Inspiration, Raw Honest Brave

Are You Believing Lies?

So many of us hold as truth the myths, or lies, that govern our lives, our choices, and our behaviors! I know I did (still do, I’m sure). BUT…
Who taught us these lies/myths we believe are true? The old adage “If you tell a lie long enough it becomes truth to you” applies here! Unfortunately, we accept what society or even family has taught us, believe it as truth, act on it–without even considering whether it is true, much less determining whether it’s something we should embrace in OUR lives. (I’m SO guilty of that!)

“It’s the fact that this principle or value they hold onto so tightly is impeding their progress to move forward that should be alarming.”

Shari Goldsmith

One of the most dangerous results of believing lies is that we let them take control of us! Like when you think, “Oh but I couldn’t do THAT because… {insert lie here such as, I’m too fat, I’m too poor, I’m not smart enough, I’m ugly}” so you never do it, and the lie controls you. When we give lies credence and follow their direction, we delete our own authenticity. We deny who we were created to be. We are designed and created a specific and awesomely unique way by the Master Creator, and WHO should know better about what will please us and fill our soul?

If you would like to “check out” whether you are believing lies, there are many women you already know whom are filled with wisdom–from experience, reading, searching–who would be willing to talk with you. Perhaps some of them are older (thus the experience) but there are also young women who have already “lived” a lot. For me, talking to a friend who displays wisdom and logic (to counteract my sometimes-off-the-wall passion) has been helpful in determining what is actually truth and which lies I’m allowing to take control of my life. I’ve also had to spend time “going inside” (ugh, not always pretty!) to assess and determine my true character and those things I really hold important.

So, do you think it’s easy to avoid accepting lies about us as truth?  Ummm, no! To discern lies, we have to be militant snipers because of the subtle, yet pervasive, nature of them. And if you’re thinking that you are free from this plague, let me alert you to the nature of lies by giving you examples from my life (here I go, being all vulnerable and transparent again). Until recently, I have believed I was too loud, too big, too boisterous, not smart, not humorous, not fun.

WHAT? I know, right? How in the WORLD could I have possibly believed all those lies about me?

Well, it’s pretty easy, because, I assure you, people don’t say to you, “Now I’m going to lie to your face” before their opinions about you come gushing out! We actually begin believing lies from infancy (think of gender conditioning). Here are a few examples of how some of mine happened (in abbreviated narration).

Example: As a third grader I was told I was too big to be a ballerina. Translation: being big would keep me from my dreams. It was a curse. It was ugly.

Example: when I got very excited and “cheered” in support of something (yes, I was in church, but it was a military rally type thing, after all) I was told I’d had “too much coffee”. Translation: being spontaneous, loud, or passionate was a bad thing (especially in church!).

Example: when I’d laugh loudly I was told to shush. Translation: my laugh was bad. Hold it in. Being loud was not a good thing. (Problem is that I’m just a loud person naturally and I was always being told to be quiet).

Example: whenever I’d have an opinion that was different from the significant person in my life, I was told that I am too hard-headed, or that I wouldn’t ever listen to anyone, and why did I even bother to ask if I wasn’t going to listen. So I really began to doubt my own intelligence.

I don’t know if any of these made sense to you, but these are lies that I received whether they were intended or not.

Thank goodness for my friend who helped to identify my false belief system! And I began to read, discover, and analyze only to find that I was believing many lies that others had “said” about me. These people weren’t vicious or even intentional in their lying. In fact,  lies from those who loved me were the hardest to uncover, because they were usually “told” by people’s responses (comments or body language) to my life and actions .

We ALL have opinions. It just happens that the opinions of my family, teachers, and peers were more important to me than searching for truth. For many years, I believed those things about myself, but no more!

I’ve begun the habit of speaking truth to myself. It’s funny, I don’t even care if others believe what I say, I know these things to be true anyway. (I’ve come a long way, Baby!) Here we go–here’s MY truth:
“I am quite intelligent and a good problem-solver. I am lovely. I am creative. I have a great sense of humor and I’m a fun person. Actually, I’m an amazing person. I’m powerful and make good choices. I can accomplish a lot!”

Just a few of the things I now tell myself. First time I said them I was ready to jump back in case lightening struck!! Really. It was almost like blasphemy, or against the rules, to affirm myself. Don’t want to be egotistical, you know. But there is a huge difference between a dominant ego and a healthy self-esteem.

