Slowing Down to Speed Up by Traci

“You should sit in meditation for twenty minutes every day – unless you’re too busy; then you should sit for an hour.” ~ Zen Proverb

I first heard this quote several years ago, and my immediate response was a laugh.  I mean, it’s meant as a joke, right? A cute way of encouraging people to meditate more? Actually, the real humor is that the statement is paradoxically true!

When you’re really busy, feeling stressed, and your nervous system is in fight-or-flight mode, you may think that you can’t afford to slow down. The pressure to do something and take action can be overwhelming. Spending your time doing something like meditation logically seems like a waste of time when there are so many other things that need to be done. However, there’s an important difference between spinning your wheels as fast as you can and taking a series of inspired actions.

When you’re too stressed, you get tunnel vision. You can’t see all the options available to you through the fog of stress. Your mind is racing with thoughts and closed off to hearing anything new. You’re more apt to make mistakes, which then require more time and effort to correct. When you’re out-of-sync, you could work non-stop for hours and still make little or no meaningful progress.

Pausing and re-centering yourself is one of the best things to do when you’re super busy and feeling overwhelmed. A short five to ten minute meditation can really refresh your body and clear your mind (sometimes it does take longer, depending on the situation!). If you don’t yet know how to meditate, you can simply stop and take some deep breaths for a few minutes, paying attention to your breathing. This small and simple step interrupts your stress pattern, allowing the opportunity for change.

When you slow down, your mind gets quieter. Then you’re able to hear your inner guidance, your intuition. The fog clears, and from this new vantage point you can see a wider range of options that you previously weren’t able to see. Brilliant new ideas come to you out of nowhere. You’re more in tune with yourself and able to make better decisions. When you’re in the flow, working quickly is easy and you can accomplish a tremendous amount in a short period of time.

Slowing down doesn’t mean that you’re accomplishing less. By slowing down you’re able to work smarter, not harder, and actually speed up your results. By taking just a little bit of time to realign and refocus your energy, you become more empowered and poised.

Are you interested in learning meditation or other ways to reduce stress? Reach out to me at traci@traci-wagner.com. I will send you my set of mini-meditation recordings and direct you to other resources to help you get started.

Traci Wagner -Energy Healer, Spiritual Coach, Meditation Instructor- Healing With, LLC- www.Traci-Wagner.com

Empowered & PoisedComment
Perfectly Love Your Imperfections by Katrice
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I am Empowered and Poised because I love myself and my imperfections! Every day I say "I am Katrice and I perfectly love my imperfections.” So many of us go through life trying to fit in and trying to be what and who everyone else thinks we should be. Then when we fail we are beyond crushed and broken. I can admit a large portion of my life was spent feeling and thinking I needed to change for everyone else but not realizing I only needed to change for me. It wasn’t until after my divorce I realized “MY LIFE” is my responsibility and I only need approval from God and myself. I no longer looked for acceptance and approval from others. I was determined to love myself through my imperfections but that didn’t mean I thought I was perfect it just meant that I accepted everything about me. Our self-reflections are what helps us to grow. When you can look at yourself and say “this is where I need to grow”, and you begin to embrace your life and the current stage that you are in, that is when you realize the power within. I am empowered because I believe in empowering and motivating others on a daily basis. I wish I would have had someone to tell me over 20 years ago that I needed to love myself more and believe in me. I promised that I would start embracing and loving myself. As I look back over my life I have no regrets I just know that everything was a part of my personally designed journey. I want all women to remember that we are all unique and it is ok to embrace and love your imperfections, in spite of what the world thinks! Love YOU at all times and encourage others to do the same!!  

Owning Your Fear by Christen Shefchunas

What if I fail? What if I disappoint everyone? What if all my hard work doesn’t pay off? What if I embarrass myself? What if I’m not good enough?

These are just a few of the fears that I hear when I ask women what they’re thinking before a competition, before a presentation, before a test, before an important meeting. Basically, what is going through the mind of a woman when she’s feeling pressure. 

As I always say, when pressure hits a woman, the first thing to come is fear and doubts, and the first thing to go is our confidence. So, FYI, if you’ve ever had those kinds of thoughts and “what if’s” going through your mind, you are not a weakling, you are not a misfit, you are not alone. You are a woman. 

