This Exciting Thing Happened!

Last month I was interviewed by HerIdeaBlog.com. They feature creative women each week and I was very excited to participate in this. I have put my interview below, but be sure to go to the website to read about more amazing women!

How would you describe yourself?

In describing myself, I’ll borrow from one of my cards that says, “Live Loud”. I believe that we should live our life with intention and grab it with both hands, living with gusto. I call myself “The Queen of Sparkle and Shine” because I’m passionate about sharing truth, encouragement, shining my light, and giving big sparkle hugs. I’m often seen wearing a tiara (I’m Queen after all).

I’m a retired elementary school teacher and I’ve already enjoyed a lot of living in my years. Currently I am the only parent of two teens, I teach reading to kindergartners who were ill-prepared to enter school, I’m writing my first book, I’m a blogger and Instagram “encourager” shining my light and truth to uplift others, I’m a bi-monthly contributor to the Women2Women Michigan magazine, and the owner/designer of Empowordment Cards by Mimi.

I’m also an inspirational speaker. My business is called Passionista At Large, which is the “umbrella” for all my other interests. “Passionista” describes my zest for living and my intense desire to share with  individuals how they can rise above negative beliefs to be empowered for making positive choices in their lives. The “at large” part is a way of poking fun at myself, as I am 5’10” tall. When I was teaching I’d refer to myself as large and in charge. But it also means that I’m on the prowl to Inform, Inspire, and Ignite. Everything I learned on my journey to self-empowerment I long to share with others.

Tell us a little bit about your Etsy shop.

Words are absolutely powerful–whether spoken, written, read, or heard in our minds. I have found that having a visual reminder of truth helps us to focus on that truth. And that is how my EmPOWordment Cards began. I wanted cards that would uplift and build self-esteem by providing affirmations and positive words to live by.

Two years ago when I started designing cards, I knew nothing about Etsy and Instagram or all the quotes that are so prevalent now, so was completely pulling from my own creativity and experiences.

Memes had just become popular, and I’d been designing them for my blog posts. My sister commented that I should make them into cards to sell. I wasn’t really sure about that idea, but because I wanted something to take to speaking engagements, and give out to others, I began to design cards to empower and build self-esteem—with words—thus the name EmpoWORDment.

I was a novice designer, using PicMonkey to create backgrounds and designs to showcase the all-important words. Many of my cards reflect my own journey. For example, “Don’t Let Anyone Ever Dull Your Sparkle” is very meaningful to me because for most of my life I allowed others to control and dim me. “I Was Born To Shine” is something I realized only a few years ago, and now I purposely tell everyone that we all have a unique light to shine in this world. I had just designed “Queen of Courage” when my sister was diagnosed with cancer. I dedicated that card to her. Every card has a personal meaning (and story) for me.

I truly love designing, and soon branched out into mugs, journals, note cards, a cute card deck that can be made into a garland, and this year I created a Sparkle & Shine calendar. It has monthly affirmations that are to be repeated every day of the month. Doing so will change your thoughts and help to create positive energy in your life.

My designs are colorful and sometimes quirky. They capture attention. They provide others with encouragement, self-esteem boosters, empowering words, and positivity. They often create emotion, because words ARE powerful!

What does empowerment mean to you?

Empowerment to me means living fully as your authentic self, free from self-limiting beliefs that control your behavior and hold you back. Empowerment can be a huge deal like the women’s march, or small, personal steps toward freedom.

My own empowerment began when I realized I’d believed lies about myself all my life. I believed that I was too emotional, not very smart, not worthy of love, was broken and unlovely, to name a few.  One day, in an act of courage and boldness, I finally told the lies in my head to “shut up!” and began purposely replacing them with what I call truths. If you care to read about that, go to https://particularpassions.me/2016/04/05/the-lies-that-bind-us/. The truths I began saying to myself are universal: I am enough, I am creative, I am amazing, I am powerful and strong, I deserve good things in life, and I am loveable. Our brains are quite amazing, and even if we don’t believe these words at first, when repeated often, our brain will begin to store them as part of our belief system. And that’s what happened to me! It sounds very simple, but it took me several years to get there.

