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I am African, I am a girl – Ngwa Damaris Ngum – Africa

I was one with the world until race separated me from the rest of the world. Race is a group of people with common genetic features such as physical traits. Races arise from the need for nature to express human existence in diverse groups, in order to make life more colorful and beautiful. Unfortunately, society has used it to sow seeds of discord and separation. Just because I am black, you are white, she is yellow, does not make us different. It just signifies various facets of the same fundamental human essence.

I was one with the world until borders separated me from the rest of the world. Borders are artificial lines that separate geographic areas. Borders were created as a means of easily managing humans or social groups but society has used as a dividing criteria of people and societies. Borders have become a source of conflict instead of a means to preserve order and peace. Countries fight each other because they feel they are different. That I am from Africa and you are from Europe, Asia, and America does not make me different from you.

I was one with the world until religion separated me from the rest of the world. Religion is just a particular system of faith, belief and worship. Religious groups’ fight each other and the religious leaders watch and do very little or nothing to bring peace. They engage in trying to show the supremacy of their various religions over other religions. Religion which was supposed to be the most loving and harmonizing platform has now become a major perpetrator of hatred and conflict. That I am Christian and you are Muslim, Hindu, Budhist, etc does not make me different from you.

I was one with the world until language separated me from the rest of the world. Languages are just a system of communication among people. They are not meant to separate us. That I speak English and you speak French, German, Chinese does not make me different from you.

I was one with the world until currencies separated me from the rest of the world. Currency is just a system of money or medium of exchange in general used in a particular area. It should not be an instrument of division among humans. That I use the Francs CFA and you use the Naira, Pound sterling, Dollar, Euro  does not make me different from you.

I was one with the world until wealth separated me from the rest of the world. Wealth is just an abundance of material valuable possessions or money. I should not be treated badly because I am poor and you treated nicely because you are rich. That I have a thousand francs and you have one million francs does not make me different from you.

I was one with the world until politics separated me from the rest of the world. Politics is just a set of activities associated with the governance of an area or the use of mandated and consultative power and authority to foster the interest, values and ideals of a community such as a country. It is meant to assist in building a nation and not a tool for division within a nation. That I am a democrat and you are an autocrat does not make me different from you.

I was one with the world until education separated me from the rest of the world. Education is just a process of acquiring knowledge to better ones’ environment. Education is supposed to be a means for us to develop and mobilize our individual and collective strengths, and not a medium for division and hostility. That I pursued formal education and you pursued informal education does not make us different. That I have a Bachelor’s degree and you have a Doctorate Degree does not make us different.

I was one with the world until status separated me from the rest of the world. Status is just a relative social or professional position in society. A man needs a woman and a woman needs a man to make life more comfortable for us therefore I am female and you are male does not make me less inferior to you. A doctor needs a teacher as well as a teacher needs a doctor. A soldier needs a civilian as well as a civilian needs a soldier. A president needs his citizens as well as the citizens needs their president. Different professional and social status make life more comfortable for us all. It does not make us different from each other.

We were all humans, created equal until racism, borders, religion, status, wealth, position, currency, language, education, sex, politics etc brought in division, hate and separation among us. Countries fighting each other, the rise of terrorism and rebel groups, religious wars, civil wars, class distinction as a result of differences in wealth, race and position. Government administrators are ill-treating their own citizens in the form of corruption, embezzlement and human right abuse. All these and more have caused the world not to know peace for decades now with humans having no hope for peace on earth again.

I was born with my mind telling me I was equal to every other  person on earth until society made me know I was black; I therefore should despise whites; I am a Christian and should belittle non-Christians; I am African, I am a girl etc. All these caused me to feel less than others and so hated all those who were different from me. I built ideologies of division and hate for years until “the power of a mother” instilled equality, love, peace and unity in me. She made me know that no human is different or greater than another human on earth. This message is absent in our classrooms, misinterpreted by our religious leaders and administrators to cause more hate and division. Her message gave me hope. The hope of peace and unity on earth. I am so thankful to my mother for the knowledge she has imparted in me. At this time when the world is in need for peace, unity and equality, advocates like her cannot not be left unnoticed. She has put her message deep in me and keeps reminding me that we are the peace, unity and equality the world needs and looks up to.

Today I stand as one of the world’s peace, unity and equality advocates in my little corner of the earth because of the power of one woman, the power of a mother. I learned that for peace to reign I must have love and compassion for myself and everyone around me; never allow anyone make me feel like nobody; respect every human being, face the bullies and  lift up the down-casted in society while doing these things I should never ever give up. Now my compassion is not restricted by any social barrier; it is for the entire world. I am not limited by any particular religion, caste or creed. I see all humanity as one, and I am out to serve humanity at large. I am a testimony of how the voice of one woman; a mother changed me so I am calling on every other woman/mother to join the train in singing this song of peace to their children and later generations thereby getting to be peace advocates like myself. Females are always made to keep their voices silent but let mothers not silent their voices. Let us raise our voices to bring forth a generation of peace makers. Our time on earth is short therefore we have to make the later generations live in a world full of peace, unity and equality by acting now and accelerating the multiplier effect of peace.

 

About the Author

I am Ngwa Damaris Ngum, a female of Cameroonian nationality living in the North West region of Cameroon. I have a BSc in Economics from the University of Buea.