My parents loved me, without a doubt. However, they were short on the words that would have helped my tender ego believe truth. Not a criticism, just a fact. I am trying to be more conscious of the words I use with my children, but I’m not always successful with the positive. So, I make sure to give them tons of praise, love and mushy stuff from my heart. Just in case. In case they “hear” more than I’m saying. In case they ever have doubts about how much I love them. In case they wonder if they are the world to me. Just so they know, without a doubt, they are loved unconditionally, they are beautiful just the way they are, and that they are precious treasures who make my life complete. 🙂

And I deserve the same consideration. I deserve the same love from myself. I am worth believing the TRUTH. And so are you!

Does any of this resonate with you? If so, let me know how you do with your “Lie Busting!”

Hugs and love, Passionista Mimi

OH, and hey, if you like what you read, why not share the love and click, pin, like, etc.? I’d give you an extra big hug. Thanks!

Living With Gusto

Live Life With Eyes and Heart Wide Open!

It seems that many of us go through life flinching, with our arms flung out across our eyes, wary of what might be coming our way. We guard our hearts against deep, emotional interactions in order to stay safe. Because for us to embrace living with our eyes wide open and with our hearts made vulnerable might seem like a death wish.

In fact, it is a death.

A death to fear.

To living boxed in.

To feeling less-than.

In order to receive all this world holds for us, we need to partake of it to the fullest! And how can we possibly do that if we are shying away from experiences and emotional investment?

As long as we are afraid of feeling deeply–whether it be grief, remorse, loss, rejection, or joy, fulfillment, love, and excitement–we cannot reach our full potential in life. And I dare say that we won’t have the satisfaction of a truly fulfilled spirit.

Most people welcome the “positive” feelings, but really, really do NOT want to feel the “bad” ones. Perhaps as a child we were taught that feeling anger, sadness, disappointment, and depression was wrong and that we needed to “buck up Buttercup” or “act like a man”. Whatever our reason, beside the obvious one that they hurt, many of us do not welcome those less-than-desirable emotions. And this stifles us and our creative power.

Picture a bubbling brook gurgling its way through the countryside and liken our “bad” emotions to the sediment and rocks found in it. What is that stream without the rocks and sediment? Stagnant, because IF it is gurgling through the countryside, following the course as it’s meant to, there WILL be sediment and rocks in it! Same with us: living in our flow and to the fullest means “rocks and sediment” mixed in.

We, as humans, are designed to create. We are makers of a vast assortment of things, using words, art, wood, electronics, music, material, paint, and problem solving, to only list a few of the amazing ways humans create. Creativity flows from an open spirit, not a spirit that is fearful or stagnated by suppression. (Have you ever felt “stuck”?)

When we open our hearts to others and to feeling deeply, we will realize that even more passion and creativity flows. True, opening our hearts to feel emotions makes us vulnerable, and allows us to experience “bad” emotions too. So we have to be brave! We have to risk it. But that is what living an adventurous life is really about, isn’t it? Taking the risk and not living with regret.

Perhaps you have already heard that when you experience deep grief you are also able to experience an abounding joy. Something about how allowing that depth for the bad emotions creates space for the good, and I agree.  I’m no therapist, but I’m speaking from experience. Having been “wired” for feeling all emotions deeply, there were many times I was ravaged by them. But I must say, on the other end of the spectrum I also feel joy, excitement, and love very deeply. So much so that people are amazed by and drawn to my joyful energy (or so they say). So yes, I believe that when the well in our spirit is created by allowing even the undesirable emotions to be felt deeply, there is a larger space for all the wonderfully nourishing ones as well.

And really, why would you want to stifle yourself from feeling life? We have a depth of resources within us, usually just barely tapped by us. Working through difficult emotions to let our light shine can produce some of the most amazing pieces of our lives yet.

Our world is over-saturated with visual assault which can actually cause us to become numb. We have seen it all, bombarding our senses at a rapid-fire pace. A prime example is the weather channel’s flashing of the top stories. Or the movie theater’s practice of showing the loudest, fastest-moving clips during previews. It’s actually so bad that my special-needs son, who is fearful of something scary showing up unexpectedly on any screen, hides outside the theater until the previews are over. Perhaps we have all grown a bit too numb. That much visual impact on a daily (hourly) basis causes desensitization.