But as women, we feel alone. We feel like we are the only ones experiencing the fears, so we never talk about it because we are embarrassed. And then we use our “tap dancer”, the woman down deep in us that we pull out and tell everyone we’re “fine” while performing and tap dancing as if we are.

We think if we pretend that the fear isn’t there that it will go away. It doesn’t. We think that when we keep telling everyone we’re fine, someday we will be. We won’t. Fear is powerful, and it will affect you, regardless of how much you pretend it’s not there. 

The only way to beat this fear is to own it. We must face it and own it; I’m afraid, and that’s ok. 

And once we own it, now we can do something about it. I call this the “Flip it”. 3x Olympian Elizabeth Beisel explained the “flip it” as this: We as women have 1200 thoughts going through our mind at all times. When the fears come, it’s like we are shining a flashlight on those thoughts. Those thoughts are our focus. The “flip it” is when we move the flashlight to shine on positive thoughts. We move our focus to the positive. 

And when we move our focus to the positive, we find some hope that this might turn out ok. 

But let me be clear, these positive thoughts that we are going to focus on must be believable. They must be true to you. Almost every female athlete that I’ve ever worked has been told from a young age that they should stand before a competition focused in on, “I will win this, I will be great, I will go fast." The problem? They didn’t believe it. And focusing in on something that we don’t actually believe isn’t going to help us one bit. 

What do you believe? Like, seriously believe. When the fears and doubts come and the confidence goes, what can you focus in on that’s going to give you some hope walking into these pressure filled moments? What is your truth? 

I know most women are fighters. We do what we need to do, and we will always find a way. That’s definitely my truth. But you tell me. After you own it, what can you focus in on that you actually believe? That is your “flip it”. And when you find your “flip it,” and focus in on it, this will give you your greatest chance at reaching your fullest potential! And if you need some help (as we all do), wear your Confidence Nuggets bracelets as a constant reminder of your truth! :)

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About Christen Shefchunas

A former Division I college coach, now a Confidence Coach, Speaker and Author, Christen Shefchunas, aka Coach Christen, has had the honor of working with some of the best athletes in the world; Olympic Gold Medalists, World Champions and NCAA Champions.

 Frustrated from years of watching athletes full of potential miss their dreams because of their lack of confidence, Christen created Confidence Nuggets to help them build their confidence.

Having a visual reminder of their truth was a game changer, and Confidence Nuggets have gone on to help not only athletes, but all women move forward confidently, and reach their dreams.

Building A Girls Confidence by The Empowered & Poised Team

“7 in 10 girls believe they are not good enough or do not measure up in some way, including their looks, performance in school and relationships with family and friends.” – Real Girls, Real Pressure: National Report on the State of Self-Esteem, Dove Self-Esteem Fund

 

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At Empowered & Poised it is our mission is to empower and educate girls on how to be beautiful from the inside out through discovery of social, mental, and physical components. Our goal is to empower the young girls in the community to make safe, responsible, and healthy choices in their everyday lives. We are focused on providing them with resources, activities, and discussion surrounding the concept of the wellness triangle: physical, social, and mental well-being. The skills taught seek to promote positive self-image, self-awareness, creativity, leadership, interpersonal skills and overall wellness.

Participants learn skills that will help give them the basis and framework to be successful in life. We provide girls with the tools to be confident enough to give expression to their individuality. These skills guide girls to: collaborate, communicate, think critically and creativity, as well as develop confidence, self-awareness, and empathy. Girls can apply these newly acquired skills at school, at home, and in the community. As a result, they will develop into women who are more qualified candidates for opportunities such as enlistment, education, or employment in their future.

So, why is it so important that we give girls the tools to become more confident? How are we able to achieve this?

Here are five of the many ways to encourage and assist a young girl in developing her confidence.

1. Model body acceptance

Hey Moms! This one is especially important for you. Did you know that how you feel about your body can affect how your daughter feels about hers? For example, if you say something like “look at my fat jiggly arms” it could actually influence your daughters perceptions of her own arms. If you feel that you could use some tips on how to better model body acceptance check out this article.

2. Direct praise to more than just her appearance

It’s super important that we don’t only tell girls that they are beautiful, have nice hair, or a nice figure, but also praise them for their inner qualities. After all, at Empowered & Poised we teach our students that beauty begins on the inside. A couple phrases that you could use are “You are are so smart!” or “Your courage is so inspiring!”.

