Woman Wednesday: Aide


Q and A with Aide from Tijuana, Mexico, living in Rosarito Beach

“I used to sabotage myself with negative thoughts, which put me in a very low vibrational state.”


Q: What are you passionate about? 

A: I’m passionate about learning new things every day and improving the ones I’ve already learned about. I love simple things such as going to the beach for a walk or a swim, biking around my hometown, sharing moments with family, working on my business, dancing and singing karaoke, and planning the next traveling adventure. Also, I have started a business with a couple of friends called Mujer Salvaje-Fractal Cristal. We sell quartz and other minerals. Our intention is to spread awareness about how powerful minerals are as a tool for expanding our consciousness. It all started for me when my now-business partners showed me their mineral collection, and I was completely amazed by it. They gifted me some minerals that I wore as jewelry and also as a decoration in my room. Minerals helped me while I was struggling with a huge depression. I am so grateful for their help that I decided to start selling them and talking about how great they are. I feel like my biggest passion is to help myself and others.

Q: Can you tell us more about the minerals. Which are most popular? Which do you like best?

A: Minerals are Earth’s DNA. I love learning more and more about minerals because they are a beautiful element from Mother Nature. I have also used them as tools for meditation. I love wearing my labradorite necklace because I feel protected and more in tune with myself. The most popular sold items are minerals used for protection such as obsidian and tourmaline. After those, it’s amethyst, agate, and pink quartz. I think that the reason why minerals such as obsidian and tourmaline are the most popular is that people feel like they need something to protect themselves. Energetically speaking, these minerals are protectors and help absorb dense/negative energy from others and from their own negative thoughts. We tend to be our worst enemies by thinking negatively about ourselves. Therefore, I’ve met many people wanting to change their thought processes, and have more positive lives.

Q: What were your younger years like?

A: I was born in Tijuana, Mexico, and was raised in my current hometown Rosarito Beach, which is located 20 minutes south of Tijuana. I have always been a beach lover and started surfing in my early 20s. At the time, I was still not sure about what to study in college. But thanks to my love for the ocean, I decided to study fisheries biology with a marine emphasis. I did some years in community college in San Diego, CA, and then transferred to Cal Poly Humboldt in Northern CA to finish my bachelor’s degree in science. I am thankful for that experience because it helped me learn so much about our natural world. That’s why I feel like I am now dedicating myself to the mineral world. This current business I have combines my passion for science, spirituality, and art.

Q: What is something valuable you’d like others to know?

A: I have learned so much about myself and how to treat myself with love and respect. I used to sabotage myself with negative thoughts, which put me in a very low vibrational state. Ever since I lost both my parents and my dear grandmother, life became harder to enjoy. But, thanks to using minerals as tools for meditation, I have realized that I have to enjoy the present. Our loved ones who have passed are and will always be living in us. This is the time for us to shine and thank ourselves for everything we are.

Q: What does feminism mean to you?
A:
Feminism means to me, a support system for women to share their experiences and to feel like we are protecting each other. We are not alone.

MORE ABOUT AIDE: I am a dual citizen (Mexican-American), and I speak fluent English and Spanish. I would like women to ask as many questions about minerals and help each other live the present to the fullest!

Thank you for your precious time.

Thank you for reading!

Woman Wednesday: Jaimie


Q and A with Jaimie from Schererville, Indiana

“The best thing to do for yourself is to believe in yourself and do what you can to get to where you want to be.”


Q: What are you passionate about? 

A: I’m an executive coach and created my business with my twin sister. I’m passionate about helping others and initially thought I would be a therapist; however, after learning about executive leadership coaching, I knew this was the route I wanted to take for my career. I learned about industrial organizational psychology when I was an undergrad at Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI). I went to get my masters in I/O psychology and found leadership coaching. I didn’t find work immediately after graduate school, so I decided to build my own business in executive coaching.

Q: What were your younger years like?

A: I have a very supportive family, and we’re so very close. I was always taught the importance of education and learning. In high school, I was on a competitive dance team. We competed a lot! We were state and national champions. During that time, I learned a lot about working together and what it takes to meet your goals. It took a lot of discipline.

Q: What is the best/worst thing about being a twin?

A: The best thing about being a twin is always having a best friend there to do things with and sharing clothes. [She laughs.] The worst thing is always being compared to one another.

Q: What is something valuable you’d like others to know?

A: I’ve learned that not everyone is going to believe in you and what you can do. It was difficult going through school and gaining experience in my field at the same time. I was only ever offered unpaid internships and I couldn’t afford to do that. During school, I had to work full time, so it delayed my career goals since I couldn’t get the right kind of experience. Even with my master’s degree, I wasn’t getting hired, so I took the leap to be a business owner. The best thing to do for yourself is to believe in yourself and do what you can to get to where you want to be. In my case, I built my own business!

