Supporting a Friend in Need

By: Chaunte McClure

June was a popular month for some rather interesting Facebook challenges. I have friends who warmed up to the idea of participating in the cold-water challenge. Though not everyone followed the rules, here’s how the social media dare worked: Decide which charity you want to support. Record a video and call out your friends you’d like to participate in the challenge. Have someone pour a bucket (or a cooler in some cases I saw) of cold water over your head. Upload the video to Facebook, tag  the friends you’ve challenged. They have 24 hours to create their cold-water challenge video or they have to donate to a charity. If they accept the challenge, they donate $10 to the charity, if they don’t, they donate $100 to the charity.

I saw other variations, too. In some videos, if you did the challenge, you didn’t pay anything. (Still doesn’t make sense to me.) Participating in the cold-water challenge seemed to be more about having fun than actually supporting the charities. I have to admit, some of the videos were quite entertaining.

The gospel challenge soon followed and some Facebook users showcased their vocal talent while others … well, let’s just say, they were a little off key. With this social media fad, people challenged their Facebook friends to upload a video of themselves singing a gospel song. Joy Cover’s rendition of “God’s Trying to Tell You Something” from “The Color Purple” was one of my favorites.  If I had a voice like Joy’s, I would have taken anyone up on the challenge.

Needless to say, I didn’t take part in either challenge, but I felt compelled to reach out in the name of helping a friend in need. After learning of a friend’s sickness and her family’s plea for help with medical expenses, I posted a challenge to some of my Facebook friends to donate to a fund for Felicia Moore.

Who is she? She’s not famous or anyone I expect you to know, but you don’t have to know someone in order to help him or her. I will say that she is one of the few people I’ve encountered in life that I couldn’t truthfully say anything negative about. She has always been such a humble, kind, smart and loving and helpful young lady.

Felicia is a kindergarten teacher who has been diagnosed with stage 5 kidney failure. Just a few months after starting dialysis, she was diagnosed with systemic lupus erythematosus. I can’t begin to imagine how difficult some days probably are for Felicia and her family, but I want to help and I’m extending an invitation to you to do the same.

How you can help:

  1. Pray. No explanation needed.
  2. Sign her online guestbook. Share a few encouraging words.

I’m Chaunte McClure, challenging you to help someone in need.

Pondering and People Watching…

By: Shannon Shull

There can be an art to people watching. If you are a non-judgmental people watcher, then you watch and you ponder. You ponder why they are where they are, what they do for a living, what hardships they may be going through, what heartbreaking or joyful things may be lying under their surface, what their real lives are like. You don’t pass judgment based on how they look; you just ponder what their world might be like.

In working my way through SC’s PACE Program to get my teacher’s certificate, I have spent my share of time in public places like Starbucks, the library and even poolside as I attempt to read all the required material and write the many required papers and journal entries.  These public places help hold me accountable to get my work done and not fall asleep, but they also provide a sometimes welcome distraction to people watch.

The key to people watching is to not judge the person by their cover. I learned that lesson long ago during my days of living in Los Angeles. At times, you could walk into a restaurant and the fella dressed in sweats and sneakers would be the wealthiest and the fella with the gold Rolex and sharp suit would be the most hard up for money. In my lifetime, I’ve met some men and women who were literally covered in tattoos who had hearts of gold and would give you the shirt off their back. And on the flip side, I’ve met straight laced, preppy, supposed Christian folk who, underneath the façade, were the most hypocritical, messed up people I’d ever met. I have friends of all shapes, colors and sizes and they are all beautiful in so many different ways, inside and out.  So throughout my almost 40 years of life, I’ve learned a valuable lesson: that to pass judgment without knowing a person’s story is an incredible injustice.

If done from a non-judgmental point of view, the art of people watching can bring a smile to your face and warm your heart if you allow it. Consider what special talents these people may have, what they offer the world, what their passions or dreams may be. There are benefits to people watching – you may be inspired and reminded of just how precious and short life is. And, the best benefit of all, you may just make a friend.

One day during one of my intense teacher training, I had to read a torturous book. We’re talking material that could easily help you fall asleep. One of those books in which you find yourself having to read a paragraph 4 times before it actually sinks in.

PoolWell, staying at home was not going to get me anywhere with that book except with my face flat in the book, sound asleep, so I decided to go to the neighborhood pool to read, in hopes that the activity at the pool would help keep me awake. As I watched the people at the pool – the mother fussing at her daughters for playing too rough, the two older women reading books that were clearly giving them a fabulous escape, the mother struggling to wrangle her toddler and keep him happy, the father constantly on his phone, the teens chatting about tans and boys, and the older gentleman splashing about having a blast with a group of young ones. I sat fascinated by the life happening around me.

