What people don’t tell you about being a social media influencer or public figure online…

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Photo by Du01b0u01a1ng Nhu00e2n on Pexels.com

We live in such an ever changing world. This generation specifically has grown up with resources that were never available to previous generations. We literally have a world of answers to all life’s questions at our fingertips. There is an ever growing community of wanna be social media influencers or “public figures” who’s jobs are to offer creative and informative content for all. I happen to be one of those people.

Ask any “influencer” or person who puts themselves out there publicly about what their goal is with their work…and I guarantee in their own way their answer will include something about bringing value to others. About wanting to help people or guide others in some area of life if not all areas. I truly believe the people who chase after this career path are the very ones who have searched for answers their whole life as well. Learning to inspire others keeps yourself inspired & growing and its an addictive feeling to be honest. And while sharing fun and informative things & cute photos with hundreds or thousands of likes can be fun…theres a side of this world that most people don’t talk about.

It can be lonely as hell. Most people in your inner circle don’t fully understand what it is you’re even doing, and the people who follow you are so critical of your every move that you never can fully make anyone happy. Most people just look at the end result of your content and assume you have it easy or that success just came to you over night…not fully understanding the countless hours of personal development,  money spent,  trainings, creative sessions you have had to dive into to learn to create something that brings joy to others. You’re constantly navigating the fine line of being open and vulnerable without oversharing to strangers. You want to inspire yet at times sharing your personal experiences or opinions may trigger others & bring out some form of negativity. You are fighting against keyboard warriors almost on the daily to not destroy the confidence and self love you have worked so hard on achieving and want to share with others. You wear your heart on your sleeve and find that sometimes the wrong people will take hold of that and choose to take advantage…and it leaves you feeling like maybe this whole journey was a mistake. You wonder if anyone really does value the hard work you have done. Some days it honestly feels like it would be easier to give up your dream of building something that helps others…and hide away at home & go back to a regular day job and just…go through the motions.

It’s not easy taking the path less traveled. It’s not easy building something from nothing. It’s not easy bearing your soul to complete strangers. However I truly think the people who are genuinely called for this kind of career path & lifestyle have a passion within for helping others that burns brighter than any fear or self doubt ever could. The next time you’re scrolling through your favorite influencers feed I encourage you to take a moment to thank them for whatever value it is that they bring to your life. Because I guarantee behind all of the pretty pictures and what may seem to look like the most amazing life to you…is a person who has struggled on more than one occasion with the direction they want to take their dream. There is a person on the other side of the monitor…and she’s no different from you.

Spread love & respect to everyone…even the ones you think already have enough. You never know what that could really mean to them. You inspire them to keep going just as much as they inspire you.

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Everybody Always…My New Favorite Read

EveryBody Always

A few weeks back my cousin Tori gifted me this new read. I’m only a few chapters in, but boy has it been speaking to me.

Over the last year, personally, I’ve gone through some challenges. Facing loss not only because of Death, but because…my relationships with certain people have failed. It’s so easy to love people when they agree with you right? When things are going good & you’re getting along…it makes friendships/relationships a breeze and then..shit hits the fan. Someone does or says something that crushes your soul..and after that your ability to love them becomes a little less unconditional.

I think we all are guilty of this at least a few times in life. And something I’ve learned is..even though their actions may have been wrong..doesn’t mean I was right. I think I had gotten into the habit of holding these people I love so dearly on an unrealistic pedestal. Assuming that their thoughts aligned perfectly with mine and they would never hurt me. When in fact..that is SO unfair to them. They are HUMAN just like me..and at some point are bound to mess up. Humanity is messy, and selfish, and imperfect. So why on earth would I be expecting my friendships/relationships to be any different? Now thats not to say there aren’t boundaries. Of course if someone is truly toxic there comes a point where removing them may be necessary…however grace also needs to be taken into consideration.

