Anything Can Happen: A Journey from Despair to Wholeness

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Anything Can HappenAs women, most of us dream of having a great career, a wonderful husband, kids and a house with a picket fence. We fantasize about growing old with our spouse and spoiling our grandchildren. However, we all know that nothing in life is guaranteed and “Anything Can Happen.”

This can be said for former educator, now author and inspirational speaker Michelle Green. She married her first love, had four beautiful kids, a lovely home and awesome career. Life was good. Life was happy. [Read more…]

When Being Strong is Your Only Choice

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women, inspiration, apparel, ladies, fearlessWe have been told that life is the best teacher. However, sometimes the lessons life teaches are not always easy or pretty, but it does make us stronger. The funny thing is, we never know how strong we are until being strong is the only choice we have.

This resonates loudly with this week’s honoree, Rachel De Simone. Her story echoes love, courage and strength.
Born and raised in Boston Massachusetts her childhood was fairly normal yet nomadic. Her family moved a lot due lack of finances. At the age of 15, her parents bought their first home. She finally had a HOME. A place where she could hang her pictures; feel secure. Nevertheless, as fate would have it, a year later, her dad was laid off and they lost almost everything. Rachel’s family was forced to move to Florida to live with her grandparents or be homeless.

Lesson One: Anything with a price tag can be taken away.

Rachel always knew she wanted to be a nurse. However, getting there was a going to hard. Her parents were divorcing and they could not afford to send to her to college. Life was a blur. However, she was determined to make her dreams her reality. She worked two jobs, got a roommate and graduated nursing school at the age of 22. Rachel’s not just any nurse. She is an ER nurse in a very busy hospital.

Lesson Two: Nobody is going to hand you anything. If you want it bad enough get up and make it happen.

Finally, the sun peaks through. Rachel finds the love of her life. He was an intern at her hospital but would soon be leaving for a residency in NYC. The late Maya Angelou said, “Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at its destination full of hope.” Rachel stepped out on faith, took a chance, and followed the love of her life to NYC. She was young. They were in love. They were pregnant.
The next 9 months was harder than any obstacle she has ever faced. The love of her life came from a very traditional Italian family. Who encouraged her to, “Do the right thing before it’s too late.” The pregnancy was a living hell. Nevertheless, she kept her son. This was the most important decision she could have ever made for everyone, his family would later find out.
Therefore, she returned to Florida to deliver their son and was prepared to raise him herself. However, “Love jumps Hurdles.” Her future husband returned with her to make their family work. It was not easy but they finally got married. It was the happiest moment of her life. Love conquers all.

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Lesson Three: Stand up for what you believe in or you will fall for anything.

Life was good. Her husband was finishing his residency and after many unsuccessful attempts, they were pregnant again. They are seeing the light at the end of tunnel. The hurt, pain and sacrifice from the past were becoming a blur. Everything was blissful as they are celebrating the 2nd birthday of their second son. Then the unthinkable happens, her husband dies two days later.
He was 34. Their life was just beginning.

Lesson Four: Life is what happens to you while you are busy making other plans.

Rachel was fortunate to have found the love her life. A lot of us search aimlessly and never find it. Through it all Rachel has learned more about herself. How strong she is and can be.  Rachel is now 39 and enjoys the gifts of her two sons, who are now 10 and 5.
However, with all that she has seen and learned the most important lesson by far is this.

Lesson Five: Perfectly imperfect is a destination of acceptance and having an awareness of our lives, others and ourselves. A destination we should all strive to reach. Once we reach this destination, happiness will surely follow.

 

 

 

 

 

Make Time for (Real) Friends

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With social networking on the rise, it’s easy to lose touch with those we really care about.  Now instead of calling our friends, we send text messages, tweets, or messages on Facebook.  Even though these are great ways to communicate, they should not be your only means of communication with those you care about.  Personally, I rarely communicate with my “friends” on social networks.  I use social networks for just that:  networking.  Sometimes those close to us need to hear a comforting voice or listening ear to remind us why they’re our friends to begin with.

I know we’re all super busy and have little free time outside of our jobs, kids, spouses, and other responsibilities, but it’s also important to make time for your friends.  Finding it hard to do so?  Here are some tips to help you make time for your friends. [Read more…]