With regards to the current global crisis: natural disasters, climate change, rising inequalities, human rights abuses, escalating conflicts, increase disease occurrences, pressure on resources, environmental degradation etc . I originate from one of the two English speaking regions of my country who were being marginalized and has led to retaliation and civil unrest since October 2016.No challenge is without solution so I am currently setting up a “PEACE AND GREEN” village initiative to help people out of these global challenges. My vision is to see that we live in peace and serenity. I will love for every woman to be part of my peace building committee.

The PEACE aspect will consist of a group of individuals who will live together in peace, no tribalism, no racism, no greed, no religious difference etc. WE are a group of individuals who will set the pace and spread the information of peace, unity and equality.

The GREEN aspect will be to encourage a green diet and a green life style. This is to reduce the adverse effects of animal farms/animal products on the climate and our health.

email: Princessdama88@yahoo.com

Tel: +237 677519677

 

Divorce is Never Easy! – Joie Serrano – Australia

Everyone’s divorce story is different. Everyone’s coping mechanism differ from one another. But the one common denominator in these stories is the emotional wallop almost everyone experienced. If you are experiencing divorce right now. My heart goes out to you. I know the heart rending pain it could bring. I know about divorce. I am a divorcee too.

My ex and I had trouble synchronising. We just didn’t mesh. We just didn’t fit. As hard as I tried to deny it, my marriage was irreparable. Divorce was inevitable. Despite the widespread familiarity of the effects of divorce however, it didn’t prepare me nor helped minimised the onslaught of pain and grief. I was devastated. Faced with depth and breadth of the loss of my hopes and dreams is probably one of the most challenging aspects of my humanity. My world reeled.

Life has just thrown me a curve ball and I had no choice but to accept it. My world collapsed all around me as the process unfolded. I was in such a low ebb as it launched me into uncharted territory and disrupted my very identity. I found myself going through the motion as I struggled to create a comforting sense of structure and normalcy in my life. I dragged myself to work to
maintain a semblance of life order.

It was tough but I need to do it for my little one and to maintain my sanity. I exhausted myself physically. I tired myself so
strongly that at the end of the day I had no more energy left to think about my worries. I allowed myself to freely mourn my loss. I sobbed away my pain, but jealously guarded my thoughts. I know a certain amount of anger and bitterness is justified, but I didn’t let it beat me up. I didn’t want to get stuck in anger. I didn’t hold a grudge thinking that, why should I – while I am being angry, the other person is out there partying! I forced myself to stop playing and replaying scenes from the split which I was wont to do during the first few weeks.

I tried to slam a door in my mind every time an inner voice would pester me with what ifs and & if only’s. It became like a game of mind over matter to me. It was a tall order but I eventually forced myself to do it. Through the haze of pain and even at my lowest, I tried to maintain my faith that, “there is always light at the end of the tunnel”, faith that, “this too will pass”. I kept repeating these beliefs and it eventually became my mantra.The empowering repetition of my mantra helped reinforced my belief that there is indeed a silver lining somewhere in all these darkness.

It has helped sustained me. In hindsight, I don’t think I would ever get to where I am now though, without God and my healthy, strong support system composed of Jean my boss, my family and friends. As divorced rocked my life, I sought solace in God. Jean, my family and my friends became my anchor. But even as I struggled to rise out of my slough of respond and tried to
stay afloat , I never lost of the possibilities ahead.

I am confident that I am a veritable tough girl. I can do it. I tried to get a grip on myself and promised that I will rebound from divorce. That, I will never allow myself to fall in the wayside nor crumble under the weight of the transition. I pulled myself into the moment as I slowly psyched myself into recovery, made myself adapt into my new singledom and tried to live in the present. Slowly, I regained control of my life and developed a positive mindset. I began my personal transformation too as I
committed to fully own my humanity.

Compared to most people i know I am pretty slack on the exercising front. But with my renewed psyche, going to the gym became easy and fun. I went on a diet. Had my hair colour changed and went on a shopping spree. I dated. Yes, I dated. LOL.I felt good about myself. And as I stirred myself towards rebuilding my world, i felt that had finally regained possession and control of myself and my destiny.

My divorce was recently this year. I felt twinges of regrets for what might have been but I felt a greater sense of pride in what I had accomplished in so short a time. Today, I am still a full-time nurse but I also rediscovered and have reconnected with passions I have set aside. I went back to modelling and professional singing and became a bona fide radio broadcaster of 4EB, a digital radio broadcasting.

Early this year I joined a TV Reality and Modelling Competition which paved the way to my representing Australia in the Ms.Megaverse Competition at the Dominican Republic this coming December. On top of these I am now the Marketing Executive of Ms. Earth Australia. I am by no means in my final destination but I know I am in a good place. My journey was not easy but it was a wonderful learning and unlearning experience.

Life is beautiful!!!

About the Author

Joie Serrano is a single mum with a beautiful daughter, she has been divorced for 2 years now.

She works full time as a Nurse in Wesley Mission Queensland, and also works as a Marketing Executive of Miss Earth Australia, Radio Broadcaster for 4ebm 98.1 /Digital Radio Brisbane. She is also the current Ms. Megaverse AU 2017 and will be representing Australia later in 2017 at the Dominican Republic for the World Finals of Megaverse. She is also a professional Musician and a Runway Model.

This is ME! Real & Raw – Renate Halleen – Australia

I grew up in Melbourne with a half brother and sister. My mother was not a nice person as was my step father too.

I endured years of child sexual assault, child abuse and drugs. Being the eldest child I took charge of nurturing my younger siblings, trying to protect them also.