One scenario that comes to mind for me was when I was recently told that I share too much on social media. Okay, so for those of you who may not know me too well..social media is not only my job but its my chosen platform to share my heart. To help heal & inspire & to be inspired by others. I firmly believe that we were created with a set of “gifts”. However they aren’t ours to keep. These gifts are meant to be given to others we come in contact with. And the more we all open up to one another the more we can learn and find the gifts that are waiting for us in the very people we pass by daily. I think thats why so many people live life feeling empty. They build these walls out of fear that they are sharing too much..and all thats left is a heart shelf full of gifts that were never meant for them to keep to begin with. It’s our job to go out and find the people who need the gifts we possess so that we can make room for the ones we NEED. I read somewhere once “There is power in your pain”..and boy has this year been painful. After losing a few people to death I began sharing some of my heart when it comes to grief. And for whatever reason it was viewed by some as “attention seeking” or “unhealthy” etc. And let me tell you that hurt. It hurt because I know my heart & I expected that they would too. I assumed that I wouldn’t have to defend myself or the way I share whats on my mind. I could have easily gone off the handle and called all of them out after figuring out what went down. But instead…I prayed on it. I recognized that I am not in control of how others perceive me (even those I love) I am only in control of how I react to that perception. And learning to embrace my insecurities and not let them overcome me I could ground myself in confidence and know that…no matter what was said I KNOW who I am and what I’m about. And its not up to me to convince anyone else to catch up with that. I also knew that just because there was a disagreement in this matter doesn’t mean I should stop loving or caring for them. And even though in the heat of the moment it may not have been that easy…its worth it. Its okay to hear opposing views on not only life but yourself at times. It helps you gain perspective & helps to push you further towards the person you are becoming.

“Why are you so afraid? Who are you trying to impress? Am I really so insecure that I surround myself only with people who agree with me? When people are flat out wrong, why do I appoint myself the sheriff to straighten them out? Burning down others’ opinions doesn’t make us right. It makes us arsonists.” -Bob Goff

I read this quote earlier in “Everybody Always” and it hit so close to home. Why is it that we often find ourselves only choosing to surround ourselves with those who agree with us all the time? Why is it so hard to love people when they think differently? I haven’t quite mastered it however as I reflect upon this last year I truly believe God is trying to teach me something. He is trying to teach me to learn to love even when its hard. Even when I’m hurt. Even when I don’t agree. Because thats what he does for all of us daily. And if there is anything I am certain of in this life it’s that I want to be more like him every day.

So here is to smashing pedestals, forgiving those who have hurt us, & learning to respect opposing views and meeting them with love instead of defense.

 

***If you’d like to pick up a copy of “Everybody Always” (which I highly suggest you do) you can grab it HERE

The gift of Confidence

Over the summer I had the pleasure of meeting miss Kati. We were introduced by a mutual friend who had shared with me a little about Kati. Kati was diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma and was battling for her life. She had an event to go to (a wedding) and her friend wondered if I could help her get ready for the day.

We chatted on Facebook before actually meeting I remember her telling me “This is my first event I’m attending after my chemo treatments..I just don’t want to look sick.” Her story hit close to home as one of my dear friends had been battling cancer over the last 2 years. We unfortunately lost him just a few short weeks ago & it truly changed me. He hated getting his picture taken and had shared with me on a few occasions how he hated what chemo had done as far as his outward appearance. It shattered my heart because I knew him before all of this…I know what a sweet person he was and to have him feel that way..knowing CANCER made him feel that way & took that confidence from him enraged me.

I didn’t want Kati to feel that way about herself either. So I offered to do her makeup & help her get ready completely free of charge & I reached out to my dear friend Dana Lyn Gruszynski from DanaG Photography to see if we could make it happen in her gorgeous studio. She, being the amazing soul she is, agreed without hesitation and the date was set!

We met in the morning and from the moment we hugged there was an instant connection. Kati is intelligent, funny, kind, & more importantly BEAUTIFUL inside & out. Just a true genuine soul. I got to learn so much more about Kati this day. Her goals, dreams, school, family….she is SO much more than her diagnosis. Before I knew it we had completed her look & when I saw her look in the mirror and her face light up it was honestly one of the best moments. She felt CONFIDENT & comfortable in her own skin. Something that everyone deserves to feel.

I’m happy to report that a few weeks back Kati WON her battle against Hodgkins Lymphoma and now is CANCER FREE & in remission!! I had been praying so hard for her since we met and I’m so thankful that she is here & thriving.

People with Cancer are just that…PEOPLE. They are more than their diagnosis. They are more than a patient number on a chart. They are more than office visits, and well wishes, and treatments….They are human beings who deserve to feel good about themselves from the inside out. I’m so very happy Kati allowed me to be a part of this special day for her & for her to share some of her story with me.

Kati you are a beautiful woman & beautiful soul. I am so happy our paths crossed. I continue to pray for you & wish you all the happiness, confidence, & love in the world. 💛🙏🏻

Grief

Grief is a strange thing. The stages go in no particular order & at times it seems like more of a deep pool of chaos.

My mind races constantly with thoughts of what could have been or should have been differently. I understand it’s pointless but that doesn’t stop my brain from processing it in this way.