All of my life I’ve been in love with words. A person can create visual images, emotions, and life and death, with words. The lies I’d been allowing to blow through my brain had been creating death to who I was created to be. When I began believing and acting upon the new truths, I became a powerful force to be reckoned with! I can now shine my light with purpose. And I know that I am “Amazing With A Side of Sprinkles”!

What is a quote that has inspired you lately and why?

Asking me, someone whose business is designed around quotes, to pick out a favorite quote is pretty tough. But I will tell you the one that has guided me for these last six years.
“Don’t tell me the sky is the limit when there are footprints on the moon!” by Buzz Aldrin, one of the first astronauts on the moon.

This speaks to me about not being limited. About doing those things I might think are impossible or out of my reach. And it says that there are amazing opportunities that I don’t see yet, just waiting for me.

 

If you could spend a day with any creative woman, who would you choose and why?

If I could spend a day with any creative woman in history we’d need a conference!! There are so many, many women that I
respect for their abilities, their hearts, and their authenticity. Sue Monk Kidd, a favorite author, wrote a book that transformed my life. Maya Angelou inspires me with her guts, strength, passion, and incredible ability with words. Meryl Streep continues to amaze me with her acting ability, her humor, her ability to embrace aging, and her love and compassion. Carole King began my journey of poetry set to music and she continues strong. See? There are so many. And what a conference THAT would be!!

What are some of your other creative interests?

I enjoy many other creative activities besides designing and writing. I love gardening and creating beautiful flowerbeds from which I can make “yard gatherings” bouquets. I write poetry. I sing. I paint on rocks. I sew. I have created a lovely home. I create memories for my children, through camping especially, and travel.

 

What do you enjoy most about being a creative woman?

What I enjoy most about being a creative woman is that days are never, ever boring! There is always something new to learn and try. I feel resourceful and I’m very grateful for the abilities that are mine. I try not to take them for granted, but use my gifts for the betterment of others. And I suppose that is one of the things I love most about being creative—I can help others see truth and become empowered. And I pray that as the creative force flows through me it will pour out onto others in a way that positively affects their lives.

 

 

 

Most of the cards shown above are available in my Etsy shop. The link is below.

Connect with me:

https://www.etsy.com/shop/EmPOWordmentCards (Etsy shop)

https://www.facebook.com/EmPOWordmentCardsbyMimi/  (Facebook)

https://www.instagram.com/mimimatthews.empowordmentcard/ (Instagram)

https://particularpassions.me/ (blog)

http://www.passionistaatlarge.org/ (website)

Does It Seem Impossible?

Fear can keep you

from attaining something you want.

 

Whether you think it’s possible or not

depends on the way you see yourself.

 

Believe that you are capable of anything

and you will be.

 

Some days it feels like just getting through the day is impossible!

But don’t ya know? I make it every time, and then ta daaaa!!

It WAS possible.

 

Whatever hard task lies before you, take it one step at a time, and you will make it.

 

You can DO it!!

 

I believe in you, because I know you have the good stuff in you. You are glorious.

 

Here’s to moving forward.

Love and sparkle hugs, Mimi

 

 

Write Your Own Script, My Dear

So really. Why would you follow in the exact footprints of someone else?

Me saying, “Seriously?”

They do not have YOUR unique qualities, gifts, abilities, and desires, and you don’t have theirs.

Should you fashion your life after what other people say? Should you let what is important to them be what guides you?

Perhaps to some degree, if they are people you love. But when it comes to achieving what you truly desire in life, I believe that you need to be the one to determine what is most important to you.

And please, do not let people’s opinions of you alter your course one bit! Know your own truth.

YOU are the one to determine

the kind of person you want to be.

What you wear, how you talk,

what your goals are,

the things that fulfill your heart,

what kind of job you want,

the kind of a person you want a relationship with,

where you want to live, how you run your home,

what books you read,

how much schooling you obtain……

these should be things of your choosing and should not be dictated by the choices of others.

write-your-own-script

Of course I am not discounting the wise counsel of people. We all need help with decisions and lifestyle issues.

I’m referring to giving up yourself

in order to follow blindly.

Or relinquishing your desires

because someone thinks they are silly.

Or not wearing something you love

because no one else does.

Or not truly honoring your heart and spirit

because others criticize you for it.

You have a brain, emotions, intelligence, reason, values, morals, and common sense.