Q: What does feminism mean to you?
A:
I’m a feminist. It means so much to me, and I wish everyone knew that feminism doesn’t mean women over men. It means we are equal to men. I hope that feminism, one day, doesn’t have a negative connotation to it. Everyone should be a feminist!

MORE ABOUT JAIMIE: Some fun facts about me: I love skydiving! It’s always been a family tradition. I have a cat named Todd who I love so much, but I’ve always had dogs growing up. My all-time favorite TV show is FRIENDS. I can watch it nonstop!

Thank you for reading!

Let’s connect! Here:

Website: www.jgleadstrategy.com

Insta: www.instagram.com/jgleadstrategy

Email: hello@jgleadstrategy.com

Woman Wednesday: Maura (She’s Back!)


Q and A with Maura from Venice, Italy, living in Raeford, North Carolina

We can be our best friends or our worst enemies depending on if we choose to believe in ourselves or not.


Q: What are you passionate about? 

A: My main passion has always been art in all its forms. Starting with music, which I’ve loved since I began singing as a kid, to visual arts, as a painter first and as a photographer now. I think that art is a great medium to convey a message because it speaks directly to people’s emotions bypassing the filter of their rationality.

I’ve always felt the need to leave my mark on the world. To try to make it a better place. It took me a few years to understand that art was my opportunity to do so.

More Than A Body is only my first step in that direction. This first project is my way to tell myself and other women that we are allowed to love ourselves for who we are and that it is ok to celebrate our achievements and forgive our mistakes. I focused this project on women because I felt that it hit close to home, but I want to spread the same message to other groups of people in future projects.


Q: What were your younger years like?

A: I had a happy childhood. Music was always playing at home, and I had the opportunity of growing up in a country, Italy, that constantly exposed me to art without me even realizing it. I started singing when I was about 10 and, even though that is still one of my passions, I’ve come to realize that I rather take a position “behind the scenes.” I most definitely rather be behind the camera than in front of it.

Despite everything, looking back, I remember feeling very insecure about my place in the world, my social life, about the way I looked. It took me years to be more confident and it’s still a work in progress. This is one of the reasons why I now wish to help other women. We can learn together to be kinder to ourselves. I feel like this type of message won’t ever be repeated enough to contrast the constant bombardment we receive from a world that wants us to be forever young, perfect career women, with the perfect body, the perfect house, and the perfect kids.

Photo from More Than A Body project by Maura.

Q: What is something valuable you’d like others to know?

A: I have learned that no step is too small towards change and that sometimes we need to take that step before being completely sure that we will succeed. We can be our best friends or our worst enemies depending on if we choose to believe in ourselves or not.

I often must remind myself that life is not a race to achieve perfection and that I am not competing either against myself or others. I think it’s admirable to try to improve ourselves and our skills, but the learning process is as important as the final result.

Photo from More Than A Body project by Maura.

Q: What does feminism mean to you? 

A: We live in a time where feminism is of the most importance. It is not only a matter of equality in society but also the fundamental right to recognize our own value as women. We need the freedom to make our own choices and to fail, if necessary, without losing our independence or our value as human beings. It’s a matter of boundaries: accepting others and requiring others to respect ours. This means stop labeling people and stop shrinking ourselves to fit in a standardized role.

Photo from More Than A Body project by Maura.

MORE FROM MAURA: More Than A Body is a collection of ten women’s portraits and their stories. Using a mix of photography and digital art, I have tried to represent them for who they were more than how they looked. Each woman’s portrait is displayed together with her story to remind the viewer that she is more than what you see, she is more than a body. I asked each woman to write her own story in her own words, to choose an outfit and make-up she felt represented her and the result was incredible. These women had the courage to share their deepest secrets, their successes, and their failures. They understood that, by opening up and showing their vulnerability, they could inspire others. They taught us that we might all be different, but we are not alone on our journey.

Photo from More Than A Body project by Maura.

All stories, photos, the calendar with the next exhibition’s date, and the prints are available on my website: https://mauraartphotography.com/more-than-a-body

This project was made possible by the Artist Support Grant from the Arts Council of Fayetteville.

Photo from More Than A Body project by Maura.

Thank you for reading!

I’d love to connect with you! 🙂 Comment below!

Article on Maura, click here.

www.mauraartphotography.com

Instagram: @maura_trice_art

Facebook: @Maura Trice Art

Woman Wednesday: Leslie G.