So how in the world do we return to seeing with “new” eyes? Eyes that are wide open?

Turn it off!!!  Seriously, stop bombarding your senses with so much visual garbage. Be brave enough to stand the silence. Be brave enough to spend time outside without ear buds in your ears. Take a chance on going to dinner with a friend and actually looking them in the eyes and talking! No telling what you will discover about each other. And while you are there, notice your surroundings and the people next to you (who each have a story, you know). How can we possibly have room in our creative spirits to create if it’s full of the garbage our world shoves in our faces and ears every day? Make room! (Oops, did I just raise my voice at you? Hmmm, guess I’m called “Passionista” for a reason).

There are many practices you can use to begin to experience life fully: meditating, visiting art galleries, camping, hiking, (without devices), even–daringly–taking a “vacation” from your electronics. Find what works for you. For me? I need lots of quiet. My brain runs at full tilt, and in order for me to harness the creative flow, I must have no other distractions. You will know what works when you do it–your spirit will be at rest and rejuvenated. Then

Once you begin to look around you in wide-eyed wonder, you will discover treasures, opportunities, and reasons to be awestruck, which will enhance your life and creativity. And let me remind you that “creativity” is not limited to artists, but to every human alive. We all possess the creative spirit within us.

It takes bravery to embrace living with your eyes and hearts wide open, but I would encourage you to choose it.

Be BRAVE!

You will find that a whole new world awaits you! And I’m rooting for you!

Big hugs, Passionista Mimi

Raw Honest Brave

God Is The Great “Recycler”

Okay, so this post is very open and raw. I have made myself vulnerable in order to reach you. I’m telling another part of my story. I believe that God wants to use all of our experiences as a way to connect with–and maybe bring hope to–another person’s heart. I’m really glad that He does that. It makes the rotten stuff worth a lot more. Let me begin…

Sometimes we just feel like garbage. I’m not talking about when we are sick and our bodies feel “trashed”. What I mean is how we fell when someone degrades us, or we can’t accomplish something we have worked really hard at. Or when we realize that we have screwed up big time. Or we disappoint someone whom we love deeply. Everyone feels this way at some time(s) in their life.

However, when abuse has been a building block of a person’s life, like mine, “feeling like trash” persistently winds its way through our lives, intertwining our thoughts, emotions, and behaviors, and affecting our quality of life.

Pictures7

Abuse can tear away at our spirit, making us vulnerable to lies. It can crumble and deteriorate self-confidence. It can take away our sense of worth and purpose. Basically, emotional, physical, or sexual abuse will change our quality of life. Forever.

My sexual abuse happened when I was very young. Like many, I showed the classic signs of being abused, but didn’t realize it until I was in my forties. In the early 1990s–before we became aware of statistics revealing that one in four girls will suffer abuse by their eighteenth birthdaya sexual abuse case happened within our church membership. It really tilted our world! This was before the internet explosion, with check lists and resources for those who had been abused. And many of us who had been were living in ignorance, or denial. 

Because our congregation was totally unprepared to deal with the chaos and ravaged emotions this abuse case caused, we hosted an all-day seminar to educate us on how to work through it. During the seminar I began to realize I had shown behaviors indicating abuse in my own life. This often happens to those victims who have suppressed memories as they begin to learn about sexual abuse.  I remembered some rather disturbing interactions with family members. I acknowledged my promiscuity, and the careless attitude toward sex. I realized that my need for attention and the feelings of never being enough could be rooted in sexual abuse, as could my low self-esteem and dislike of myself. Like I said, abuse will intertwine all aspects of our lives. And quite honestly, I fell apart. My tightly-held-together-world began crumbling.

The good news? (Yes there is good news.) It’s possible to find hope and healing. Not in a day or two. Maybe not in a year or two. It’s been a process (how I came to hate that word), removing the effects of abuse layer by layer. I needed to completely reprogram my brain to stop believing the lies (I’m worthless, used up, can’t be good enough, no one will want me like this, I’m garbage, I’m ugly) and believe truth instead (I’m created for a purpose, full of worth, I’m a priceless treasure, I’m more than enough just like I am, I’m beautiful and intelligent and amazing).

