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: Ariel

*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 Ariel, Collin County, Texas

“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.”

 

 

Q: What are you passionate about?

A: I am an interior designer who helps homeowners feel empowered through design. My passion is writing your story through fabric, furniture, architectural elements, and your personal items. I never planned to be an interior designer.
After high school, I had no idea what I wanted to do. As a young child, I had developed a love for animals. My parents told me that I should be a veterinarian because I loved animals so much. After graduating, I got a job at a vet clinic before school started to get my feet wet. It was my first surgery to watch with the vet, and I was so excited. Sadly, I soon learned that I was not meant to be a vet. I asked my parents and friends what I should do because I had no idea what to do next.
They told me because I love kids that I should be a teacher. I got to the end of my junior year and realized that I wasn’t passionate about teaching. At the time, a lot of my friends were teachers and would come home stressed out complaining about the kids and then have to bring work home on the weekends. I just couldn’t see myself working that hard to deal with other people’s misbehaving kids. After I realized these things, I dropped out and quit my job. I had no idea what I was going to do. I just knew that I kept doing things my way.
So, I told my family and friends to pray for me because clearly, I kept trying to do things my way instead of trying to do what God was wanting. Maybe a week or so went by and my aunt called me saying she knew what I was supposed to do because God kept her up the night before. I was very skeptical and just told her “Sure he did.” She was serious and began telling me future plans of being an interior designer. I was still skeptical but began to argue with her saying that I’m not passionate about it nor do I like interior designers (because I thought they were stuck up and rude). She told me to go to one class before I said no. If I didn’t like it, then we would start over. 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.

 

 

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This is my first year stepping out to do my own thing. I am currently working on two projects. The first project is almost complete. It is a remodel of a kitchen and fireplace. This homeowner had tried to make things feel like home, but it just wasn’t working. The space now speaks his style and spunk. He loves coming home to a space that relaxes him instead of depresses him. The second project is just starting. It is a remodel of the master and two Jack and Jill baths. This one is going to be an eye catcher after it is completed! This homeowner was tired of having such an empty house that didn’t feel like home. He loves to entertain, but he was embarrassed to bring people over because of the lack of furniture.
On the weekends, I work on writing books. Currently, I am in the editing phase of my first book. It is my personal story to help teenagers with their parents’ divorce. The second book will be a series of books about my dog and her adventures. I am very excited to become an author and share my knowledge while having fun.

 

 

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Q: What were your younger years like?

A: My younger years were tough. I come from a background of two generations of divorce. My parents had me while they were still in high school, and my grandparents raised me–not my parents. This helped set me up to be completely different than anyone my age. I was taught that you only reap what you sow, and nothing in life is handed to you. They instilled this mindset into me, and I am forever grateful. I have changed my family tree and the future generations. Also, I grew up in the country, so I am just a country girl who loves to hunt and fish, but don’t think for a second I don’t love to get dressed up!
I am a first generation to: not have a child at a young age, be married before 20, go to college, get a college degree, get two college degrees, become a business owner, and be completely debt free. I have two associate degrees. One is in childhood education and the other in design. I can’t tell you too much or it will ruin my first book’s story line. 😊

 

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

A: My clients aren’t just a onetime transaction. I design around their wants and needs, which means that I get to know them. They get to know me and become like family! I want them to know that I treat each and every client’s project as if it was my own. They all are books to me, and I have to read them to know what they want. I want them to become my lifetime clients. God’s plans will always be greater and more beautiful than we could ever plan for.

 

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Q: What does feminism mean to you? 

A: I believe that men and women were created equal. God created us all to be unique, and we shouldn’t try to be something that we aren’t. Be what God created you to be.

 

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Let’s connect! 🙂

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rusticsimplicitydesigns/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/rusticsimplicitydesigns/

 

I reside in Texas, but I will travel for bookings.

 

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

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Woman Wednesday: Stacy

*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 World Traveler Stacy (traveler of over 40 countries), The Sunshine State of Florida

“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.”

 

 

Q: What are you passionate about?

A: I’m passionate about seeing as much as possible of the Earth and sharing it with others. I love exploring new places, seeing nature, and being in a new culture. Sunrises and sunsets are my absolute favorite! 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.”

 

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I currently work for a large school district in Florida and love my job.

Being able to work with kids, I’m able to instill my love of travel and inspire them from an early age.

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Q: What were your younger years like?

A: We didn’t travel much as a family when I was young because of financial issues. When I was in my early twenties, I began exploring and found my true love for travel. I’ve never looked back! I would say my big trip in my 20s was Ireland. It was my first non-tour or “family” trip and opened my eyes to all the ways of exploring the world.

 

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Q: What does feminism mean to you? 

A: Women and men being equal to each other. Same rights, same pay, etc.

 

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Having explored more than 40 countries on an educator’s budget, I always look forward to my next solo or group adventure. Check out my blog to join me on a memorable journey as we experience breathtaking views, authentic eats, and inspiring moments. Plus, get the ‘best of’ travel tips without breaking the bank. Transform your wanderlust into reality at sologatortraveler.com.