My mother giving me drugs on most occasions to serve her husband and later most males that visited or stayed. Beaten by her If I stepped out of line, the house had to be clean, the food had to be cooked, the younger siblings needed attention.

At just 12 my mother took off with a new boyfriend, took my sister but left me behind, she left me with him.

At 14 my mother came for me, I was excited that she did, took me away from him, but I was quickly treated badly again. I left with a hairline fracture to my temple and a very swollen face. I was placed in a woman’s remand centre to protect me from my mother.

I asked to be placed as a state ward, I did not want her to be anywhere near me, or her boyfriends and male friends. I was told I was too dumb, too stupid and no one will ever like you. I am lazy, all I ever did was try with all my heart.

I kept trying to go to school, I was told in year 9 to leave I will never make it, and like before “Im dumb”. I didn’t want to do cooking or sewing, I wanted to fix cars, and to do wood working, but I’m a stupid girl, too dumb, too silly.

I left school, I rebelled against everyone, took off from the children’s hostel and formed a relationship, a boyfriend, a violent abuser and …… so was the next one.

I was pregnant at 15 and then gave birth at just 16 years old.

Through all the domestic violence, rape, child abuse, child sexual assault, through all this crap. The constant verbal and physical and spiritual abuse, I am not lazy, I am not dumb, I am Intelligent, I just took the wrong turn as I didn’t know any better.

I have since been diagnosed with Idiopathic Hypersomnia, Hyperkinetic ADHD, Acquired brain injury and PTSD.

I have never been an addict, I have educated myself with schooling or hospitality training. I also have other training and skills, I have learnt many lessons along the way, I got knocked down, I got back up again and again.

One thing for certain, I have always felt as though I am a healer and also I wanted to help.

I help out with certain charities such as, Support the Girls Australia. Where ever I can, I give my time and my healing hands to heal and nurture. I love what I do, It’s my calling……

I am now a fully qualified Remedial massage therapist. I graduated and I have a Diploma and I’m proud of ME, I am ME !

About the Author

From the age of 15 I have tried to educate myself from different schools and training facilities. I loved cooking for a time and even part owned a coffee shop.

With 5 grown sons and a lot of life’s experience under my belt especially dealing with ADHD.

I also enjoy and encourage good health, good food, make and use bath bombs and Magnesium creams etc. for the relief of muscle cramps, pain, and to just relax. People don’t realise how depleted they are of this crucial mineral.

I now have a new business and a new direction, A tight Knot massage and Alternative Therapies.

You can contact Renate on 0405 030 968 or by her Facebook page www.facebook.com/atightknotmassage.com.au

Our Motivations Change As We Move Through Life – Jan Cavelle – UK

Our motivations tend to change as we move through life. As a teenager, I was typically full of ideologies, ambitions and plans both for myself and the world around me. I harangued anyone who would listen about various social and political injustices. I fully indulged in those traditionally rebel years. I messed around, failed to get myself a decent education or launch into any career.

Underneath all that angst, was a mother in wolf’s clothing. I passionately wanted children. I wanted to do the whole stay at home Mum bit, with beautifully turned out, happy children eating wholesome food, much of which I had grown myself. The reality of that one didn’t take long to set in, with the sleepless nights, the barely heated baked beans on toast both on plate and down fronts of aforesaid children, the garden neglected. The actuality of life as a Mum is a wake-up call for most of us.

Even so, those of us who become parents, tend to spend the next couple of decades focussing every scrap of energy into our children’s needs.  For me, initially, the challenges were simply day to day.  I had been able to drift into marriage and motherhood cocooned in the security of a partner and a trust fund. But life has a habit of sending us wake up calls and when the trust fund I had went bust overnight and my marriage broke up shortly afterwards, I was left absolutely penniless, totally alone with two small children to support. I was not the first woman that has happened to nor will I be the last.

I was soon living on government support but failing to make ends meet. So with very limited skills, I set up an “office” under the stairs at home where I could watch the children play at the same time and started selling goods from a variety of local manufacturers to interior designers.  

It was really hard; hard being broke; hard working with two small children around. But I managed over the next few years to build a small business which enabled life to become near to the perfect vision I had of motherhood. It was a happy, innocent time in many ways.

By the time the children were in their teens, I was buying the furniture I was selling from one other small company. One Friday, the man who owned it rang my doorbell and announced he was shutting up shop that weekend. Panicking, I asked him in, agreed a deal I could pay him when I could, and by Monday had two small businesses. I amalgamated the two. There were a lot of touch and go moments, but eventually it became successful. With a lot of hard work, I built it up to the size where we were selling my own furniture designs worldwide. Over a hectic few years, I had become something I didn’t set out to be – an entrepreneur and businesswoman.   

It was great in some ways, especially initially. But as success came, so I became very depressed.   There were expectations on me to become a person I had not set out to be. It took me very far from my original values and authenticity. When we allow the noise, the sheer hectic pace of the lives we lead to drown out our values or to lead us into living lives that do not fit with them, we have a recipe for great unhappiness and dis-ease. And sure enough, that is what happened.  Increasingly, I became physically ill and more and more depressed as well, yet there was never any time to deal with either issue. I tried hard to make it work, but we all need a reason to get up in the morning that goes a lot deeper than you “ought” or “should”. Breaking point came finally, one illness too many, and the business and I parted company.  

