Accountability

Personal accountability can be hard to accept. Holding ourselves responsible for things we did or didn’t do takes a deeper level of commitment to our growth. Accountability is essential to our growth. Without it, we are putting on a facade to ourselves and others.

When things don’t go our way and other people are involved, it’s so easy to blame others. We can point the finger and say everyone else has weaknesses, which caused something to fail. Even more intriguing is that if we felt we didn’t have any weaknesses, why didn’t we help the others who did. Why would we allow the team to fail just to prove the weaknesses of others. Pride and lack of accountability.

In life, as we get older, there’s no one telling us to grow up. There’s no one saying pick up your socks, pay your bills, talk out your childhood traumas, etc. etc. We have to want that for ourselves. If we are treating people who have done nothing to us terribly because of our past, we must hold ourselves accountable to that. We are adults! If we know we are dealing with issues mentally and emotionally, we need to get ourselves the help we need and not use it as an excuse to treat ourselves or others less than we deserve.

We have to make decisions on how we spend our money. This might hit home for some, but I promised to keep it real! We can’t be out here in the latest clothes and shoes, but yet borrowing money for gas and bills. We have to hold ourselves accountable for that. There’s nothing wrong with loving nice things, but we have to be responsible and live within our means.

We all want to be better! Being better is more than saying it. More than preaching it. It’s looking in the mirror DEEPLY. Knowing that everyday won’t be a good day, but when those bad days come we hold ourselves responsible for our part in them. “Well maybe I shouldn’t have said that.” “I should have been nicer to her.” “I should have controlled my emotions better.” Etc.

True growth lies in first seeing ourselves for who really are, holding ourselves accountable, forgiving ourselves and reinventing ourselves! I challenge you this week to become personally accountable! Take those hard looks at yourself and one step at a time, start your road to growth. I’ve said this before, growth isn’t always easy, but it’s necessary. THERE SHE GO!

HighlightHER™️

On Wednesday’s we highlightHER!

This week we are highlighting the beautiful Kelsey Collins. Kelsey was nominated by women who felt her story of overcoming challenges and now owning multiple businesses is an inspiration. Kelsey talks about finding her purpose, which we all can relate to. She had to change the people around her and focus on what was important to find her true purpose. I thank you Kelsey for sharing a piece of you with TSG!

THERE SHE GO!

Kelsey writes:

“Okay so I was told to tell my story sooo here it goes.. My name is Kelsey Collins I am a born and raised farmers daughter. I grew up with random goals, always wanting to do more than one thing… That seemed to carry out into my adult years. I am an owner of a trucking company, Model, Fitness Coach, Photographer, and dabble in Makeup frequently on the side. I wasn’t always a juggling entrepreneur. For a long time I was lost with what felt like I had zero real purpose out of life. I seemed to navigate towards the bad boys who’d drink to much and lay their hands on you the next. I sunk into this strange place where every friend seemed two faced and I could trust no man. .. I met my ex husband settled down and had two beautiful and incredible children… that’s when it truly hit me; I had found my purpose. I wanted to ensure that I would always be present in their lives. That id never miss a moment. In doing so I started my first company. Most if not all who know me and my ex, know hes a struggling recovering addict.. never once did that change the love for his children and how amazing he was as a dad.. but it did change my love for him over the years. It wore on me and in turn made me bitter and hateful. I seemed to always end up getting disappointed…Figuring out that I am enough and that just wasnt my person was when my drive really took over. I focused on my children and helping other people find their purpose, rid themselves of the negative and just embrace that they are bad ass. My fairytale ending came when the man I used to vent to turned out to be the man I was meant to spend life with. For 10 years we were just friends. 10 years I never realized how he was always there. Until I woke up and gave it a shot. I’m so very blessed for his kindness and compassion he shows me and my children everyday. We only get one shot at life that is certain, but each day is an opportunity to reset and be the best we can be.”

Leeann Rae Pulchny Photography

HighlightHER™️

On Wednesday’s we HighlightHER 👑

This week I got to know more about Brandy James. She was nominated because of her strength to push through and rise above some of life’s toughest challenges. Brandy talks about finding herself in the midst of it all. I think for a lot of us, we fear what’s on the other side of true growth. Brandy speaks on how she overcame that fear. Thank you Brandy for sharing a piece of you in hopes to inspire all of us!

THERE SHE GO!

Interview:

Who is Brandy James?