I don’t believe it. I don’t believe that I will never again be in the same room as my loved one. I don’t believe that our time together has abruptly come to an end. How can a lifetime of love for another be stolen away within what feels like minutes? Just gone…that’s it…over..final. So final.

And I know there’s another space I can’t see right now. I know they wait for me to enter into the next room of this journey we are on. But right now…right in this moment..I’m still here & they are still there and nothing here can fill that void in between & bring us back together.

Instead it’s filled with memories & thoughts & regrets & anger & happiness…& all of the emotions you can think of rolled into one. It’s filled with a lifetime of moments that we will never be able to get back. And it feels like the heaviest weight is bearing down on my chest..and I can’t breathe. My mind is filled with the heaviest of fogs…And tears keep coming down even though I feel I have none left to give…they just keep falling.

Grief is not a 12 step program. It cannot be defined on paper as a puzzle to complete and get through. No…grief lingers. Grief clings to you like bonfire smoke on your favorite hoodie. It’s not always so noticeable but when you sense it..it takes over.

Grief is like a luke warm pool of water. It almost becomes comfortable. Because as long as you’re feeling grief it almost as if your soul is still clinging to theirs. The one last thing you have a chance to grasp…just barely…It’s almost even scarier to think of a day without it…because without it will you remember them every day? Or do they just fade into the background of your mind only to be plucked to the center on anniversary’s or holidays like a long lost relative…

I’m not exactly sure where this grief will take me. However I do know that no matter how unbearable it may seem…grief still can never over power love.

My brother shared a poem today & it fits perfectly…

“It’s avails not, time nor place—distance avails not, I am with you.”

For my Grandfather & my dear friend…I’ll be missing you. 💔🙏🏻

Healing is Possible. God is good.

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A few years back when I began college again I was taking my first writing class and asked to share a personal event that changed my life. I would go on to receive an A on not only the paper but in the class. I told myself when I felt ready I would share, because I always feel that someone out there in the world can be helped through our experiences both good and bad. So…here I am sharing my essay with you all now 4 years later..

 

“My heart was racing as the Doctor gave me the news.

I’m sorry, Miss Ogle, but you’ve had a miscarriage.

And just like that, my life had changed. Whatever the rest of her speech was seemed to all be a blur. I couldn’t focus on anything other than the fact that my heart felt as if it was being torn from my chest. It wasn’t just a baby I had lost that day, but a part of myself as well.

The drive home seemed to last forever. Mom trying to make small talk with me. I could tell she didn’t know whether to give me words of encouragement or talk about something else completely. I chose to change the subject. After all how could I be this upset about someone I had never met? I wasn’t even showing yet. This was embarrassing. I walked into the house and plopped on the couch. I glanced to the corner of our living room which was already piling up with baby items. “What to Expect When You’re Expecting” lying across the coffee table. What now? Then the phone rang. Of course the downside to being in a tight knit family is no situation is ever private. I needed a minute to process this without having to describe in detail what had happened.

I kept replaying the Doctors visit over and over in my head. How could this be? I felt the tears coming, warmly falling down my cheek. And then a surge of anger came over my entire body.

“How could you do this to me, God? What have I ever done to deserve this? I would have been a great mother!”

The only way I could get my emotions out was to have something or someone to blame it on. And the easiest target was God. After all, he is in control of everything, right? At least that is what I had been raised to believe, but my faith had been tremendously shaken.

For the next few hours I laid crying on the couch and attempted to nap but couldn’t stop my mind from racing, or the annoying buzz from my phone going off in what seemed to be 10-minute intervals. I decided there was nothing left to do but pray. As I began to pray for guidance in this situation my mind went back to 7 years ago. An event that to this day gives meaning to my life.

It’s 7th Grade, and I’m wide awake on a school night. Pondering life after a deep conversation in my English class that day of where we all came from. My response:

“Well God made all of us of course!”

I became very surprised when there were a few opposing views from my classmates. My grandmother was a pastor at our local church, and I had been raised to believe in God from the time I could remember. But all of a sudden it occurred to me – is this what I really believe or is this just something I have been taught?

God, I need some answers. If you are really there listening, I need proof because I’m not so sure I believe this stuff.

My prayer was done and I headed to bed.

About a week later, I find myself walking down a busy street with my best friend Aleia. As we trotted towards the local gas station we noticed a red balloon in the middle of the busy traffic rolling around in a mud puddle. And it didn’t matter how many cars whizzed by it was not popping. Upon seeing the balloon Aleia dares me to grab it, tie it to my wrist, and walk into the gas station wearing it. Challenge accepted. I looked both ways and raced to the center of the street. I grasped the slippery balloon in my hands and noticed lumps all over. I had saved it just in time before it popped! I return to Aleia laughing hysterically.