The process involved teaming up with a woman of great wisdom who could direct me to God’s truth and identify the lies I believed. I began to read books on the subject of abuse, co-dependency, and emotional healing. I read over and over how God could and would “make me new” (“The former things have passed away… behold, I make all things new.” Rev. 21:5). I chose to renew my mind, rather than dwell on what had happened, because I wanted to change. (Not nearly as easy as I make it sound!) I did not want the abuse to have power over me any more and control my behaviors and thoughts. I realize my abuse was relatively mild (if that’s possible) compared to others I’ve come to know or have read about. However the root of it still caused damage in my emotions and spirit and shows how even the smallest offense of sexual abuse can wreak havoc in a life. It was as if my emotional DNA had been changed.

abuse

One garbage collection day, while I was picking up the recycle bin and looking at all the ”throw away” bottles and boxes, I immediately pictured my life and those of others like me whose life-scripts had been altered by abuse.  We often feel like a throw away–used up, soiled goods that nobody would want. But immediately my mind raced to the finish, or rather, what is being completed in me. I am NO LONGER a throwaway. I never really was, though I was sure of it.

And God has, indeed, done a new thing in my life. I am a totally different person!  Visions of the many wonderful recycled products we can see–that look nothing like their item of origin–came dancing through my mind. Those items have been completely “made new”! And that is exactly how I feel. I am just a shadow of the person I was.

All things made new

I realize that living this many years has given me a wealth of experience to fuel my self-confidence. However, it wasn’t until ten years ago that I really began to blossom into this crazy, passionate, outspoken, fun-loving and confident woman. (Unfortunately I had to leave an emotionally abusive relationship before I could fully bloom, but that’s a story for another time).

If you have encountered abuse, my heart goes out to you. With everything in me, I hope you will take steps toward healing and hope.

1*I encourage you to find someone you can talk with, someone who will love you honestly and help you see truth. Identify the lies you have believed.

2*Begin to reprogram your brain with new words and ideas (new scripts to play) that speak the truth about you. You have such power! Speak who you want to be and your mind and emotions will follow. I’m proof of that.

“I am loved.”               “I can heal.”               “I am worthy.”           “I am strong.”

“I deserve a life free from the effects of abuse.”           “I am more than enough.”

3*Find something you enjoy doing and do it! Try many things and experiences until you find your niche. Doing this has helped me tremendously!

4*Help someone else. I cannot emphasize this enough! There is such healing that happens when we begin to focus on helping someone. There are people around you who would benefit from your smile, touch, note of encouragement, listening ear, help with housework, yard work, babysitting, groceries, a ride somewhere, reading out loud to a child. Kindness warms our hearts whether we are giving or receiving it. And, I always say that “good multiplies good” in our lives.

Once again this has become a very wordy blog post. To those of you who stayed to the end–BIG hugs!! I hope something I’ve said will help you or enable you to help someone you love. Abuse is horribly prevalent, and our society has become one of broken, “walking wounded”. Let me know if there is any way I can help you. Peace, love, and blessings.

Passionista Mimi

OH, and hey, if you like what you read, why not share the love and click, pin, like, etc.? I’d give you an extra big hug. Thanks!

Mimi's Messages, Words To Help

Yes, My Dear, Your Opinion Does Matter

 

“No one ever made a difference by being like everyone else.”  PT Barnum

Humans are inclined to want everyone to be the same. Why are we uncomfortable with people who are “out there” or who don’t fit into a box very easily? Why is it that those people are often the ones under criticism?

We think, “If they would just be less bossy. Less brash. Less weird. And for goodness sake, quit spouting their opinion about EVERYthing!” Right?

It seems that everyone has an opinion these days and many are not afraid to share theirs on social media. Some even get a bit angry when others don’t support them.

In real life, are you able to share your opinion without getting shot down? I’m not talking about your publicized opinions, because social media is a relatively “safe” place to state yours, hiding behind disconnected print.

I want you to consider your partnerships, relationships, and work places.

For me, during my marriage I heard things like, “Why do you even ask my opinion? You are going to do whatever you want anyway.” And I usually ended up “paying” for having an opinion different from my husband’s. Let me tell you, this led to feeling as if I was stupid, and didn’t amount to much in our marriage (come to find out I was very wrong about the first and quite right about the latter). It’s not a very good way to flourish. When we state our opinions—which results in others becoming angry—we have a tendency to stop expressing what we feel, especially if our nature is to avoid conflict.