Brandy is a woman of faith, determination, and strength. She is also a wife, mother, sister, and aunt.

What do you value most in life?

I value God, family, and self the most in life.

What are some of your biggest accomplishments?

Despite being a single mother of 5 I was able to obtain 3 college degrees while raising my 5 children and working full time. Seeing 2 of my children off to college with both about to graduate.

What are some of the obstacles you have had to go through to accomplish your goals?

I married at 19. During that marriage my ex husband was abusive to me and used drugs. I was not allowed to further my education because he thought my job was to care for him and his children. Although he was abusive when we were going through the divorce, I had to get used to not being with him and get over him. Once I managed to move pass him, I had to work on my self esteem and redefine me! See I had my first child at 17 and I never really got to experience life because I was busy raising a family and taking care of my ex-husband.

Rediscovering me and what I wanted in life was hard, but I did it. Parenting was an obstacle, lack of money was an obstacle, past hurts was an obstacle. The biggest obstacle was missing my kids’ events because of class. These were all obstacles that I had to get through.

What advice do you have for women pursing their dreams?

Self-care is a huge part of your growth. Always make time for YOU!!!!! We often times have time for everything but us. Commit to 15 minutes (at the least) of me time daily, even if it’s just sitting alone or taking a walk… do it! You can’t get where you are going without the proper care of your mental and physical well-being. It’s okay to talk to a life coach or therapist to process life. Always remember to keep God first (or whoever you believe in). Don’t let titles define who you are!!!! Yes, you’re a mom, but once the kids are grown and on their own, who are you? What do you like to do outside of cheerleading, football and basketball? Do you still have a connection with your friends? Hobby’s? Don’t let titles, jobs, and others define who you are. Stay centered and true to you. If God is first everything else will fall in place. There is no such thing as excuses. If you want it bad enough you will make the necessary arrangements to make it happen. Every excuse you make pushes your dream/goal out further.

What do you love most about being a woman?

The sensitivity that comes with being female. I love the ability to care and love. I love helping and not thinking twice about it. I love my fierceness and determination.

How do you handle maintaining all the relationships in your life?

I must admit that it’s still something that I struggle with but not as much as I use to. I have a husband who understands that I have a demanding job and he tries to help as much as possible because once we are done, we usually spend that one on one time afterwards if it’s a busy week.

I live by a calendar, but I make sure that my priority is God (church), Family, Work in that order. So, I try to make sure my time is divided by the level of importance with the above-referenced three items priority. Each day I have 15 minutes of me time and at least 2 times per month I have a complete day all about me. Celebrating me and spoiling me, sometimes that’s just sleeping (lol).

If you could change one thing in the world, what would it be?

How cruel people are. No one seems to care anymore. No one wants to help others anymore. I would change that if I had the power to.

What do you hope Brandy James’ legacy will be?

She cared! Not just about herself, but about everyone around her. She came, she saw, she conquered every adversity she faced.

What encouragement or uplifting words do you have for all women?

We are born nurturers. Do not let life, men, work, or bad experiences make you so bitter that you forget to nurture yourself and those around you. Always care, love, and be present. We have one life, live it to the fullest. Plant seeds of love and positivity and watch them manifest.

 -Brandy

 

 

 

 

Blended Families

Blending families is always difficult and awkward at first. I think sometimes we as adults forget that the only reason we all come together in the first place, is because of our children. If there were no children involved, everyone could move on and go their separate ways.

So as much as we want to make it about the wrongs of the past and how we may feel, it doesn’t matter! This was when I learned what being a parent is all about. When parents separate, it can already be difficult enough without the extra battles between the parents. In most situations the child loves both of their parents, regardless of anything. It is our duty as mothers to step back and allow those relationships to blossom organically. We have to put our personal feelings aside unless given reason that our child is unsafe. After all, our kids didn’t choose their parents. Hard Truth.

As we move on with life, both parents are bound to meet someone else. How do we handle that? As women, it’s our first instinct to be overprotective. It’s our right to be! But, if the step parent wants to love our child unconditionally, that is a benefit to our child, not a threat to US. It’s a conversation between two adults on boundaries and working together to LOVE the child. Communication.

At the end of the day, as long as our children are safe and are loved, what more could we want for our children? It’s a hard pill to swallow sometimes, especially depending on how our relationship ended. But that’s parenthood.

