do or don’t, enjoy the ride! Life is about the journey to the destination; not the destination itself. 

Katie, Madison County, New York 

“In high school, I thought I would be married, making good money at a reliable job, and adopting a couple horses by now. None of those things have happened so far, and I’m actually very happy that they haven’t! I have changed course so many more times, and it’s felt very hopeless and confusing at a couple points along the way. In the course of all of that turmoil and changing directions though, I have grown immensely. The setbacks have taught me strength and opened my eyes to ideas and opportunities I would have never imagined before recently. I am always looking forward, always feeling hungry for more.”

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Anything is possible. Travel is achievable.

Justine, Somerset County, New Jersey

People always ask me how I can afford to travel as much as I do at this age. 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!

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Don’t let fear stop you from following your dreams.

Author, Dee J. Stone 

“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. What makes us feel good is when we get a message from a reader telling us how she had a pretty hard day and our book made her feel better.”

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Mistakes are lessons. Learning from them is key. 

Jess, Howard County, Maryland 

“If you have a setback in the process of achieving your goals, and you feel as though you’ve failed, take a moment to reflect on why you weren’t successful and what you can do to ensure that you won’t make the same mistake(s) again. Then forgive yourself and get ready for another try. Self-improvement is not an endgame; it is a constant process.”

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Find the things that give your life meaning. 

Angela, Hunterdon County, New Jersey

“Before I was an esthetician, I had a different job that I thought was my “forever” job.  However, I was let go from this job with no warning and on Valentine’s Day!  And to make matters worse, we were right in the middle of buying a house and getting qualified for a mortgage.  At the time, I was so upset and couldn’t see past what was happening. Just a short time later, I landed the receptionist job at the wax studio, and now I am a licensed esthetician doing work I absolutely love! If I had not been let go from that other job, I never would have found my true profession, nor have the enjoyment in a job that I have now. Looking back, I can see how all the pieces fit together and it makes sense, but at that time, I had no idea. So, no matter what is happening at the moment, continue to push forward and do your very best.  What seems like the worst thing in the world can be a blessing in disguise.”

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Failure is necessary. 

Leire H., Barcelona, Spain

“Time has made me realize that it is good to try to be the best you can be and give the very best you can, but failure is permitted. And it is failure that made me learn many times.”

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Don’t change yourself for anyone or anything.

Chanel, Annapolis, Maryland 

“Staying true to yourself is important in any industry. It’s easy for others to laugh or joke or not take you seriously, so try and tune out those voices. No one else is responsible for your happiness or life successes.”

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There will always be choices. You are in charge of your happiness. 

Amiee, Lake County, Indiana  

“”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.”

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Don’t go it alone. Show your team some love!

Tabatha, Washtenaw County, Michigan

Having a team is the cornerstone to success.” 

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Focus on improving yourself a little each day.

Jessica from Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada  

“We are human. We can only learn from that and try to be better next time.”  

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True happiness will be found when you step outside your comfort zone. 

Sarah, Seattle, Washington

“Sports have been a passion of mine since I started playing soccer at 4 years old, and I have been coaching for 15 years. In addition to being a soccer player, I have now joined the Seattle Majestics football team to try my hand at something new. As a rookie this year, I am excited to step outside of my comfort zone, learn to tackle, and hopefully win a championship with the impressive women who make up this team.”   

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Make time for what you love. Schedule it, if you have to! 

Ioana, Cluj, Romania

“What I would like everyone to know and apply is passion! Find something that you love doing and go for it. Take time for it, show what you do to other people, involve your loved ones in your passion. 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.”   

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Positivity. Positivity. Positivity. 

Kelly, Toronto, Canada

One thing I’ve learned is this: You cannot control what happens in your life, but you can control how you react to it. I think if I continued to sulk and think negatively, nothing significantly positive would’ve happened in my life. Changing my perspective and immersing myself in hope and positive thinking only resulted in positive changes in my life.”   

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Realize you don’t know it all. Great work takes time, feedback, and the right mindset to keep going! 