To many of us, being able to even have an opinion is difficult. For me, because I was not allowed to discuss or argue with my parents (or teachers), I suppressed what I wanted. As an adult, if someone asked me how I felt about something, I would frantically fumble around inside my brain realizing that I couldn’t get in touch with how I felt. I truly didn’t know. “Going with the flow” kind of does that. Yielding my own voice, ideas, and feelings about things had become a deeply entrenched way of life.

Do we allow our children to have a different opinion than we do? I really try to ask mine to tell me their side of an issue. Of course, I’m still the parent, and must do what I feel is safe and profitable for my children. But if there is wiggle room, perhaps we need to allow our youngest members of society to state their case, and learn how to do so without it becoming a fighting match. Sometimes compromise is possible, and when a child (or anyone, really) feels like their voice is heard, it gives them confidence.

And dear one, you need to use your voice. You have every right to how you feel. You are worthy and capable, and the world needs your light. The world wants to experience your heart and what you are passionate about. You have a beautiful brain, so use it. If you don’t know how you feel, begin investigating facts. Read. Study. And form your own opinion about matters that matter.

In personal relationships, help the other person to understand how you feel by saying things like, “When you react with anger as I give you my opinion, it makes me feel as if I don’t matter and that you are trying to bully me into agreeing with you and submitting to your opinion at the cost of who I am.” Yes, that’s a mouthful, but it’s true, isn’t it?

In the work place, when your boss or another employee belittles your opinion on work issues, perhaps you can say (in addition to the above comment), “I’ve been hired here because I am capable. I have an interest in this job. My opinion matters as much as anyone else’s. I’d like for you to listen to what I have to say without becoming angry or acting like I am stupid.”

Wow, how empowering! Scary? You bet it is! Does it take practice? Yes. Stepping out of our comfort zone is always risky. But would you rather go through your life, remain in a relationship, or be stuck in a job where you feel belittled or stupid? Now I don’t want to give you false hope, because there are a lot of difficult people in our world, and you may be working with some or in relationships with some. Voicing your opinion may bring you physical danger or repercussions. You will need to be smart about it.

A woman with a voice is by definition a strong woman.

But the search to find that voice can be remarkably difficult.

Melinda Gates

Your voice really IS important, and being able to speak what you think and feel is empowering. Test it out and see if perhaps your words can make a difference in your life. Best case would be the other person doesn’t know that their words and actions make you feel inferior. And maybe there can be a compromise. We all need respect, but you must respect yourself first. So speak up!

Cheers to you! I am rooting for ya, and I want you to know that I believe you are smart, fabulous, and have a lot to offer our world!

Here are some great articles for you:

Raising Our Daughters to Speak Up and Why Women Should Reclaim Their Power

 

Living With Gusto

I AM

I AM

The words I used to put after “I am” were not very nice words at all. I didn’t like myself much. I felt like I could never measure up or please everyone, although I spent most of my waking minutes trying. When I’d do something just for myself I’d feel extremely guilty and like I had to hide it. It seems pretty silly, huh?

But my beginnings were a bit rocky, which led me–a person of peace, huge emotions, and big heart–to feel as if I really didn’t deserve love, or even much of a place in this world. 

After going through a LOT of healing, prayer, reading/study, and consciously changing my thought patterns, I began to view myself differently. Believe me, this process took a long time, but the journey has set me free. When I begin to think of myself with words that cut me down, words that undermine the fabulous person God created me to be, I pull myself back and change them. 

I remember who I really, really am, the good stuff I’ve discovered about myself, and I change my thought pattern. It does work! I even say some of those things out loud to others, and I haven’t gotten struck by lightning yet!! 

I urge you to try it. This world seems to thrive on criticism (not the constructive kind), comparison, bullying, and zillions of images that could leave us feeling like a mess. We certainly do not need to be our own enemy by fueling that fire with negative thoughts and beliefs about ourselves!!

If you have no idea what makes you fabulous, then ask a friend. (Our friends see and know what we do well, how we have helped them or others, what our personality is like and our strengths.) They can give you a few characteristics to get started. 

But first of all, above everything else, you are loved.