I am far from alone in the millions who put aside their dreams to have children and do so happily and willingly. But from 50, our priorities change again. While some might have their lives revolving around grandchildren, many more revert to questioning life, trying to find a purpose and a recipe for happiness while there is still time, or simply focussing on a much more health conscious existence in order to stave off the inevitable deteriorations as we get older.

Now re-invented as me, I feel more successful now, doing a mix of coaching, writing and speaking, than I ever did running an international business. Following your authentic self, whatever that is, at whatever stage of life you are at, is the deep down essential rule to follow.

About the Author

Jan Cavelle is a successful Entrepreneur, Writer and a sales and Business Coach for Women based in the UK. Jan has nearly 40 years’ experience in sole trading and small businesses. This experience ranges from such diverse areas as music management, catering, freelance sales, furniture design and manufacture. You can contact Jan by email on jan@jancavelle.co.uk or visit her website – http://jancavelle.co.uk/

Recoop’s Robe with a Story – Ann Cooper – USA

Recoop’s mission and purpose came about through a dream of wanting to make a difference in other people’s’ lives. Following the dream and calling meant leaving my comfort zone and present employer, where I was a College

Health Nurse, and embarking into the somewhat unknown territory of the online marketplace. Looking back, I am so glad I took the leap of faith, because it has been so worth it!

It has always been my desire to help women recoup or recover the things in their life that have been lost to them.

I decided early on that Recoop would only do business with others that hold true to the highest ethical practice when it comes to labor and products, so I knew that when we launched our clothing line it had to be Eco-friendly and ethically made. My company, Recoop, was born on September 11, 2015. I had no idea when I added, “Get business license,” to my weekly goals that the actual day I got it happened to fall on this historic day.

Although I cannot bring back the lives that were lost on that terrible day, I could endeavour to live, and help others live to our fullest God given potential, in their memory. That is what Recoop wants to help others achieve through all of its offerings; Inspiration, information, and sustainable products that will help you to Take Your Life Back and recover that which has been lost!

Recoop’s Organic Clothing Line that I dreamed of launching a few months into the journey did not take off as fast as I originally hoped, but during this delay, my company’s true destiny was being formed into something bigger than what I had originally thought. Our company evolved into a Social Ecommerce Enterprise with the greater purpose of helping women who were coming out of the sex trafficking industry.

Recoop does this by giving a percentage of each sale to a local nonprofit organisation called Hope Refuge, and by bringing awareness to this horrific issue in our modern times. We launched our Signature Product, Recoop’s Recovery Robe, a few months ago knowing that the Robe was going to be so much bigger than a product that people wear.

This is “The Robe with a Story.” Every person who wears it becomes a part of the Story! It is more than just a robe you put on after a shower or for your morning coffee. It is the complete feeling that you have when you put one on,” that all is well with my soul, and that I can embrace this time to recover and get renewed, because I am worthy and I am important. My life and soul need this space in time to be renewed so that I can continue to make a difference and nurture those in my sphere of influence.”

Recoop has also created a beautiful partnership for women and men who purchase one of our 100% Organic Cotton Recovery Robes. Not only do you get to feel this overwhelming sense of healing and recovery when you purchase one for yourself, but when you give it to someone as a gift, a knowing that you are actually giving someone the gift of renewal and recovery.

The other bonus is that you will also be a part in helping women who have had the courage to flee or be rescued from the sex trafficking industry.

Recoop donates a portion of every sale to a local nonprofit organisation that offers retreats and housing to young women ages 12 through 17 years of age, giving them a new hope and direction in life.

Do you see how the vision has expanded to include all those needing space to recover from the stress and trauma that sometimes life can bring? Everyone can have this opportunity of hope and recovery. We, at Recoop, are so honored to be gifting the first ten young women who will be living at Hope Refuge, one of our 100% Organic Cotton Recovery Robes this coming Fall in the US. We invite you to be a part of the Robe’s Story by purchasing for yourself or as a gift to a loved one.

We will be expanding our offering very soon to include Eco-friendly clothing that is comfortable and beautiful to wear so stay tuned. You can go to our website, www.recooprenewrecover.com and go to Shop to purchase now. We are currently only shipping in the United States, but will be expanding internationally very soon. If you wish to get on our waiting list for International Orders, you can do so by email at recoopann@gmail.com Just let us know in the subject: Waiting List

You can also connect with us on Facebook : @recooprenewrecover or Instagram: anncooper_recoop where we offer daily tips and inspiration on how you can live a happier and less stressful life. We hope you will join Recoop on this journey!

“Don’t be surprised if your original plans do not line up the way you think they will. Sometimes the dream or vision is bigger and it takes time to align with the bigger purpose.” ~Ann Cooper

About the Author

Ann lives on the Central Coast of California. She has been married to Dean for 29 years and has three children; Hannah, 26 years old, Colin, 22 years old and Andy, 20 years old. Professionally, she has worn many different hats including Business Owner, Registered Nurse, and Women’s and Children’s Ministry Leader working with people of all ages and cultures.

Through life experience, her faith, and time as a Registered Nurse, Ann incorporates all of her gained knowledge into her writings and business model. You can contact Ann by visiting her website www.recooprenewrecover.com or through her social media channels, Facebook: @recooprenewrecover or Instagram: anncooper_recoop

Some Fun Facts About Ann

  • Climbed to the top of the Gaza Pyramid in Egypt at age 15.
  • Loves birds of all kinds, but favourites are doves and peacocks.
  • Has written several songs on the piano and loves to sing.
  • Holds High School Record in track for the 110M Low Hurdles
  • Soon to be published author of a children’s book series.
  • Journals every day.
  • Tends to see things ahead.
  • A Hopeful Optimistic.