I’m a bonus mother myself. In the beginning a lot of things were hard for me to swallow, but the one thing we all had in common is the love for our son and his love for all of us. All of those other things are irrelevant when compared to him! Blended families are the true example of putting our children first. I would love to hear feedback of how you make your blended families copacetic?

THERE SHE GO!

Maintaining Balance⚖️

Life can get overwhelming at times can’t it? Especially with kids and especially if we aren’t necessarily feeling like ourselves. How do we find that balance so everything gets done and everyone gets the time and love they deserve including ourselves?

Keeping a schedule, but expect the unexpected. This is probably the first thing I could do to maintain balance. I keep track of where everyone needs to be. At the beginning of each week I try to pick one day with a couple of hours of free time for myself. Sometimes it’s late night when everyone is asleep and I may not have a big work day the following day. It may be in the middle of the day when my kids are at practice and I can go to the gym.

I’m a spontaneous type of person so the routine of keeping a schedule bored me at first, but without it, I was forgetting things, late to everything and was just really all over the place. So although I may plan the time, I rarely plan what I will do during the time and keep it exciting for me. The same for my husband and I. We plan date nights at least twice a month. But we don’t always plan what it will consist of and let the nights be as organic as possible.

Expect that today might not go exactly as planned, but learn to roll with the punches. Keep an open mindset that a schedule is nothing more than a guide to keep us on track. Some weeks we are going to complete everything we planned and more and other weeks we will be barely completing what needs to be done. It’s okay! Keep a mindset of positivity and still take the time to nurture ourselves for a better following week.

Saying NO was definitely the next thing I learned. It’s hard to say no especially for me. But thankfully I’m surrounded by people who are just as tired I am sometimes lol. I’ve had to cut people off who felt like me saying No, was offensive. Sometimes I want to save my money, sometimes I just want to be alone, sometimes I’m just exhausted. Surround yourself with people who don’t make you feel guilty about it.

Prioritizing is probably the most important act we can do to maintain balance. We have to stop over extending ourselves. Keep our focus. Whatever that is, because it’s going to look different to all of us. Make sure we aren’t cramming our time trying to do everything at once. That’s a recipe for disaster. Avoid being overwhelmed by juggling more tasks than we can handle. This requires honesty within ourselves of what we value most. I hope we are including ourself in that!!

This week take to the time to find your balance. Schedule, expect the unexpected, say no and prioritize your life. Make sure you are a priority as well. Remember this is your life. Sometimes finding balance means letting things that aren’t a priority go. That’s apart of growth. You can do this. We can do this. Let’s start today. THERE SHE GO!

HighlightHER™️- Behind the Author. Part 3.

At this point in my life, I’m 17 years old. Just graduated high school, got scholarships to multiple colleges. I’m living on my own with my fiancé at the time, because I completely rebelled against my mother.

What hurt the most for me was leaving my brother. He was and is a special piece of my heart. I would do anything for my little brother and he would go to war for me. I’m thankful we were able to forgive and grow from that because guilt ate me up for years. That “I shoulda been there” feeling.

I worked my ass off, but I didn’t commit or uphold any of my scholarships. Probably one of my biggest regrets. I did try to go to college time and time again. I would go then give up. Time and time again. I had multiple majors. I was truly lost.

By the age of 19 I had been married and divorced and back home with my mom. What can I say? Momma was right! During this time I met my now husband and that changed my life forever.

I met my son who was 1 at the time. Becoming a step mother was hard. My husband was a single dad when I met him so he was on a different level of life than I was. But my son changed me. I wasn’t just thinking about myself anymore. He was truly the best thing that ever happened to me. To this day he makes me a better woman.

Over the years my husband and I have went through a lot. On again. Off again. But no matter what we remained connected because of our oldest son. Then we had our youngest son. Who is everything we didn’t know we needed. He saved my life. He was very sick at a time before he was 1. He taught us all the true value of life. We almost lost him and that truly changed us forever as a family.

I had my moments of wildn’ out during our off stages. I was in the club every weekend. I thought I could live a life without feeling. But I always came back to that girl who just wanted love, who felt it all, deeply. And that got me in to some quick ending “situationships” because the feelings weren’t mutual.

But over time, over countless mistakes and much needed personal growth between the two of us we were able to find our way back together again. We built our first house together, we got married. We did it. And every day is still a work in progress. I’ve learned that both people have to put the work in for any relationship to succeed. I’m thankful that God is guiding us through this journey. During great times we thank him and during hard times we look to him.