I can’t believe you actually did it!

I was about to tie the balloon to my wrist as I was told, when I noticed a note card with a message stuck to the back of it.

“God put it in my heart to send out this balloon. To whomever finds it needs to know that you are loved by him.”

My jaw dropped and I instantly began to cry.

Okay, Okay you don’t have to do it if you don’t want to!

No it’s not that! You don’t understand!

I began to explain to Aleia the prayer I had made a few days prior and the significance this balloon actually had. This was not just some old lumpy balloon. This was my very own message from God himself! I went home excited and told the story to mother and called grandmother. God is real grandma! He is real and he sent me my very own note saying so!

I made a promise to myself that day that I would never question God again. And I would try, no matter how hard the situation, to remember the excitement I felt in that moment.

So here I am 7 years later, just losing my first pregnancy. And it’s the hardest thing I ever had to go through. It’s easy when things are going your way to have faith and to thank God for your blessings. It’s another story when you lose something so special to feel thankful at all. I realized in that moment that this situation is when my faith counts the most.

Hebrews 11:1 states “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” I could sit here and cry and wonder why this happened, or I could trust that God in fact has a plan for my life. It may not be turning out the way that I wanted at 20 years old, but there is hope for what I cannot see nor understand at this time.

I struggled with this situation for a long time. But the more I prayed and trusted God, the more peace was brought to me. As the truth behind my 8 year relationship with my high school sweetheart came to light, it eventually ended. Drugs, cheating, and lying all took a part in breaking what I once thought was something so solid, but what really shook me was the fact that he eventually ended up with one of my best friends. After I accepted the situation for what it really was I realized that if I would have had a child in that relationship, they would have been brought into the world in an abusive and toxic environment. This is not how I want to raise my future children. This whole time I had been putting all of my effort into a relationship I knew wasn’t right. I had put aside my own needs and more importantly I put my boyfriend in God’s place. When your priorities are mixed up the rest of your life becomes chaos. And It doesn’t matter how good your intentions may be, it will eventually catch up with you.

After taking time to pray and reflect on everything that happened I thought of my red balloon. I realized that if God would send a curious 7th grader a message, he surely would not leave me alone now to deal with such a traumatic event. I could feel his presence with me and a peace that no amount of kind words from family or friends could offer. Even though losing my baby was difficult, I will now be able to offer a more stable environment for when I choose to have children in the future. I may not know all of the answers as to why bad things happen. But what would be the point if I knew it all? Isn’t that the joy of life? The unknown? Having faith that in the end you will be exactly where God intended for you to be? And it will be better than anything you could have imagined.”

 

4 years after writing this essay I am now married and my husband and I are opening up the conversation about trying for children soon. At one point in life I thought I had lost all hope…I truly believed I was unlovable and the thought of being pregnant again terrified me because of my miscarriage. While I still feel the miscarriage looms in the back of my mind from time to time…I am so happy to finally be in a stable relationship that will allow us to create life & grow a little human that will change the world in some way. How beautiful is it that through all of our mistakes, hurts, trials, etc….God listens. He listens and he guides us to the exact place we need to be in order to fulfill our life purpose. We are about to celebrate 2 years of marriage next month and I honestly can’t wait for the day we get to say we are expecting. I will forever mourn the loss of my little one at age 20….however I know I will be that much more appreciative for the one my husband and I will bring into the world in the near future.

 

Healing is possible. God is good.

SMART Goals & Achieving your Dream Life

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I woke up this morning, grabbed my green tea/ coffee (yes I drink BOTH…Im crazy), and started on my personal development. One of the books I’m currently listening to on Audible is “Get Over Your Damn Self: The No-Bs Blueprint to Building a Life-Changing Business” by Romi Neustadt. In this book she talks about many ways to create an amazing business and thrive. Today’s topic was Goal Setting. Specifically SMART Goal setting. Now if you’re in Business you may be familiar with this concept, but if you’re not or you’re new let me give you a simple break down.

A SMART Goal is considered

Specific

Measurable

Achievable

Realistic/Relevant

Time Bound

I run both an MLM Beauty Based Business as well as my very own Online Boutique built from the ground up…and I can tell you this is 100% true. Majority of the time in my last 3 years in the business world I have noticed so many women, myself included, who simply state a blanket goal out in the open and then….nothing. No mapping, no game plan, no small steps towards this achievement. And then they sit back and wonder why nothing seems to be working? Why they aren’t getting where they want to be? Well how on earth do you expect to reach your destination with no map? It makes no sense, right?