Carly, Melbourne, Australia

I used to give up on projects too early without enough feedback to see it through, and I attribute my giving up too early mostly to self-limiting beliefs. You can have the best business model and the best-looking website and great marketing strategy, but 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.”   

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Use the “negatives” in your life as your fuel! 

Q and A with Julianne, Hartford County, Connecticut

“It’s all up to us whether we decide to use our broken pieces as a weapon or as a crutch.”   

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You’re harder on yourself than anyone else is. Be kinder to yourself.

Q and A with Idoia, Barcelona, Spain 

“Once you are on stage, there is this magic, that it makes you shine even though you are under pressure. If you miss a step, the key is to continue no one is expecting you to be perfect but you! It about forgiving yourself and continuing. A mistake is an opportunity to grow.”

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Woman Wednesday: Idoia

*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 Idoia, Barcelona, Spain 

 

“Once you are on stage, there is this magic, that it makes you shine even though you are under pressure. If you miss a step, the key is to continue no one is expecting you to be perfect but you! It about forgiving yourself and continuing. A mistake is an opportunity to grow.”

 

 

 

Q: What are you passionate about?

A: The best approach to life is to be passionate in every second. It may sound cliché; however, there is no other way to live life meaningfully. 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.

 

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Having said that, I feel grateful to work for one of the biggest online travel agencies in the world. Why? Because we bring people together as well as the world itself. Traveling has helped me to awaken my mind, to be open-minded and to see how beautiful diversity is. My role at the company is to ensure that travelers find the best deals for accommodation. This allows me to have a close relationship with the hospitality industry while working for a highly innovative travel platform. I would say that unconsciously, since I was a child, I knew that my life would be linked to travel. I will always remember the family trips around Spain with the car or summer holidays somewhere in Europe.

 

 

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

A: I would highlight two lessons. The first one is to forgive yourself. Forgive yourself for not knowing everything. Forgive yourself for that time you did not say what you wanted. Forgive yourself for failing. This is something I learned not so long ago, as I realized how tough I was being to myself. Indeed, it is essential to forgive to overcome difficult situations where you think you have failed. If there is not forgiveness, it will be much more difficult to continue your journey. It will feel as if you had an issue that had not been resolved with yourself.

 

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The second one is to be kind to others. When you meet someone, you don’t really know their story and what they have been through. In my view, each person behaves in a certain way because of a reason. Don’t blame that person for not being what you expected; there is probably an explanation for their behavior. Let the other person open up and tell you their story. Read what they are not able to say with words. We are sometimes afraid of showing vulnerability to others, while that is the moment when you are more honest and truthful to others and to yourself.

 

Q: What were your younger years like? 

A. I grew up in the northern region of Spain, in a beautiful region called Basque Country near the city of Bilbao.  I used to live in a little town close to the beach, and I played in the street until I was a teenager. I have now been living in Barcelona for three years, as I moved there to study for a bachelor’s degree in tourism and hospitality management.

 

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I remember my childhood full of curiosity—always wanting to try new things and ready for adventure. For instance, I used to dance urban style dances since I was nine years, then my older sister encouraged me to take up ballet lessons at the age of thirteen. I felt completely lost for the first year! I thought about giving up, but there was something that I found in ballet that completely changed my perspective of life. I understood how important is to accept myself in front of a mirror, both physically, but mainly, psychologically. Furthermore, to see how in life one should reflect, think, and then act. This is, I would say, how you find balance in life (but also in ballet 😉).  As I continued practicing ballet, I felt that I wanted to improve and learn more and more. It helped me to be resilient and to apply it to school, goals, personal relationships. When it was time for the summer festival of the dance school, we used to feel pressured the last weeks before the show. That is when I learned to trust myself and not to be frightened about failing. Once you are on stage, there is this magic, that it makes you shine even though you are under pressure. If you miss a step, the key is to continue; no one is expecting you to be perfect but you! It’s about forgiving yourself and continuing. A mistake is an opportunity to grow.