3. Focus on her efforts instead of her performance

Remember, if a girl is putting forth her best effort and she still falls short of your expectations there is no need to criticize her. Instead, share with her how proud you are for the hard work and efforts she has displayed. Continue to be patient and remember that everyone develops at different rates and possesses different skill sets. As we often hear, encourage “progress over perfection!”

4. Help her to become a critical consumer of the media

First, let’s define media. According to Dictionary.com media is defined as “the means of communication, as radio and television, newspapers,magazines, and the Internet, that reach or influence people widely”. Therefore, it’s important to help a young girl become a critical consumer of all media platforms that she may use or become influenced by. One example of how you can help her better understand the media is by discussing ads and the influence they have on consumers. For example, discuss why a celebrity may be in an ad and what effect that could have on an individual to buy a certain product. You can also discuss social media and its connection to filters and photoshopping. Help her to understand that everything she sees is not always as it first appears.

5. Most importantly, make sure she knows you love her all the time!

We wanted to share some of The Child Mind Institute's thoughts in this article because they align so well with our mission! Check out The Child Mind Institute even more ways to be a positive role model for young girls.

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One of the most important things that we have discovered at Empowered & Poised is the importance of love. The reason that many girls open up to us and are able to get the support they need is because WE CARE. We do not sit in judgement of the girls we work with, but rather accept them with loving arms and provide the necessary support to help them move forward each and every day.

Using these tips can help build a girl’s self-confidence and increase the likelihood that she will try new things that she may otherwise not.

Have you ever met someone who wants to try out for a sports team, but doesn’t feel that she is good enough?  Using these tips can help to encourage her to try out for the spot on the team she has been talking about but has been a little too afraid to try. Oftentimes, as self-esteem is increased, avenues and opportunities open that increase the overall well-being of an individual.

When you a young girl is confident,  she is more likely to find new hobbies that she enjoys and develop healthy and meaningful relationships. As time passes, this newly found confidence can help her to become more successful as a woman. When she goes for that big time interview for that job she has been working hard for she will remember that push you gave her to try out for the sports team.

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S. (2018, June 06). 13 Ways to Boost Your Daughter's Self-Esteem. Retrieved from https://childmind.org/article/13-ways-to-boost-your-daughters-self-esteem/

Today is a New Day by Veronica
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I would like to start off with hello and welcome to another beautiful, and wonderful day that God has created. I do hope that you believe that, it’s a wonderful way to start the day off at least for me. My name is Veronica Holloman and if you are on this page I would first like to congratulate you and let you know you are already on the road to success. So most definitely stay on this road, I will tell you in this life there are many paths that lead off of different roads. So many times we can take a wrong turn, or people that may be in charge of us may make a wrong turn without even knowing it, until the turn has been made. But if you know like a GPS system you can turn it all around and get back on the right road. You have to be willing and want it. Sometimes it’s not always easy because there may be blocks and construction in that path, so you will be re- routed again, and the GPS may not even know it so even though it is your guidance it will have to catch up to where you are.  

For many of us this is how life is or was. I have had many of wrong turns in life. My mother made a decision to have me when she was very young. After I was born she had a nervous breakdown, for those who do not know what that is she lost her mind for a while and she started to self-medicate, now that was the beginning of me being raised between two different cities New York and Cleveland. I was raised by my Great Aunt and Great Grandmother.  As time went by many different trials came along in my life, after the Grand parents got ill. So, now the routes changed in my life, by the time I became a pre-teen and teenager. But before the drastic changes I had many good values stored in me, and in my family, God was the major factor. I was raised in Church so for me that was a value I did not forget. I did not always stick with it and many times I did not know where GOD was for what I was going through. Which I’m sure many will identify with. I suffered with mental abuse, rape, prostitution, physical abuse and drugs just to cope with the life I was in, and actually living.

But it is now many years later and my life has taken wonderful changes and is still changing every day.