Use them to figure out, and pursue, what is valuable to you. Mark your own path, and

Write your own script for your life!

As always, I thank you for visiting. I’d love to know what you think!

Love and sparkly hugs,

Passionista

Do Not Apologize For Who You Are!

never-apologize

Oh darling, don’t you know that who you are is the most amazing and fabulous gift to the world? Who you are is full of wonder and possibility. You deserve to be loved and fulfilled in what you do. I know it’s tough many days. I know some of you are not in an ideal situation. I know some of you feel as if the ground is swallowing you up and closing in over you.

 

I know because I’ve been there. And it took action and big steps (in little baby steps) to get me out of that hole. But I am here to tell you that YOU can start today to change your situation. There are people who will help you.

 

Do not try to do it alone. I know, precious one, that you feel as if you must be strong and do this life thing (as hard and unpleasant as it is) by yourself because that’s who you are. Well, you only limit yourself when you limit your possibilities.

 

Start talking to people. Start saying what you want and need. I promise, lightning will not strike you. Start asking for help. Start with someone you trust and get them involved in seeking help you and ways to improve and/or get out of your situation.

 

You are NOT alone! You do not have to suffer in silence. There ARE solutions. I know. I found them.

 

The biggest thing is to start realizing how valuable you are. How much the world needs your special, unique gifts and love. Start telling yourself the TRUTH–that you are amazing and have wonderful abilities and gifts for this world.

 

Start seeking ways to BE who you really are. To pour out your beautiful spirit and shine your gorgeous light.

 

Because darling, you are perfect, just as you are! Never apologize.

 

Love and sparkly hugs! Mimi

I’m Going Live! Check It Out!

Oh my gosh I’m so excited! Deborah St. Hilaire from Bay City is interviewing me, live, tonight on her Divalution Radio! Check it out. 7:00 p.m. (Eastern) on W4DIVAS.com.  It should be a good time. 🙂

divalution2 

Also, we will meet early and collaborate about holding women’s small group meetings at her amazing studio/storefront/gathering space. This has been one of my dreams for five years. And what will I call these gatherings? Well, as Passionista At Large, they will be “Passionista Playdates”!! Comment below if you are interested in these and I’ll keep you posted. (Location is Bay city, Michigan)

It seems my words of the year “Expand” from last year and “Abundance” for this year are working for me! Sometimes it really takes just putting one foot in front of the other and doing what you know to do at the time.

 

So carry on with your bad selves, shine YOUR light, and rock 2017!

Love and BIG hugs, Passionista

You Are MORE!

 

what-we-believe-about-ourselves

It doesn’t matter what is being said about you.

It doesn’t matter what others think of you.

What matters is what you think of yourself!

And if you believe lies about yourself, then you will act on those lies instead of the truth.

 

Any words that make you seem “less than” the amazing person you were created to be is a LIE!

Those words may come from the chatter in your brain, just regurgitating things you have heard.

They may come from actual people who are small-minded and have their own agenda.

 

But whatever the source, you need to STOP listening to the derogatory lies and begin to speak truth to yourself.

Because when you believe lies, you think small about yourself.

It’s pretty hard to launch out of your comfortable, ho-hum, dream-draining life by thinking small.

You can barely rise to doing those things the world needs from you–your purpose for being here.

 

the-only-thing-that-benefits-from-thinking-small-is-your-comfort-zone

“But I don’t WANT to leave my comfort zone! It’s comfortable.”

Ummm, yeah. And it’s restricting and limiting. (Redundant, I know, going for the effect.)

And leaving your comfort zone is like jumping off the high dive.

 

But don’t you want to be the best you can be?

Don’t you want to realize amazing and wonderful things about yourself–things you never knew?

When we rocket ourselves (because that’s what it takes!) outside of our comfort zone to do those things that our heart really, really longs to do, all kinds of new worlds and information opens up to us! It could become quite an adventure–mine has!

 

And the wonderful thing is that our hearts and spirits become more fulfilled as we begin to venture out and try things our heart is leading us to do.

**Things the lies make us afraid to do.**

 

Lies like:

“I am not smart enough for that.

I could never go in front of people.

I really do not have the “look” required for that.

I don’t have the time for that.

No one needs me.