 

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Let’s connect! 🙂

Click here to check out my travel blog, learn tips and tricks, and follow me on my travels: sologatortraveler.com

Facebook: facebook.com/sologatortraveler

Instagram: instagram.com/sologatortraveler

 

 

 

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

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Woman Wednesday: Ellen

*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 Ellen, Pemberton, British Columbia

 

“I have learned that not making a choice is a choice in itself. If you want something specific and you have a vision for your life, just take some action. Take small steps towards that vision…even if you’re not 100% ready. If you wait until you’re ready, you will forever be waiting.”

 

 

Q: What are you passionate about?

A: I’ve always had a drive to create and express myself in different artistic ways. I’ve had a blog, dabbled in acting, singing, drawing, writing, and am a huge yoga lover! Finding my purpose inside of those things that alight my soul has been so important to me.

 

When I became a mom to my one little guy, I stayed home from building my career as a hairstylist. I’ve always had a drive to build something of my own. So, I started exploring ways to build a business from home. Everything is starting to transition into the online space! New ways of marketing is a hot need for businesses now! So, that’s where I found my place. I’ve been building a thriving digital marketing business for almost a year now, which has also opened up so many other doors of opportunity and ideas to expand my business and my brand.
I have been able to help other beautiful women reignite from within and harness their confidence and power to be their own boss and build businesses online alongside me. We are very supportive of each other and keep in contact almost daily in our mastermind group chats. Keeping in regular contact in group chats and through video calls, where we can share our journeys and lessons, has been probably one of the most important factors in each of our own successes and growth as entrepreneurs!
I initially started my own business for myself but only did I start to see it really take off when it stopped being about me and started being about sharing the opportunities out there with other women, connecting and really learning that we are all so much more connected than we are aware. The internet has been the most amazing way to meet each other and become great friends and biz associates!

 

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

A: It’s taken me many years of trial and error to get to where I am today. I’ve been through many business ideas–none of them really sticking until I found affiliate marketing, where I’ve finally been able to build a secure, sustainable business from scratch!

 

I have learned that not making a choice is a choice in itself. If you want something specific and you have a vision for your life, just take some action. Take small steps towards that vision…even if you’re not 100% ready. If you wait until you’re ready, you will forever be waiting. We’ll always find an excuse that it’s not the right time to start that business, quit that job you hate, move to a new town, et cetera. I used to roll my eyes when I heard that, until I had to live it myself.

 

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There will never be a better time than the present. If you’re unable to get a dream out of your head…go get it. Maybe it’ll take some time! But what’s a couple years rather than waiting your whole life for the “right time”? And the right time, if no action is taken towards something–will never come on it’s own.

 

Q: What does feminism mean to you? 

A: In my own mind, I would rather call it women’s empowerment.  When I think of what it means to me, it expresses itself as more of a feeling deep-rooted inward. To me, it means giving women the right to be themselves–to be what and who they want to be. I believe when we step into our own power by following our hearts and our passions that we are taking back our power to be women and human beings. If we tap into our own inner strength, that there’s not much if anything that can stand in our way.

 

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As women, we have a strong and unwavering tie to the Earth and its power. To heal, to regenerate, and to be able to withstand pain and suffering that the outside world can impose upon us. I believe when we stand up for ourselves, our beliefs, our rights in whatever setting, we keep that momentum moving forward as a collective consciousness for women everywhere.

 

I feel such a strong connection to all of the women I come in contact with. We have a deep-rooted connection to each other and should support and stand up for one another in any way another may need. We are stronger when we are supportive and work to empower one another. It starts with us being able to see each other as we are, without judgment, and to see one another as a different form of ourselves. Then will the rest of the world follow our lead.

That’s what feminism means to me!

 

Let’s connect! 🙂 Follow me on Facebook! https://facebook.com/ellenjbarbeau/

 

 

 

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Woman Wednesday: Sona

*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 Sona, Orange County, California 

 

“Don’t dull your shine for someone else.”

 

 

Q: What are you passionate about?

A: I’m passionate about teaching women how to manifest their dreams with flow and ease. There are a lot of women that are trying to manifest desires, and they are stuck. I provide guidance on how to truly manifest anything you want. I help others continue the mindset.

 

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

A: I’ve learned that people’s opinions of you don’t mean a thing. Don’t dull your shine for someone else. Be true to yourself. Be honest with yourself and others and find peace within. 

 

Q: What were your younger years like? 

A. I’m going to be honest…I didn’t have a good childhood. I grew up in a bad neighborhood where my mom had a government job and stepdad sold drugs out the door. I was a live-in nanny to my half-siblings. I’ve suffered lots of abuse–mentally, emotionally, and physically. As a small child, I vowed that my child would never go through this. I got abused by my ex-husband. But I got the courage to walk away. My mom that adopted me was my rock; she taught me how to really stand on my own two feet. I have two licenses in skincare in two different states. I have two bachelor’s degrees, one in business and one in marketing. I was a single mom at 30 years old. I left my husband when my son was 2 years old. I was not happy, so I got the courage to live my life on my own terms. Yes, I made a lot of mistakes on the way, but I don’t regret it at all.

 

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Q: What does feminism mean to you? 

A: Feminism means we should be equal to men. But in this day and age, we are not. God created man, but a woman can create life, nurture the baby in her womb and bring it forth, men can’t do this. I feel women should be empowered, not put down by men. A woman can do the same job as a man, probably even better. That’s my take on it.

 

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

 

Follow me on my YouTube channel: www.youtube.com/c/Sonasunni

Follow me on Instagram and Facebook:

 

 

 

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