 

Finding Heaven Through my Own Hell – Liz La Force – Ibiza

A Strong Intuition and Ability to Heal – Liz La Force – Ibiza

When does one start to awaken…the moment we are born or the moment we realize we are not what we think we are. Our body, our mind, our emotion, our personality.

For me this moment came quite early at the age of 10 I already started to ask my mother about the purpose of life here on earth. An answer she at that moment could not provide me.

An answer I would start to search for from age 24 when I totally collapsed and was bed bound for two years. A blessing in disguise as many traumatic and/or life changing experiences often are.

Since nobody could heal me, although I tried almost every medicine, both regular and alternative, I was “forced” to heal myself. And so I did. It took me 13 years to heal my illness. A wonderful journey back to my true self.

It was a interesting journey. Which taught me a huge lesson. As a light worker I am very fond, like many of us, of the light. But I learnt along the way that we are both light and dark. And to truly heal or become whole again, we need to look into the face of our demons. Which is not always easy, but very worthwhile. Since they are there it is good to know, understand and learn how to love them. So they can start to work for you instead of against you. You meaning your true self.

Along the way I reconnected with my healing gifts. I learnt how to use and deepen them. Mostly by inner guidance and sometimes through spiritual masters that I met.

After a world travel I was guided to Ibiza in 2014, a small island in the mediterean sea. And have been working on and from this magical island .

My life has even more expanded since then. It is all about being able to open our heart to receive the gifts life is offering us. Day in day out. No exceptions. We just need to recognize the gifts. Because sometimes they come in a package that is different than we expected.

Since my life is so much overflowing with gifts it feels only natural to share them with others. And I am very happy to be able to do so on a daily basis. With love, gratitude and dedication I go further on my journey. Knowing that there is still so much more to experience.

About the Author

Liz has been born with a strong intuition and ability to heal. She has learnt to communicate with body, mind and soul. Through this attunement she is able to understand the processes that are going on in a human or organization. And can guide them towards their authentic true self.

She has learnt most by experience, but has also a degree in business economics, Chinese medicine, divers healing methods, and teaching. Nowadays her work is mainly focused on teaching. With her new company Get Real she organizes retreats, and workshops. For business, adults, kids and parents and lovers.

More info at www.getrealinbusiness.com or www.lizlaforce.com

To contact Liz:

Facebook: Liz La Force
Twitter: @lizlaforce

Nikki Taylor personally thanks Liz La Force for sharing her inspiring story today with us on Inspiring Women Today by Nikki Taylor.  Should you too wish to share your very own inspirational journey/story please email nikki@inspiringwomentoday.biz and our editorial guidelines will be sent to you.

Join us today STAY INSPIRED AND EMPOWERED FOR FREE https://inspiringwomentoday.biz/join-us-free/

A New Adventure – Justine Asher – South Africa

A New Adventure – Justine Asher – South Africa

At the age of 18, freshly out of high school my modelling career was blossoming and the dream of travelling to exotic locations across the world was at my fingertips. Now that my school days were behind me I was seduced by a sense of wanderlust and had the world at my feet.

I travelled from my hometown in Cape Town to Johannesburg, to join a top agency and shortly before landing a modelling contract in Milan I suffered a chronic spinal cord injury as a result of a car accident. I recall lying in hospital when I received the news and felt a deep sense of disappointment. I don’t think the reality of my situation had quite set in.

Everything I had taken for granted became impossible, even the easiest of tasks such as scratching my head or feeding myself. I was told by the doctors that I would never walk again. Those words never quite resonated with me. During my months in hospital rehab I regained the use of my arms, and some use of my hands, but never regained my ability to walk again, remaining paralysed from my chest down with limited use of my hands.

I never gave up dreaming, hoping and desiring, but rather shifted my focus on all I could do and the impossible become my challenge.

Looking back, I marvel at what my life has become, I am now a mother of two teenage daughters and happily married for 18 years. My husband and I run a successful real estate company. I have had the wonderful experience of diving and excavating wrecks and I have swum alongside sharks in the Waterfront Aquarium.

When I turned 41, I decided to embark on a new adventure after a friend introduced me to para-cycling, just for the challenge and excitement of trying something new.

I use to love running and enjoyed the fresh air and being active out in nature and cycling came pretty much close to it. I loved the freedom and the feeling of the wind on my skin and being out on my bike with no limitations. Starting with only completing 4 km’s, a ride to the beach and back, my first little hill felt like Mount Everest. Determined to push more and challenging myself each day to push further and take on bigger climbs and more challenging rides, eventually after persevering and lots of hard training, I was cycling 50 kms and climbing over 700m.

After joining Maties para-sports club, I entered Nationals and was fortunate to make the SA Para-cycling team and have now been cycling competitively on the international circuit for 4 years.

In 2014 after winning numerous sports awards including the prestigious SA Sportswoman of the Year with a Disability which was a great honour and privilege, I won the world champion title in both the road race and time trial in 2015. In 2016 I was selected to represent my country at the Paralympics in Rio.

My life has been and continues to be an amazing adventure, from travelling the globe to looking to some more exciting adventures. I feel immense gratitude and a wonderful sense of achievement and not for a moment do I live in regret, but rather live each day as if it were my last.