I finally found focus in my life after years of really not even knowing what I wanted. I finally found value in my intelligence. I went back to school and I haven’t stopped since. I got my Associates, then my Bachelors, then my Masters and now I’ve started my first semester to get my Doctorate.

I busted my ass for 12 years for a grocery store. I worked nights, weekends and overtime. I hated it, but I met some wonderful people over the years and I learned a lot that prepared me for leadership positions. I had to do what I had to do because I made great money.

Then one day I just got tired. I got tired of missing time with my family and I felt like I didn’t want to go any further in that business. I didn’t feel valued. My god mom called me and told me about an entry level accounting position. Exactly what I was in school for at the time. Almost 5 years ago I took an almost $20,000 a year pay cut. I started over.

Between medical bills and just careless spending of my money, I then had to get my act together. I felt like creditors were coming at me from all angles about money. All that money I was making and I got my finances together making less. My husband took care of the home while I got myself back on track. I’m thankful for that! I was raised to be so independent, at first it was hard to accept but pride will get you no where. And I had to remember we are a team.

5 years later, I’ve been promoted 2 times and I’m making more than I would have in retail with even more room for growth. I am very thankful that I took that leap. I got focused and got my credit together. I took the time to educate myself on how to be better financially. I never want to go back to that rut again. It took me years to climb out of it.

Over the last year or so I have found a certain type of peace that is indescribable. I found yoga and meditation. Although it may not work for everyone. It works for me. I educated myself on the importance of controlling my thoughts, my words. It has forever changed me.

Luckily I’ve kept the same 2 friends from elementary school along with some other great women I’ve met along the way. I’m surrounded by women who inspire me, who make me want to be better. We are a small but close group and I’m thankful for the value that each of them adds to my life.

Through all of this, I have come into my true passion. I want to uplift, empower, support, inspire and educate women just like me. Every piece of my journey I still carry with me, not to dwell in it, but to be humble in the fact that I’ve felt that and to be a reminder of what I’ve overcome on the bad days. I know what it’s like to be down, to give up, to be insecure. I also know what it’s like to be growing out of it.

I want to be apart of changing the conversation amongst women about women. I want women to know you don’t have to be perfect to encourage and to inspire someone. You don’t have to be a celebrity to be deemed successful. In reality, our imperfections, our struggles are what connect us the most. I want us all to be the type of woman who can look at another woman without judgement and without shade and say THERE SHE GO!

“be the change you want to see in the world” -Ghandi

HighlightHER™️-Moment of Silence!

On Wednesdays we HighlightHER! 👑

18 years ago tragedy struck New York and our country with 9/11. Today I would like to honor the 3 women first responders who lost their life being a HERO! These are women whose passion was to save others, even at the expense of their own lives. They saved lives. They showed strength. They showed courage.

It’s easy as we go about our everyday lives to not look at the every day risks these women dealt with being EMTs and officers. Even our Doctors and Nurses. Every day it is their job to save lives. That’s powerful, especially for women in male dominant industries! We can only pray the family and children they left behind know how special they are to forever be a piece of these SUPERWOMEN! I ask you all today to have a moment of silence for these women along with all 2,977 people who were killed on this tragic day.

Officer Moira Ann Reddy-Smith only NYPD female officer who died on 9/11/01. She was the first officer to report the terrorist attack when she witnessed the first plane strike the first tower. She lost her life in the attempt to save others. Her remains were found March of 2002. She was survived by her husband and 2 year old daughter at the time.

Officer Captain Kathy Mazza, the first female commander of Port Authority of New York and New Jersey died on 9/11/01. She was leading a group of people downstairs when the building started to collapse. She shot out glass walls, enabling many to escape. She was caught in the collapse. She served 13 years at the agency.

EMT Yamel Josefina Merino, just the tender age of 24 when she died on 9/11/01. She volunteered to approach the burning tower , while her partner manned the ambulance. She provided aid to many and lost her life once the tower collapsed. She was survived by her 8 year old son. She received many awards for her scholastic excellence and earned much respect for her efforts at a young age.

 

“And then a hero comes along, with the strength to carry on….so when u feel like hope is gone, look inside you and be strong. And you will finally see the truth. That a hero lies in you…”

Mariah Carey

THERE SHE GO!