Q and A with Leslie G. born in Paterson, NJ, living in Toronto, Canada

“I realized that I truly didn’t love myself. When I finally took back my time, it freed me up to embark on my own self-development and self-love journey so that I could truly love the woman staring back at me in my reflection.”


Q: What are you passionate about? 

A: I am extremely passionate about the work I do as an independent contractor where I serve a team of lawyers and paralegals, and also as a life coach for women where I teach them about self-awareness around emotional triggers. I’m grateful to be able to do both because I believe that you don’t have to choose between having (and loving) your corporate job and adding something more to your life that lights you up. I’m extremely grateful that I put myself first almost five years ago in that I chose to “jump” without seeing the net that would catch me, and I gave two weeks’ notice to my employer, which was the only security I had at the time, but I knew that my health and my well-being, and more importantly, my relationship with my husband of just over 26 years was way more important.

I have been in the legal industry for almost 40 years, and I am good at what I do, but I have found that this role that I have been in for the past 4 and 1/2 years is where I truly thrive in that I can serve a team of lawyers and paralegals in their post-closing position, created for me, which makes their lives easier in that they can move on to their next new task while I take care of anything that has been left undone. I’m grateful that for the past 3 and 1/2 years that I have been a life coach for women, more particularly, a mindset and emotional awareness coach for women where I have been teaching them about the importance of self-awareness around how we think and feel and how, in tandem, they dictate how we show up in our world in the things we say and do, and the importance of how our emotions have a way of stealing our time. I realized that I truly didn’t love myself. When I finally took back my time, it freed me up to embark on my own self-development and self-love journey so that I could truly love the woman staring back at me in my reflection. Learning to love myself taught me how I wanted to be loved and how I wanted to love others.

I have been working with women in my six-month coaching program where we start with the foundational pieces of how they take care of themselves (mind/body/soul), in their connections (for their support), so that they can start creating their extraordinary lives by their design and creating deeper bonds with the ones they love. In addition, I am currently getting ready to launch my 30 Days to Self-Love group program on September 1, 2022, where every month I will take women through 30 days of building their daily practices meant to strengthen their well-being. I believe that it is extremely important to fill your cup daily so that you can not only be the best version of you for yourself, but for the people in your life, for you cannot give of yourself if you are running on empty or are depleted, and most importantly, if you don’t truly love yourself, it’s hard to truly love and receive love. That’s why my mission in life is to empower women all over the world to fully love themselves so that they can create deeper bonds with those they love.

Q: What were your younger years like?

A: I was born in February 1963 in Paterson, NJ, to a white mother and black father. When I was just three months old, my mom took me back to Canada (Toronto). My parents never married. My father wasn’t in the picture. My mom married my younger brother’s father a couple of years later, and I was given his last name. They did not stay together that long, soon divorced, and then my mom raised us on her own. I have an older brother, who is white, and our relationship was extremely toxic; for many years of my young life, he abused me. My self-love journey helped me heal from that experience, and my past, and what I learned from that experience has allowed me to help others through trauma in that our past doesn’t define us–not who we were, not who we are, and most certainly not who we want to be.

In my younger years, my mom brought a man into our home who was abusive to her and that left a scar for a long time, but again, through my self-love journey, I learned forgiveness and allowed myself to not travel the same road as my mom but also to be able to support her in her healing. My mom played a big part in my journey as she gave me strength and courage, and encouragement to go after my dreams, to go after what I wanted in life. I never truly appreciated that though until I stepped into the self-development world and eventually became a life coach. Through my development of strong female friends, it has shown me the strength and compassion of women, especially the women who have had to raise children on their own in this world where I, as a young black girl, felt the world didn’t think I was worthy or deserving because I was black, and my mom was white and unmarried in the early ’60s. As for my education, I finished high school and went straight into the work force and forged my path into the legal industry without a degree at first and along the way, I took college courses to support being a legal assistant and paralegal.

Q: What is something valuable you’d like others to know?

A: I have learned that every day is a gift that is not promised to everyone. I give thanks to God every morning for a brand-new unlived and uncharted day where I get to open my eyes, take my first breath, and where I get to design how I show up in the world in the things I say and do. I love that, through my choice, I get to live my life my way.

My husband and I currently live a location-free lifestyle. As long as I have Wi-Fi, I can work anywhere. I am also proud that I decided that you don’t have to choose between having a corporate job and adding your passion project or entrepreneurial goals, and that you can adopt a “both/and” attitude and live your life by your extraordinary design. Life is short and I want to be able to look back on a life well-lived because I believe in me. I also believe that when you look for the gratitude in your life, you will find it. No matter the circumstances. Finding the gratitude is powerful, and it’s a tool I teach my clients to embrace. I have also learned that time is the most valuable commodity we have and that how we spend our time is extremely important. There’s freedom in structuring your time so that you can go after your goals more effectively and efficiently and so that you have the freedom to spend quality time with the ones you love.