I am fortunate to be blessed with a wonderful family and friends and every day is a new day worth celebrating. My proudest moments are when I see my children following their passions with purpose and never losing their sense of self-esteem and I hope that I have been successful at leading by example.

About the Author

Justine Asher is Wife, Mother, Artist, Dreamer, and Para-Cyclist double world champion. She and her husband own a real estate company specialising in residential sales and rentals. She began para-cycling 2 years ago. Prior to cycling, she swam 2km a day at the Virgin Active in order to maintain her health and fitness.

“Never, in my 25 years of being a quadriplegic, have I experienced such challenge, freedom and reward as I have in para-cycling.”

Justine hopes to inspire other women to take up para-cycling by creating awareness and bringing some exposure to the sport.

Follow Justine Asher:

Facebook: Justine Asher
Twitter: @JustineAsher

Nikki Taylor personally thanks Justine Asher for sharing her inspiring story today with us on Inspiring Women Today by Nikki Taylor.  Should you too wish to share your very own inspirational journey/story please email nikki@inspiringwomentoday.biz and our editorial guidelines will be sent to you.

Join us today STAY INSPIRED AND EMPOWERED FOR FREE https://inspiringwomentoday.biz/join-us-free/

Be True To Yourself – Ana Pristopan – Romania

Be True To Yourself – Ana Pristopan – Romania

When I have decided to leave my home, I have decided to do it for my children. I wanted a better life for them and myself. I have never thought of leaving my home country for 39 years. After a difficult marriage break I made a decision to leave everything behind, even though I was running a very successful business for more then 11 years. I have built that business from scratch selling first from a garage then turn it into a wholesale deposit. There is nothing that is more frightening and more challenging than to leave all you know for the fearful of the unknown.

It was the night of 5th of February 2000 that everything changed…
I left Romania and my 2 children behind in my parent’s care to go and live in New Zealand. A country I have chosen just pointing my finger on the map saying I am going there in the end the world. I had only $400 in my pocket after a bad divorce in which everything was taken from me and did not know anybody in NZ. It would be too risky to take my children with me and expose them to the unknown. It was the hardest decision that I had to make. But I knew and trusted that everything will be ok and I will see them soon. And I am so happy I did…

I cannot not even describe the fear and tears that has been inside my heart on the plane ride. I was holding my prayer book all the time and prayed, cried and prayed…for 33 hours… God gave me the power to believe that I did the right choice and one day I will see my children again. I believed that this was for the greater good that my children knew how much I adore them and that one-day this day would come, the day that we could all be together again.

I struggled to find a job but found a lovely Hungarian family who took me under their wings and looked after me until I found a job. I was and still am very blessed and lucky. Beside the nanny jobs, I was doing cleaning jobs and living in a stranger’s home looking after 3 children.

The small offerings that a strange family have given me, slowly felt like home, it had to, because for my two beautiful children that I left behind, I must power through with hope that one day they will be beside me.

I’ve dreamed every night that this will lead to bigger and better things. Perseverance is what pays, it pays to dream, even if reality never paid as much.

It became harder and harder to accept that a paycheck from someone else for doing their dirty housework was enough, so I’ve set my foot to do something that will one day allow me to become the person I am today.

I got my dream job that allowed me to show the world my personality, to speak to those that were prepared to pay the big bucks for my hope. I have dreamed to get into management and one day to run successfully my own business. And I did…

Today, this is the journey of the woman who is running very successfully her own franchise, this is the journey of a single mum ready to take on the world to prove she can make those dreams (from the granny flat of some rich persons home) come true.

Along the journey there were obstacles, and boy were they tough. Not only that I could not see my children growing older, but they also needed my support. This came to me effortlessly cause they were the sunshine of my life and gave me strengths not to give up.

My sweet parents taught me well, they have held my back and pushed me forward enough times to realize what my heart desired, and I went for it.

A few people have tried to hold me back, but they have all failed. “Because nothing has power over you unless you let it, absolutely nothing”. I was a new immigrant with a funny accent and with a difficult surname (one of my bosses even asked me to change my name if I want to work there and be successful). I’ve decided I don’t need to…and left. An immigrant who knew only one person in NZ and wanted to work in real estate, so she had to work very hard cause she was grateful that she could be there to start a new life with her children. That’s what kept me going.

It is a treasure to be true to yourself in today’s world, because putting on a brave face is not so easy. Even as life went on and even with those that held me back I’ve made a beautiful decision.
I am very grateful to all the people from NZ and to a country, which allowed me to change to have a fresh new life and to see my children after 2 years. I am so blessed. Thank you New Zealand!

When you get a letter like this from your children, you know that you did a good job and I am so proud and speechless:

…”To this day your sacrifices, your struggles and your pain have made you the beautiful person you were destined to be. They have allowed us to call you MUM.

Now our dear MUM, that is a title. It may not come with gold medals and it may not pay the bills, but it is eternal.

If at any time your journey comes to a hold and you must once again sacrifice, remember all that has lead you to get to this day and remember that we are here.

The promise of tomorrow will never be, but the promise of our love and compassion will always hold you up, that we promise you.

We have always wondered what we did to deserve you, but I guess that will forever be a mystery, an unsolved puzzle that is a sight for sore eyes.