After I decided to have children and get married that was the beginning of my self-graduation being able to care for people other than myself. I learned how to work with my mother and understand her more as she got help for herself and now I can help care for her in ways that she never knew. Now where she could not care for me, I could help care with and for her making up for the times when she couldn’t do the same for me.  We missed a lot, but we now have a lot more to learn in different ways. When you learn how to love yourself for who you are and not the mistakes that have happen in your life whether you made them or someone else, a re-route may be necessary and it can be good. For me it was a change of my focus, I had a new chance on life and I took it and I want to share the love and knowledge I have. Life will not always be good, and it definitely will not always be bad. Things change all the time and it always will. For those of us that live in a climate where the seasons change I tend to use that as an example as well, that seasons change and so does life. Things may not always go as we would like them too, but if you look at it about 80% of it goes well and 20 % may go sour but that’s sporadic, meaning it doesn’t happen all at once. It’s up and down and when its down, I try to focus now on what’s good and that’s hard sometimes depending on what’s bad but remember its temporary. I wake up now every day and say, “The odds may have been against me yesterday but today is a new day.”  Even though some may say my mother was too young to have me and my life was a mess and so was hers, I’m glad she gave me life anyway. I am thankful that I am a testimony to help others through my life story, I have learned to forgive, love and help others so that their lives don’t have to be so hard, or as hard as mine was. Those are things that make me stay EMPOWERED and POISED about LIFE.

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Visit more of my story @ www.veronicaholloman.com

"Age Is A Blessing – Own It." by Cath

“You’re going to love this! It will make you look 10 years younger”.

I was sitting in an expensive salon in Downtown Willoughby (if it’s expensive it must be good, right?), sipping a glass of cool, filtered water flavored with a delicate hint of lemon and trying not to breathe in the smell of the hair color that was being slathered on my head by a very enthusiastic (and, as he took great pains to emphasize, very straight) hairdresser.

“Isn’t it a little purple?”  I frowned at the color dripping off the brush. I had asked for a very specific shade of bright pink to match the temporary color I’d done at home, and what was going on my head was quite a lot darker than I’d expected. He assured me it was not and that I’d love it.

It was, and I didn’t.

I mean, I really didn’t.

Because it did make me look 10 years younger.  And I didn’t want it to.

 

Just a year before the incident at the hair salon, I was lying in a hospital bed, hooked up to a drip because I hadn’t been able to keep food or drink down for nearly 36 hours, and the doctor was murmuring threats of pancreatic cancer. She said it to scare me -- to make sure I followed up on the cyst that developed during a nasty bout of pancreatitis -- and I knew that’s what she was doing. Nonetheless, it made me worry. What if?

 

I survived (obviously), but it’s taught me a new appreciation for my years. As women, we’re taught to run from age as if it’s something to be feared. We spend thousands on creams and make-up to cover up our lines and wrinkles as if they’re something to be ashamed of, when they’re not. What would happen if we started to think of wrinkles as medals for a life lived? What if we saw them instead as marks of the laughter and tears that have made us who we are?

Because if I’ve learned anything in my 45 years, it’s that every day on this earth is a blessing. Every single day is a chance to do something different, to change something you don’t like, or pursue something you do. And every day is a chance to make a difference to the people around you.

Don’t run from your age – whatever it is. Embrace it. And don’t be scared of getting older. It rocks.

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I’m Cath, a photographic artist based in Willoughby, Ohio, and I’m empowered and poised because I love my grey hair (which is currently a fabulous shade of fuchsia) and my wrinkles.

BeYOUtiful on Instagram by Darian

Hello ladies,

Confident Women

My name is Darian Berdysz, I am a student at Ohio University Majoring in Communications, Minoring in Marketing and obtaining a Social Media certificate. While I have learned many things throughout my courses thus far, the most important things I have learned have been outside the classroom. As a frequent user of Social Media, I can tell you one thing, it certainly has positives and negatives; one way to turn these negatives into positives is to be yourself! Post what you want regardless of the number of likes you receive and ignore the haters.

Today, it is not uncommon for an individual to take down a post on Instagram just because it didn’t receive a satisfactory number of likes. I know plenty of people that remove posts due to the amount of likes on them, even if they loved the picture. These people either repost the picture later or just never let the image/ video grace their page. As crazy as it seems, I have several friends that only post pictures during a certain time window because that is the time “deemed” to get one’s picture the ultimate amount of likes. I personally have never understood this because if you love a picture enough to post it in the first place, why do you care how many people like it? Whether your post receives one like or whether you acquire 500 likes, you are still strong, you are still beautiful, you still have the right to post what you want, and you are still an empowered and poised woman.