 

 

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

A: I feel that I am constantly learning and figuring out who I want to be. I do not believe in the only truth or the only answer. However, I have recently understood the importance of putting life in perspective and not making comparisons with others. We sometimes tend not to appreciate all we have in life because of making comparisons with others. This is especially relevant nowadays—as we are connected to other people’s lives in social networks 24/7. It is easy to compare yourself with the person you see on Instagram. Is it even fair to compare yourself with someone you don’t really know? It is not; you need to put in perspective your own goals and to look for inspiration rather than an exact role model.

 

I have learned that if I try to follow a role model, I forget about who I am and where I am going. I believe that even if you are not completely sure of where you want to be in the future, you already know where you do not want to be. This means that by following other’s steps, you do not necessarily end up where you want to go. It is more likely to feel that you have lost a chance to find your own way.

 

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Q: What does feminism mean to you? 

A: Feminism is the change to a more open and free society. It is not about just women or men; it is about the role models that have historically been associated with women and men. Feminism fights for women to be able to break the existing roles and to be whatever we want to be. It is the way to eliminate the barriers to do or act in a certain way because of the fact of being a woman.  For those who think that feminism is just about women, I would say that it is also about defending for men to be able to have different roles as well. For instance, many say that men shouldn’t cry, while feminism defends that men should be able to cry like any other human being.

Furthermore, feminism is also about creating a support bond with another woman. In other words, not to look at other women as competition, but creating a sisterhood relationship. Luckily, I feel that this change is happening within the women around me—at work and with my friends.

I believe that feminism is a small word for such a big meaning. There is a phrase of Simone de Beauvoir which states a deep message about feminism: “Feminism is a way of living individually but fighting collectively.”

 

 

 

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

 

Instagram:

www.instagram.com/idoiahn

 

 

 

 

 

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Woman Wednesday: Julianne

*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 Julianne, Hartford County, Connecticut

 

“It’s all up to us whether we decide to use our broken pieces as a weapon or as a crutch.”   

 

 

Q: What are you passionate about?

A: Teaching others to fish. I saw a picture in a National Geographic when I was 13. This imprinted on my heart how I wanted to serve during my lifetime. The picture was actress Drew Barrymore in another country feeding a very long line of children. The kids did not have anything to eat, so their hands were out waiting for the “slop.” Their expressions seemed to be so grateful, yet they were so malnourished. It’s been 28+ years since I stumbled upon this photograph, but I see and feel like it was yesterday. I long to work full time with the youth in underprivileged areas to have an impact on the rest of their lives.

 

 

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Currently, I speak in front a few hundred at a time. I just launched my 3rd stream of income in a wellness project. The C word is everywhere. (Cancer). It stole my big sister when she was 27. This was also a huge variable that has shaped me and my grit. I train folks on “tapping into their own human potential” and the importance of multiple streams of income. I’m excited to see it laid out. And I am always happy to inspire others.

 

 

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

A: We all bleed the same. Everyone has a story. Those of us with the toughest experiences make the toughest humans. It’s all up to us whether we decide to use our broken pieces as a weapon or as a crutch.

 

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Q: What were your younger years like? 

A. I grew up with my mom, who is a genius, literally. She has worked for the government for 35 years. And my dad is 100% American Indian, the Lumbee tribe. My younger years were, um, toxic and LOUD to describe it lightly. I found soccer to escape. Soccer offered me friendship, peace, confidence, and family. I clung to the soccer ball for so long. I was awarded almost a full scholarship to play Division 1 at a local state university. Soccer had a lot to do with who I am today.

 

 

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Pictured: Julianne and her parents.

 

 

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Pictured: Julianne and her daughters.

 

 

Q: What does feminism mean to you? 

A: Feminism means strength. Women are absolute warriors. So often, I’ve found, women have fallen into a trap behind a man. Or behind our children. Being a mother of 3, I’ve found out how capable and strong I really am. We get even more dangerous (in a good way) when women unite…Watch out world!

 

 

 

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

 

Instagram:

http://www.instagram.com/Julianne.j

Phone number:

860-866-6365

 

 

 

 

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