The definition of love and trust came through your touch from the moment we were born, so we thank you for all that you have gone through and all that you will go through.
For giving us life and giving us love we cannot repay you, but we will promise to forever make you proud for making the decision to be our inspiring mother.

Your grace and prosperity will forever shine in our hearts!
WE LOVE YOU MUM” (Vanessa and Sebastian Pristopan)

About the Author

Ana is well known for her good sense of humour, friendly nature and she makes a positive impression on everyone she meets. Her people skills are exceptional and are a major contributor to her success in real estate. She is a fully licensed real estate agent, studying towards a Diploma in Business and Management. With more than 20 years’ experience in management and sales, Ana is passionate and truly committed to maximising the value of her clients’ real estate assets through superior customer service. As an ex sales manager and a licensee agent, she utilises and passes on her skills, knowledge and success to the people she works with. Ana began her selling career in Europe 30-years-ago. There she gained a Bachelor of Commerce and ran her own business for more than 11 years. Because Ana has been self-employed, she is well organised, self-motivated and sets high standards of professional service. Always striving for perfection, Ana doesn’t tolerate mistakes in a relationship and is known for her high standards of professional service, negotiating skills, integrity and enthusiasm. Perseverance and focus are crucial for Ana – she never gives up and is with you every step of the way.

To contact Ana:
Email: apristopan@gmail.com
LinkedIn: Ana Pristopan B.Com AREINZ

Nikki Taylor personally thanks Ana Pristopan for sharing her inspiring story today with us on Inspiring Women Today by Nikki Taylor.  Should you too wish to share your very own inspirational journey/story please email nikki@inspiringwomentoday.biz and our editorial guidelines will be sent to you.

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Why 1000 Self Help Books Won’t Set Women Fully Free. Discover the MAZ Factor – Maz Schirmer – Australia

Why 1000 Self Help Books Won’t Set Women Fully Free. Discover the MAZ Factor – Maz Schirmer – Australia

I WAS WORTH AS MUCH AS THE CHEWING GUM BENEATH THE SHOES OF MEN.

That was the level of my self-worthiness that caused my life for 3 decades to be of terror, torment and turbulence. I’m not just talking about the rape, injustice and abuse by men that led to myself and my 4 little kids having to go live in hiding for more than 400 days. I’m talking about the self-inflicted abuse upon myself because of my lack of self-worth.

I was simply living my mother’s and her mother’s life, not to mention 1 of my daughters experienced the same. What’s the chances of not just having 4 generations of women with guns at our heads in my family by men, but for myself, by several men. DV and child sexual abuse was rampant in my genes. I knew it was a pattern when my own 3 daughters were molested, yet I was going to be the one who NEVER let that happen to my kids. Well merely wanting to be a change maker is not enough, in fact the full on focus of that subject is what kept the pattern alive.

Well the mind image I produced by ‘not’ wanting my kids to experience abuse meant my image was of my kids being abused. The writing was on the wall and I had no idea i was a life creation artist. I had no idea the power of my own mind and how our mind images create our reality.

Suppression issues that currently show up as ‘not good enough’, anxiety, depression and self-loathing (sometimes disguised with a confidence mask) are not just ours, we inherited them, or at least the pre-disposition for events to occur to us that sustain our own suppression.

I finally told myself that I’d start a new life by blacking out my past. Well I blacked out alright, on the floor in a phone box while fleeing yet again into emergency housing, when I woke up from my first ever epileptic fit. In that ‘bleep’ moment when I first awoke, before my beliefs, conditioning and past memories caught up with me, was this moment of pure clarity that triggered a decision that went on to shape the rest of my life.

I saw it was MY responsibility to break this cycle because we were lucky to be alive and wouldn’t be if I kept making similar choices. I really turned my life around on a dime because of that bleep moment!

I went from an unemployed check out ‘chick’ single mother of 4 on the sole parent pension, living in emergency housing without a passport, to becoming the number 1 women’s business leader of other women in business, within 10 countries after being told it couldn’t be done. I broke Aussie 43 year records that I still own today.

Well that was well and good, but after a decade and a half of living the 5 star life, cruising the world on Moet, taking 26 overseas trips (in just 14 years), I can tell you that money is great, but it is not soul fulfilling when you see the statistics first hand of the numbers that fail compared to the numbers who succeed to their own definition of success as entrepreneurs.

I decided to focus on creating a REAL solution that would stop so many women feeling life failures at business and life.

I realised that in business we were ALL teaching processes that made me secretly feel like I was a fraud, a fluke and ashamed because I was NOT consistent. I DIDN’T plan my work and work my plan, I didn’t even set goals, therefore I wasn’t practicing what I was preaching. I was teaching these strategies because I was taught to by the ‘GREATS’ who said that’s how it’s done. Luckily for 1 in 5 these strategies worked well, but not for the 4/5.

I’d stumbled on the WOMAN’S success formula and didn’t know it. After all every self-help book said that’s the way to achieve success so who was I to speak otherwise.

One day it dawned on me. Why am I listening to these men (male company managers, male guru’s and male authors of the biggest selling self-help books and seminars) tell me how to do it when I had years and years of EVIDENCE saying OTHERWISE.

That was my second LIFE DEFINING MOMENT. That’s what led me to launch the INSTITUTE OF WOMEN INTERNATIONAL and formulate Creatrix®, a woman’s breakthrough process that breaks the cycle of suppression.

My mission now is to SET 10 MILLION WOMEN’S HEARTS AND MINDS FREE.