Disclaimer: while you should and do have the right to post what you’d like on your page, you should always make sure your pictures are not displaying something that could hurt your potential for being hired in the future. This includes things such as profanity, nudity, and alcohol and drug abuse.

People use Instagram for a multitude of reasons, from business, to travel, and something in between. Your Instagram can be whatever you want it to be! Be empowered to make your Instagram unique to you. Whether you are into art, essential oils, fitness or other things, create your Instagram to reflect your passions.

Empowered Women

“I post pictures that I want to post and say what I want to say. If that's three times a day or three times per month, then whatever.” ~ Gigi Hadid

My Instagram is a compilation of all my greatest memories from getting pulled on stage at a concert to the tasty sandwich I just ate. While I acknowledge that my selfies receive more likes than my sunsets and smoothies, that does not discourage me from posting my scenery and foodie pictures. My Instagram is for me; it is amazing I can share my Instagram with family, friends, and fellow followers, but I use my Instagram to scrapbook my life online and therefore do not get discouraged when someone doesn’t like one of my pictures and you shouldn’t either.

As I previously stated, social media does have some negatives. Online platforms can lead to cyberbullying. While I won’t completely address cyberbullying in this post, the best advice I can give in relation to cyberbullying on Instagram is to ignore the rude comments. Just because someone has posted an insulting comment on your page does not mean any of the hateful words are true. I have received multiple impolite and unwanted comments on pictures I have posted and instead of backlashing at the individual that commented, I took the higher ground and ignored them. Instagram even has a neat feature where you can delete comments so you don’t have to look at them.  Words do hurt, but do not believe what Instagram trolls say. You can’t change what people say, but you can change how you respond to the situation. Stay true to yourself and you will shine like a thousand diamonds. Ignore those haters!

By posting your passions, avoiding inappropriate posts, and ignoring the haters, you can beYOUtiful on Instagram.

Strong Women

 

 

 

 

I'm Weird and Proud of That by Marion

I am Empowered & Poised because I’m weird

When I was 14, I had a crush on one of my friends. I didn’t tell him, but I told a close friend we had in common. One evening, as she stayed over, she called him and asked him what he thought about me - on speakerphone. His answer: Marion? I don’t know… She’s weird. 

 

I couldn’t pretend it didn’t hurt me. Being called weird at this age, when you’re trying to define yourself, to fit in, to be part of the cool kids - is one of the most difficult things that can happen. 

 

At 14 years old, I was healthy, had a roof over my head, food on my table and a family around me. I was also doing (very) well at school, which would lead me to attend very good schools and get fancy degrees. But I couldn’t see that, because, well, I was 14. 

 

Everything that seemed to matter to me was: was I a part of the popular kids? Not because I wanted to - they were kids, focusing on things that didn’t interest me, and creating drama over their life for no reason. But I cared anyways because I thought I had to. I was worried about fitting in.

 

When you think about it, the same goes for « adulthood ». Quotes cause I’m not sure I believe in this concept. Some 8 years old kids are more mature than 56 years old grown-ups.

 

You see, the pattern repeats itself. When you get older, you also feel like you need to follow what most people are doing. Getting a degree, landing a high-paying job, buying a house, founding a family, getting a dog (or a cat) and going on holidays once - or maybe twice - a year. 

 

But just like the 14 years-old teen drama didn’t attract me, this life doesn’t attract me neither. The difference is that I learnt in the process (of getting older) that I don’t care anymore. Well - truth be told, I still care a little, but less and less with time.

 

I’ve learnt to value my own opinion over other people’s one. I’ve learnt that it’s okay to not want a 9-to-5 and not follow the rules. A French rapper (Orelsan) said: « Don’t listen to adults, they follow the rules without knowing the game ». And I think it’s true.

 

How many people follow some imaginary rules because they think it’s what they’re supposed to do? We’ve been sold a dream of a happy life (by society, media, our family even) that doesn’t appeal to me - and that appeals to less and less people.

 

So instead, I decided to have my own business while traveling the world. Few people in my social circles understand it. It’s okay - I made some new friends who are business owners / travelers. 

 

But then - I discovered that it was pretty much like high school all over again: popular peeps (aka online gurus) telling you they’ve uncovered the magic 5 steps formula to be successful. Debating over ridiculous things. Saying you can’t be that AND that, you have to choose. 