Its so important in business and even in life that we set not only goals for ourselves, but that we map out a game plan of how we will achieve them. Being realistic with our expectations of ourselves & holding ourselves to a higher standard than we did the day before. If you want to BE BETTER you have to BE BETTER. Yes I said that twice. Let it sink in.

My challenge for you today is to sit down and get REAL with yourself. Why is it that you are reaching for the goal that you are? Once you have that down…I want you to, step by step, day by day, (Okay now I’m singing that theme song lol)…list exactly what needs to happen in order to achieve it. Its okay for this plan to evolve. Its okay for your why to change. You simply revisit your game plan every 90, 120, 270 days to see if you’re still on track or if you need to change anything.

How amazing is it that you woke up today with a new opportunity to get closer to what it is you’re trying to achieve?! And if you’re not excited about that…it may be time to reevaluate your why and find something that does get you excited! Something that gets you out of bed in the morning pumped for new perspective. Pumped for a new chance to make change. We are so limited here with our time. So lets make it count…..and make shit happen!

I have linked a pdf file that I shared with my Beauty Community (Kudos to Pinterest & Happy Organized Life) for SMART Goal setting. Download it  here.

Your goals don’t have to stay dreams. You can make them a reality. You just have to be willing to DO what needs to be done.

Happy goal setting Mavens.

XoXo

The Maven Life

 

The Power Of Words

Words.

One of the most important things we use to communicate. You, this very second, are reading a collection of words I’ve thrown into the universe (or cyber space for that matter) to convey my exact emotions/feelings/thoughts at this very moment. What a beautiful thing right? To be able to read someone’s feelings. To be able to feel someone’s heart through words.

So often we take for granted the words we speak. Words are used to complain, to gossip, or worse….hurt others or even ourselves. With such an amazing ability we have to communicate why on earth would we use our words to spread hate? I was reading my morning devotional and this exact topic came up.

-Be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry. 

There is one who speaks like the piercings of a sword. But the tongue of the wise promotes health. 

I encountered a situation last night where words were used to try and hurt me. Here I was trying to be productive & helpful and someone was trying to purposefully put me down. For whatever reason, unknown to me, this person went out of their way to use their ability as a sword and cut into me. It hurt.

Instead of reacting right then and there and calling the person out…I remained quiet and decided to actually THINK before I reacted. However I cannot necessarily say I was slow to anger, because girl…it was there…and it was boiling over. After I thought about all the ways I could snap back at this individual (lets face it in the heat of the moment that is far more appealing) I sat and thought back to times where I also wasn’t so nice to others.

Back in my high school years I wasn’t always the person I am today. In fact..some may say I was a mean girl. In my mind anyone I argued with or put down “had it coming”. I had some sort of “reason” why I treated them bad. I had some sort of “reason” why I used my words to cut into them vs. promote a healthy loving environment. And you know what? I was MISERABLE. I was so unhappy with where I was & so on the defense all the time I allowed it to be a scape goat to use my words in a negative way to drag others down. It was awful. It was embarrassing.

However over the last decade as I have grown into womanhood I have recognized how important our words are. Even in difficult situations…words cannot be taken back. So therefore we need to use them wisely. Instead of going off and saying the first thing that comes to mind….we need to pause, listen, and actually put thought into the words we use. This goes for the words we speak to ourselves as well. Every word you put out into the universe should promote love, health, & positivity. And more importantly during the difficult times….RESPECT. Respect for the person you are interacting with & respect enough for yourself to recognize that your words are truly a reflection of who you are on the inside. After all your words are simply your inner thoughts being brought to light.

So after this negative encounter last night I started to recognize that this person in fact lacks self respect. They have not been able to grow into a positive or love promoting individual. They think so low of themselves that they carelessly use their words to try and drag others down with them. And that…Is heartbreaking to me. Because I understand what that feels like. Because I too…was a miserable person back in my younger years. And like the saying goes….”Misery loves company”. I wanted others to feel the way I was feeling. I was self centered & inconsiderate to those around me. I wish so badly I could go back and talk to that girl and explain to her the impact of her words. They truly are one of the most powerful tools we have.

I challenge you today to take a few moments and consider the words you speak in a day. Are they good? Do they bring value into your own life or the life of others? Are they genuine and respectful? Or are you careless and speak the first words that come to mind even if they are negative? Your words have the power to help heal or destroy. So use them wisely. You would be amazed at how a simple change in the way you communicate will multiply the happiness in your life.

Proverbs 18:21-The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.

Happy Friday All. Much love to you & heres to using our words for good.The Maven Life