I do not know you well enough to say I love you (but I do care about you). The One who really, truly loves you unconditionally is our Creator, God, our heavenly Father who wants a close and personal relationship with you. And knowing we are loved can change how we feel about ourselves.

So go ahead, discover some good things about yourself, and begin replacing the ugly self-talk with uplifting, affirming words instead.  I’ve given you an alphabet card below full of suggestions. You are welcome to print it, (please be kind and use only for yourself, as it is my own work) or you can buy a 5″ x 7″ hard copy from my Etsy shop if you desire. I guarantee that if you read these words daily–using them to describe yourself–and begin to believe them (because of course you are all these things), you will become empowered and equipped with stronger self-esteem, self-love, and confidence. 

ABCs of me2

Why shouldn’t these words–and more–describe who you are? I now believe that I am these things, and I’m certainly no better than you!

So there you have it–strong, uplifting words to fill in this blank:

I am ______________________________.

 

I am very excited to hear about your journey. Let me know how you do!

And comment below if you, like me, have struggled with negative self-talk. 

 

I wish you blessings, truth, and the heart-knowledge that you are loved. 

Big sparkle hugs, 

Mimi heart for blog

Living With Gusto

First Love Yourself

 

3 FLY

Happy March! (This is from my “Wings & Dreams” calendar. You can still purchase one on sale in my shop.)

As Lucille Ball said, ” Love yourself first, and all the rest falls into line.”
It’s pretty difficult to accomplish what your heart desires if you don’t feel as if you are worth it. 
It’s tough to offer love to others if you feel really cruddy about yourself.
It’s almost impossible to be confident and positive if you really don’t like yourself.
What can you do today to nurture your soul? As women we nurture everyone else, but not ourselves.
Speak up for your right to take time to do something that nurtures YOU. (Convince yourself you are worthy of it. It will make you a better person, dissolve resentment, and empower you!)
Tell me below what you are going to do for yourself today. Me? I just got my heart rate up for 15 minutes. Go me! Now let’s see if I keep with it! Cheer me on.

Living With Gusto

Are You Wearing Your True Colors?

when I am an old woman I shall wear purple

 

Today is my birthday!! I thought it quite appropriate to post this today, since I am entering a “milestone” birthday this year–that of receiving Medicare. Yes, this lady right here is turning 65 years old today!! I can’t believe it. Because I am waaaay too young at heart to be 65!! Right? That’s what living with gusto and passion will do fer ya!! Ha!

 

The above picture is an excerpt from a poem written by Jenny Joseph in 1961 when she was 29 years old. You really should read it all. This poem became Jenny’s most popular one even though she wrote all her life and won several awards and published numerous poetry books.

 

Perhaps it gained popularity because it speaks of women doing what suits them instead of what others expect of them. A freeing thought to women of the 60s and continues to be even now.

Our clothing standards for “older” women (whatever that means) have loosened some in the last decades, but conquering societal expectations on women is still a struggle. So here is my take on this idea of what to wear:

I’m older—I guess—and I enjoy wearing purple and many other colors. But how I most want to clothe myself is by wearing the honest, true version of my own essence. Not someone’s idea of who I am, not anyone’s opinion of how I should behave, and certainly not another person’s idea of what I should be. Who’s with me?

 

Age has given me perspective and wisdom. Navigating through difficult times—suffering because of wrong choices, persevering through grief, loss, and change—as well as experiencing wonderful and joyful things like parenthood and being loved, will do that for you.

 

Age has given me guts. Guts to break free and throw out all that isn’t truly my authentic self. Age has liberated me. I finally got tired enough to call it quits. I couldn’t take care of everyone else any more. I couldn’t be what “they” wanted and demanded. And good Lord, why should I be? How does allowing someone else to frame my character, personality, and behaviors honor myself or my Creator?

 

As with most of us, the reduction and dismissal of my true self started at an early age when I began believing lies about myself. Experiences in my young life caused me to feel “less than” and that was the filter I used to interpret what people said about me. I heard words and perceived behaviors that convinced me I was, indeed, less than I should be.

 

For the record, when we hear something, we must accept it and agree with it before it can become truth to us. How we feel about ourselves, often determined early in our lives, affects that.