 

It’s the same for everything, for every field, for every area of your life. 

People are going to repeat to you (and themselves) that you have to do this and that and blablabla. 

 

Don’t listen. Instead, listen to the voice within you. Follow your guts, your intuition, do (and be!) what feels right. And if that means that people call you weird - be proud of it. 

 

They might not understand you, or even like you, but that’s okay.

That’s not their job.

That’s your job. 

 

Learn about yourself. Get curious about your feelings. Listen to this voice you’ve called « crazy », but which has been calling you to explore new territories (both literally and metaphorically).

 

Be weird. But be the weird you. So here is to our weirdness, to explore, and to do whatever the heck you want - always. 


 

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Marion Chloé Theis

Lifestyle Design Coach

@marionchloe_ on Instagram

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Website


 

Girls In Sport by Coach Kelly Morrone
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Why are sports so important for young girls?

Answer: One word.

CONFIDENCE.

Why are sports so important for women at the collegiate level?

Answer: One word.

CONFIDENCE.

Discussion: Growing up the youngest of three children, I learned very quickly about the term "survive and advance." You often hear this when it comes to March Madness, or any other post-season tournament championship settings. You just have to survive the game that you are currently in, and advance into the next one. Critics, fans, participants, and coaches just say this popular term as a nod to understanding how hard a particular competition is. If you are the person or team that has survived, it means on that day your preparation, focus, discipline, training, and most importantly your confidence out matched that of your opponent. 

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What place does this term have when it comes to a family structure, school setting, or the workplace? Think of all of the different stages in a girl's life. As I look back I often wonder how I survived my youth without any major personal traumas. I'd like to say my journey has been pretty typical. But, as I've navigated through the sports world from a very young age until now, I realized that I had a weapon that many of my peers never had, CONFIDENCE. That confidence made me capable of always advancing. However, that wasn’t the case for all young women.

I wanted to do what my older siblings were doing, I wanted to do what their friends were doing. They, naturally, didn't want me to because I wasn't as fast as they were, or as big as they were, or as skilled as they were. The only way I could get into their circle was to assert myself, make them hear my request, and when given the chance I had to be ready. As a family we were into a ton of sports: baseball, football, swimming, diving, lacrosse, basketball. Regardless of what we were playing the whole neighborhood would get involved. There were always winners, and losers. If you wanted to be picked on a team for the next game you had better survived the first game. Of course we fought, yelled, cheered, or stood our ground over who was right and who was wrong. So when it came time to do the right thing, I did. The unpopular classmate that was being picked on by the mean girls heard my voice. When I was treated disrespectfully, or unjustly I spoke up for myself. When my top college choice hit the brakes on recruiting me I called to ask why. Then, I told them what a mistake they were making and that I was the player that they needed.  I didn't think twice about being vulnerable through my communication. What if they started picking on me? What if I wasn’t good enough to play at that school? Those questions were more of an afterthought than an instinct. My internal response mechanism was conditioned by my confidence, which was created through my involvement with sports. I knew how to survive and advance.

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Everything started in the neighborhood, then on my youth teams, in high school athletics, college, and now as a coach trying to pay it forward. As a program we often discuss current challenges, and the solutions to those challenges. The conversation always starts, and ends with confidence as a theme. Participation in sports at the college level takes a tremendous amount of sacrifice, commitment, vulnerability, hard work, time, and tears just to get through it. It leads almost everyone at some point in their career to ask themselves why am I doing this? Any chance I have to answer that question I try and stay as calm as I can. I don't want my passion on the topic to be overbearing. My 18-22 year old women are intelligent and individual thinkers. I say to myself, “Kelly let them get to the answer with you, don't just tell them. The impact will be greater this way.” We talk through what our game gives them and always come up with the intangibles I've listed already throughout this article. By the end I say that while my coaching job is based on wins and losses, my job as a mentor is not. As a mentor, when you leave my door I want you prepared to go for the job, and not just any job, the dream. Then I want you to become the boss and ask for the raise that you've earned. Coach how am I going to do that? That's not my personality? CONFIDENCE is always my answer. I'll list all of the things that they've taken on and survived. This could include: flying on a plane for the first time, becoming a captain, taking the last second shot in front of thousands of people, missing that shot, making that shot, being the underdog that beats the big dog, or being the big dog that loses to the team that they shouldn't have. 