We are the solution we’ve been waiting for. We know what’s good for us and need to trust that! We can achieve ANYTHING when we break the cycle.

Written by Maz (Marilyn) Schirmer

About the Author

Maz is an expert in the psychology of Women’s Success, an author of The MAZ Factor, Founder of Institute of Women International, Innovator of Creatrix® and Head Trainer and Licensor of Creatrix® Facilitators in 6 countries and expanding rapidly. She is a mother of 4 and a Nana of 9 living in Sunshine Coast, Australia. She’s a woman on a mission with a passion and a vision to release suppression from an entire gender.

To Contact Maz (as she is affectionately referred to)

Email address: maz@instituteofwomen.com
Website:  www.mazschirmer.com.au

Find Maz on Facebook: www.facebook.com/instituteofwomen

Learn all about the Creatrix® Facilitator Program!
Click on this link: https://instituteofwomen.clickfunnels.com/everything-you-need-to-know-creatrix  

Nikki Taylor personally thanks Maz Schirmer for sharing her inspiring story today with us on Inspiring Women Today by Nikki Taylor.  Should you too wish to share your very own inspirational journey/story please email nikki@inspiringwomentoday.biz and our editorial guidelines will be sent to you.

Get Inspired to Eat and Live Well – Marni Wasserman – Canada

Get Inspired to Eat and Live Well – Marni Wasserman – Canada

To put it as simply as possible, I love to eat and live well. More than anything I love to share my passion and knowledge to live the healthiest life possible.

As cliché as that sounds, it’s true. This drive to make “the world” a healthier place started with a foundation in the area of kinesiology and health sciences. I then became a personal trainer and after talking to people about how to eat for optimal health, I realized this wasn’t enough. People needed to learn and see what was involved in taking control of their health.

The only logical next step for me at this time was to attend school for holistic nutrition and then culinary school. These two programs fueled my desire to start teaching my own cooking classes. There was a demand for people to learn how to make and prepare their own foods at home and I saw that need and I wanted to be that person.

When I first started, I didn’t have a plan or the know how to run a business I just knew I wanted to get as many people “healthy” as possible. So in the kitchen of my parent’s home, my little cooking class business began. I started doing weekly health focused cooking classes; I led retreats, hosted events and started to circulate around my city and others to facilitate talks, workshops and cooking demonstrations. I was in my element. I not only got to share my passion for health and nutrition but I got to show people how to do it.

I was on to something, my classes were full and there was a request for more, I had to go bigger. I outgrew my parent’s home and I decided to open up my own brick and mortar Food Studio. At the same time, I had two book deals; Plant-Based Diet and Fermenting for Dummies with very short deadlines. Not to mention while this was all happening I was going through a divorce.

This massive shift in my personal life motivated me to create the best food studio that I could have possibly imagined. So I did it. I built a high end beautiful kitchen from scratch which became a hub to connect people through food. I succeeded. It was my dream come true. However, just like any dream, it must come to an end as a new one begins to take its place.

I am actually just in the middle of letting my food studio go. I have outgrown it and ready to escalate my abilities to more than just teach cooking classes. I am ready to reach people on a global level. With the experience that I have in building communities and transforming people’s health through food, I am ready to apply this knowledge in new and exciting ways. I have come to learn that health is more than just what goes into your mouth, it’s your lifestyle, the people you associate with and the choices you make day to day.

Shortly after opening up the studio, I met my now partner Jesse Chappus. In contrast to my previous relationship, this guy was like the male version of me. Sharing all my same passions, morals and values about life and health. It was inevitable we would create something together – thus the birth of The Ultimate Health Podcast which we now co-host together.

What first started out as a “side” project has now grown into a full time business. Jesse, once a chiropractor has now left his practice for the upward swing of the podcast.

The podcast is more than a weekly health show; it is a community and collection of people looking to inspire and be inspired. With the show reaching over a million people we have the chance to get a message out about health and wellness in a practical, fun and helpful way. With guests such as Dr Mark Hyman, Gretchen Rubin, Arianna Huffington and Deepak Chopra we cover a wide range of topics allowing the listener to come to their own conclusions without pushing any agenda.

I am excited to see what comes of this new transition in my life. One thing I have learned is that it is so important to stay open minded, as you never what will come at you. Life is a set of experiences that help us to grow, evolve and expand. Just stay clear on your initial goals and you will get to where you want to go, just not always in a linear way.

To contact Marni:

Instagram and Twitter: @marniwasserman
Web: www.marniwasserman.com

About the Author

Simply said, Marni Wasserman’s life is rooted in healthy living. Culinary Nutritionist, Health Strategist, Co-Host of The Ultimate Health Podcast and founder of Marni Wasserman’s Food Studio & Lifestyle Shop located in midtown Toronto. She is also the Author of Fermenting for Dummies and Plant-Based Diet For Dummies . Marni has also made several media appearances on Breakfast Television, Global News, CBC, CHCH and Newstalk 1010 and has articles in the National Post, Toronto Star, Huffington Post and Chatelaine Magazine. Marni uses passion and experience to educate individuals on how to adopt a realistic real food diet and a balanced wholesome lifestyle through simple strategies.

Nikki Taylor personally thanks Marni Wasserman for sharing her inspiring story today with us on Inspiring Women Today by Nikki Taylor.  Should you too wish to share your very own inspirational journey/story please email nikki@inspiringwomentoday.biz and our editorial guidelines will be sent to you.