Q: What does feminism mean to you?
A:
For me, feminism isn’t about burning bras or protesting or me proving that I’m equal to men. As I mentioned, I grew up in a single-family home and what my mom showed me was that women can be strong, independent, kind, caring, and compassionate. She raised me to believe in myself and to go after what I wanted and because of her, I am living my life and building it my way. On another note with respect to feminism, I used to believe that women didn’t support each other because we were living in a world where women had to (and still do) fight for every goal and success. Today though, through the amazing connections that I have made, I truly believe that women see each other as valuable and realize that we are better together and that we are stronger together when we support, uplift, encourage, and inspire each other to be our best selves.

MORE ABOUT LESLIE G.: I write for an online global magazine (Brainz Magazine), and I am now in my second year as a senior executive contributor, and have received awards from them for my contributions, which I am extremely grateful for. This experience has allowed me to share my story and has given me courage to keep doing what I do. I also am an international bestselling author in the book Becoming An Unstoppable Woman: 25 Strategies To Help You Achieve The Unstoppable Mindset where I get to share the pages with 24 other incredible women.

Thank you for reading!

Let’s connect! Here:

Website: https://lesliegaudetcoaching.podia.com/

Brainz Magazine: https://www.brainzmagazine.com/executive-contributor/leslie-gaudet

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lgaudet55

Woman Wednesday: L. Michelle


Q and A with L. Michelle, Southeast Missouri, USA

“I am not the smartest person in the room and, if I am, it’s time for me to change rooms.”


Q: What are you passionate about? 

A: I have a number of passions. Studying herbs and their health benefits is my strongest passion. It is also part of my work as an herbalist and owner of my business, Aquarius Herbs and Teas, LLC. Music is also a huge part of my life. While I no longer sing, I love dancing and just vibing to the music of my past and to some new things. I am also rediscovering my love of books, mostly fantasy and romantic things.

Q: What were your younger years like?

A: My younger years were sort of bittersweet. I had amazing grandparents and aunts and uncles that I spent a great deal of time with. My mother raised me and my brother as a single mom, and my father was sort of typical ’70s dad; he was around us when we were with our grandma but pretty much on the fringe of my life until I got older. I don’t blame him. He wasn’t really good at being the father of a small child, but he was actually awesome when I got older. He taught me so much about history, life, how this country works, and so on. He didn’t care for my independent streak as he was old fashioned as can be, but I think in his way he sort of was glad I was like I was because he knew I would be able to help myself. My mother and I had a tough relationship and honestly, we have just now, at 47 and 69, been able to really communicate with each other. We both had to go through our own journeys of discovery to understand and appreciate each other for what we are now, and we understand that I will forever be her daughter, and she will forever be my mother, and all that mess that comes with that. [She laughs.] We do our best to laugh at things that once angered us.

Q: What is something valuable you’d like others to know?

A: The most valuable lesson I have learned is to listen. I am not the smartest person in the room and if I am, it’s time for me to change rooms. I am forever a learner. I want to be a student because as I get older I understand that what I once knew may not be in line with the times. That’s not to say I have to forget anything I know, but it does mean that the younger people may have something to share and to teach me, and I always want to be receptive to that. I have also learned that it’s okay to fail. Yes, it hurts. Yes, it’s frustrating and may even be embarrassing. But there is a lesson in failure. Study the lesson, get it, and get it good. Then go out and fail some more until you get it right. And you will get it right.

Q: What does feminism mean to you?
A:
I have a love-hate relationship with feminism lately. I was brought up to see Gloria Steinem as the leader of the movement. So, I always thought she had black and brown women’s interests in mind. It was later that I learned the opposite to be true. So, that word currently makes me angry. I wanted to be a feminist. But in truth, I always have been. It means that we as women not only look out for each other in all things, but we also tell each other hard truths and hold each other accountable. I think that when the rest of the movement decides to hold the old guard accountable, I think the word would regain a sweeter meaning for me.

MORE ABOUT L. MICHELLE: I love that I was even considered for this blog post. I feel humble that someone would want to ask me questions. I wanted to write for a blog at one time, because I love telling the stories of others as well as my own. I’m currently living in Southeast Missouri in a rather small town, and I work from home on my Etsy business. I also have a small daycare in my home. We make it our mission to educate and inform our babies and their moms on all sorts of resources and opportunities available to them. One of the mommies said we were more helpful than Social Services. [She laughs.] But I love it. I love helping.

Thank you for reading!

Etsy shop: https://aquariusherbsandteas.etsy.com