I’m not qualified.

I’m just a ________.” Oh how I hate that word!

 

The lies (excuses) are limitless.

But so are YOU!!

Limitless.

The only thing holding you back is you.

 

Stop believing lies and restricting the amazing, capable, beautiful person you are!

You CAN do this! I know, because I did.

 

Love and big sparkly hugs!

Passionista

 

I speak from experience!! Seriously!

If you would like to read more, here are some older posts on the subject.

To Dream (when I jumped off the high dive myself!)

The Lies That Bind

The Lies That Bind Magazine Article (a much longer article in more detail)

Start Anew

 

 

 

 

 

The Lies That Bind Us

 

You were created for a purpose

and are amazing,

creative,

valuable,

and productive.

YOU were born to shine!!

I was born to shine

Do you believe that? Or do you struggle to believe that you were born to shine because instead you believe lies about yourself? Perhaps lies like you are stupid, unlovable, you will never amount to anything, you are ugly, or you are worthless.

If so, these lies are the result of believing negative things you have felt or that people have said about you. Many of us have done that and are now full of hurt and feel broken.

So what do I mean when I say “lies”?

 

Lies are thoughts or the words and actions of others that cause us to behave in a self-defeating or destructive way. Lies are limiting because they create FEAR and hold us back.

I describe fear as

Firmly Encouraging and Allowing Rubbish.

When we listen to all that rubbish going on in our brain it’s impossible to be our real, true selves. Most likely we haven’t been taught about how thought processes work so we continue to believe rubbish about ourselves. It piles up over the years until we have a whole ton of garbage that weighs us down. My goal is to help you, in a simplified way, understand how our thoughts can work against us.

The lies we believe during our formative years set us up to believe lies as adults. By the time we become adults we are firmly entrenched in this belief system which affects how we consider ourselves.

5 belief determines behavior

Belief Determines Behavior

So how do we change our belief system so we can change our behavior?

Find out how by reading my article here.

 

If you’d like to read my first post on this subject (because it’s one that is dear to my heart), find it here.

 

May your life be blessed as you incorporate these ideas to help you live with fullness and freedom from the fear that binds.

Love and big hugs along this journey,

Passionista

 

What’s In A Word?

 

Believe

The year is flying by and we are well into 2016. At this point, if we made New Year’s resolutions, about eighty percent of us will have abandoned them. That used to be me but I don’t set resolutions any more. I’ve adopted a different approach to help me focus on reaching important life changes, business goals, and spiritually-nourishing activities that I need in my life.

 

I now use the “Word Of The Year” as my guide. The program I use is by Carrie Saba who is a health and lifestyle coach.

 

I’m sure you have heard “What you focus on you become” and “You get what you focus on” most likely having realized these truths for yourself. So choosing to focus on one word will give you incredible intensity!

 

Here’s the deal. Words have energy. Words speak life. Choosing one word to envelop, sustain, and help create your life for a year will bring what you are focusing on into your life. It’s a simple yet powerful way to guide your actions, choices, and plans, and achieve change.

 

To read the rest of my article about this empowering way to set goals, and to receive a gift code for a FREE companion guide to choosing your own WOTY, visit Abrazine.com here. The gift code is available until March 31, so get over there and grab it!!

 

Until next time, may you shine your light for all to see!

Love and hugs, Passionista Mimi

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

First You Must Trust Yourself

first you must trust yourself

First you must trust yourself…if you can’t, you may put too much weight on what others think or say. 

 

Everything you need is inside you.

Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

You are enough. You are capable.

You are fabulous.

Your own mind and heart know. Truly.

Just take the time to see and know

what’s inside of you. 

 

It’s actually pretty amazing!

 

Why NOT Me?

why not me

You should never feel as if you are insignificant and undeserving.

Dream that dream.

Set those goals before you.

Because, why shouldn’t you reach them?

You, as much as anyone you admire,

deserve the chance to do what your heart desires.

Yep, sometimes it takes a long time.

And it’s really, really tough.

But that is what makes the dream or goal valuable!

If it wasn’t hard and didn’t take a lot of investment,

if it was easy, would you value it as much?

Why NOT you?

Only you can set those limitations on yourself.

Think about it. 

Love and hugs, Passionista Mimi

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