 

As I got older and began to dismiss other’s opinions and expectations, and tasted the freedom of determining my authentic self, I’ve discovered lots of treasures in my character. I’m not really those awful things people said about me. I know that they were lies. And I’m fervently hoping that you, too, will make the same discovery of truth.

 

So what about that purple? Please wear whatever colors make you feel alive and vibrant! But, most importantly, clothe yourself in the dazzling radiance of your perfectly true self.

And, darling, won’t we SHINE!!

 

 

I wrote this for the Women2Women Michigan Magazine. You might really enjoy reading the whole magazine online, as it is FULL of great articles for and about and by women! Here is the link to read the free magazine: W2WMichigan Magazine

Love and hugs,

Passionista Mimi

 

 

 

 

Living With Gusto

All We Need Is Love

all you need is love . tiara. cookie border

LOVE

Women need a tribe because we crave those who will listen to, support, and encourage us. We do those things for many other people, and sometimes we become resentful if we aren’t allowed the same privilege.

 

There’s freedom and strength in having friends who listen to you, allow you to voice your dreams without stifling them, and encourage you to be your best–whatever that looks like. If you don’t have a group of friends, or at least one special friend, I encourage you to seek out people you relate to, who share your spark and interests, and who will honor and treasure you. Perhaps you will find these friends in an online group, a club friendship, or co-workers. I found a tribe like this in an online group called Women On Fire. I also love the Women2Women community and have found my tribe here. Finding your tribe takes being open to making friends, cultivating relationships, and seeking ways to meet other women of like mind and heart. If you are determined to find your tribe, you will.

 

A TIARA

You are fabulous!! Don’t believe it? Maybe you should change your self-view.  For you to be your most authentic and confident self, you need to love and value the person you are. Take inventory of and celebrate your strengths and skills (ask a friend for help if needed). Declare yourself amazing and delightful and strong! Make life happen for you. Remember, although you are a queen worthy of a crown, you are also a warrior woman with killer stompin’ boots.

 

and  A COOKIE…

So eat the cookie, already. Buy those flowers, soak in the tub, and take a nap! Women are characteristically nurturing souls. But who nurtures us? Most likely no one. It’s up to us to nurture ourselves and that means self-care; giving yourself permission to do the little things that restore your joy, your health, and your energy.

Here’s to living your life so that your sparkle shines for the entire world to see.

 

 

As a contributing writer to the Women 2 Women Michigan magazine, I wrote this for my “Sparkle & Shine” column in their first 2017 issue. You can read the whole issue for free here. You will most likely enjoy the magazine because it’s full of great articles and information for, about, and by women.

You can buy the “Tiara” card shown above here. I enjoy giving it as a neat gift for a friend. Here’s how:
In a cute gift bag place the card, a Dollar Store tiara (from the kids’ party section), and a shrink-wrapped cookie (the kind you find at Starbucks).

Here’s what you say on the card:

“You’ll always have my love, you were born to wear a tiara, and here’s your cookie.”

Or something like that. This gift has made many women smile!

 

Enjoy your week, my friends!

Love and sparkle hugs,

Passionista Mimi

Mimi's Messages

Do You Love Your Child “Every Single Bit”?

I designed this card to express how I feel about my children. How about saying these words to your own children? Help them feel like precious treasures. Because when children know that they are amazing and wonderful and CHERISHED, they have a healthy foundation for self-love and courage, and know that they have a safe place supporting them. 

 

On the other hand, please don’t let your child hear that they were a surprise, or a mistake, or an “oopsie”. Those words can damage for life. If you were blessed with a child, however that happened, they are a treasure to be cherished. 

 

Am I always diligent about letting my children know I love them, every single bit? No, of course not! I make mistakes, lose my temper, say things I shouldn’t. But I really try. I want them to know the gift they are to me.

 

Side note: Does that mean always sacrificing MY needs for theirs? No. I believe that always making them a priority, even over my own needs, teaches entitlement and expectation that the world will revolve around them, which we all know is not true. I model healthy self-love by taking time for myself and doing things that help replenish my spirit and restore my brain so I CAN take care of them better. 

 

So, my friends, won’t you join with me in telling your children that you love them, “every single bit”?

 

(You can buy this card in my Etsy shop or click on the image to go directly.)

Have a great day, folks!!

Hugs and sparkles, Mimi

Hi there! It's Me, Mimi

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)