Bringing it back full circle we discuss how this experience in college athletics has set them up for success. They've survived and advanced at so many different stages in their life already. Why wouldn't they carry those lessons with them into their professional world? The journey never gets any easier. So many of us think that if you work hard, and do your job then you will get noticed and advance. That's not the case. Athletics is a medium to prepare women for that unfair fact. When you are on a team you may be the hardest worker there is, but you never get to play because somebody is better than you. Fact. You may think that you are the best leader for the group but nobody follows you. Instead they follow a younger teammate who is more popular. Fact. You may be the most talented player on the team but you don’t get along with the coach so he/she doesn’t promote you with more time or accolades. Fact.

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Sports teach us about the importance of networking, the understanding of how an organization works, and who is making the big decisions.

College athletes have to create and sustain relationships with their peers, professors, athletic administrators, alumni, coaches, fans and the community. In sports, just showing up for the job doesn’t mean that you are going to be successful. This lesson transcends into many of life’s roles, like becoming a mother for the first time. They will be taking on the most important responsibility of their life with the discipline of knowing that simply getting the job done isn’t enough. Furthermore, wouldn’t you want to hire someone with supreme confidence? Would you promote her quickly so that she can impact others? Would you give her a raise so she stays with your organization? Me too.

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About the expert: coach Kelly Morrone

Kindness Over Everything by Arastasia
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You wake up every day and you tell yourself the things you hate about your body, your life, and your personality. You stare in the mirror and pinch at your fat, pull at your wrinkles, and let that inner voice wear you down. My goodness, we are hard on ourselves. We don’t deserve this. Would you ever let another person say those awful things about you? Would you tolerate your best friend poking your thighs and projecting hate over them? Would you allow your husband to pinch your belly roles and regret the piece of toast you ate for breakfast? Would you allow a loved one to remind you of failures instead of successes?

Absolutely not.

So why do we allow OURSELVES to do such an awful thing?

Learn to be kind.

Be kind to yourself.

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My name is Arastasia Rolain, and I own Arastasia Photography - a studio located in Cleveland, Ohio. I believe in empowering women, helping them see themselves in a different light and doing a little bit of self-love from time to time. I believe you should love yourself and dismiss that hate.

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We don’t need it and nor do we have time or energy for it. I believe in all shapes and sizes, all colors and ages, and all forms of beauty. You. Are. Beautiful. Say it out loud, ten times. Right now. “I am beautiful.”

Learning to love yourself isn’t easy. You literally have to train your brain to think a different way.

But I promise if you do it, you’re going to feel a sense of relief. You’re going to feel more positive, more energized, and the best of all - you might just feel happy.

 

So, be kind.

 

Be kind in your morning routine. Every time you say something negative about your body, follow it up with three positive things. And say them out loud - EVERY TIME. Can’t think of three – try again. Force yourself to love those gorgeous hips that serve you well. LOVE those big thighs, cause guess what? Those get you to and from everywhere you need to be in life. That cleavage is everything most women want - LOVE IT. That drive and that intelligence, it's what makes you the motivated person so many strive to be. Acknowledge it and appreciate it. Be kind in front of your children. They’re watching and they see how you treat yourself and talk about yourself. After all, you are their inner voice. Teach THEIR voice to be kind by your example.

 

Be kind to someone you really really want to be un-kind to. Holding onto hate and aggressive feelings only harms your brain. They’re toxic and exhausting. They won’t help with your self love journey - they’ll just cause more hate.

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Be kind to the woman that “you’d love to look just like.” Remember, she has her own insecurities and secret wishes. You don’t know her struggles.

 

And always be kind when you fail. We all fail. And it’s okay to. Maybe you messed up, maybe you didn’t try as hard. We’ve all been there. So analyze the situation, recognize what went wrong, and then tell yourself 3 things you did right. 3 things you’re proud of yourself for; Self-love starts with YOU. No one else.

 

Train your mind.

Focus on you.

Focus on the positive; not the negative.

Focus on the success; not the failure.

Focus on inspiring someone to do the same; positivity is contagious.

Focus on that inner mean girl that you PROMISE you’re no longer going to be. She’s toxic. She hurts you. She is so tiring.

You are smart. You are radiant. You are beautiful. You are strong.

And you are now aiming to be kind.

Kindness over everything. Always.

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