My insecurities got the best of me and I wondered what these people may be thinking of me. Eventually a lady came by and said to me, “So what college do you go to?  What are you studying there?”  She thought I was a college student! Woo hoo! Now she could’ve assumed that I was an older college student, but nonetheless she thought I was a student. I smiled and told her I was a teacher and attempting to do the required reading for a big training. She had made an assumption based on what she saw. Our conversation led to a friendship. She too was a teacher. It was a lovely moment. I later saw her at a different pool visit. I had four kids in tow, two of them my own, and she definitely saw me in a different light.

Life is interesting. And people watching can be an experiment to challenge you to think the best of people, trying not to make negative assumptions or pass judgment too quickly. And, if you’re lucky, it can provide an opportunity to be pleasantly surprised by another human being and you might even make a new friend.

Wearing Your Baby

By: Brady Evans 

If my husband and I had to give one piece of advice to new parents, I think we’d unanimously say “learn how to wear your baby.”

Baby carrying

We have been wearing Benjamin since we brought him home from the hospital and have found that babywearing has so many benefits. I think the first and most important benefit is that being close to your heartbeat, your breath, and your skin calms a new baby like no other thing. Your gentle motion is exactly what he is used to from his life in the womb and replicating those feelings outside the womb will make for a calm and “easy” newborn.  Baby wearing is especially wonderful because it allows mom to get back independence and full mobility of her arms!

There are a wide variety of carriers out there that you can choose to wear your baby with. If you are like me, though, you’ll find that different carriers serve different purposes! These pictures demonstrate the types of carriers we use in our household. Ring slings:

Babycarrying

Soft structured carriers:

Baby carryingWoven wraps:

Baby carryingYou can see that even at Ben’s young age of 11 weeks, he can be worn safely on my back using a simple woven tablecloth.

Baby carrying

I easily grocery shop and run errands without lugging a stroller, have gotten back into the swing of things caring for the horses here on the farm, and am back in the kitchen easily all with the help of my various carriers.

The Midlands has a fantastic resource in the group Baby Wearers of the Midlands.  The woman here are incredibly knowledgeable about matching your needs to the right carrier and helping you hone your skills as you explore wearing your baby.  If you are interested in baby wearing I suggest you find this group of Facebook and jump in!

Chinaberry Dreams

By: Crissie Miller Kirby

Growing up in rural Aiken County, we had lots of different trees that would sprout up here and there.  They would just take hold of the soil where they were dropped and they would grow and flourish. One of these trees was a Chinaberry Tree.  I can’t recall anyone ever actually planting one. They seemed to just appear, take root, grow and flourish, carried here, there, and yonder by the birds visiting within her branches.

Chinaberry Dreams

Much like the Chinaberry Tree, Trina Floyd has flourished where she was planted and, like the Chinaberry Tree, has offered up pieces of herself for folks to carry near and far from her store, “Chinaberry Dreams Soapworks, Gifts, and Artisan Marketplace,” which is located on Main Street in Leesville, South Carolina.

Trina comes from a long line of women who valued handmade items, from handmade lye soap to beautiful, but functional, quilts.  From a young age, Trina watched her mother, grandmother, and other family members make all of these items, and in doing so, she developed a strong desire to be a part of, and to carry on, those talented handiworks.

Chinaberry Dreams

Her strongest desire was to hand make bars of soap and when her sister, Frana, began building a herd of Nubian goats, Trina gained ready access to fresh goat’s milk with which to begin “Chinaberry Dreams Soapworks” in about 2006.

Finally, in 2009 Trina was able to secure a small location on Main Street, Leesville in which to open a part-time shop while continuing her day job with Lexington Medical Center.  The shop began to grow past simply soaps; she began accepting other items from other local artisans and eventually she outgrew the space she was renting.  Fortunately, in 2010 she was able to secure a new location across the street from the original location.

Chinaberry Dreams

Again, the shop and customer base continued to grow and Trina longed to open her shop as more than just a storefront, but to also be a place where artisans could come in and actually teach classes in their medium.  Trina dreamed of and prayed for a location that would not only support her dream, but also would assist in supporting her family by allowing her to be in the store full time.  For nearly four years, this was her dream, her prayer.

In late 2013/early 2014, Trina’s dream began to come to fruition and in February of 2014 (delayed slightly by the crazy winter weather we experienced this year), she moved into her new, much larger location on Main Street, Leesville.  In this new locale, Trina is able to offer more space for not only her own soaps and other wares, but also for other local artisan booths and space to host various art classes. Already she has hosted art classes for children and beginner’s quilting classes, with many, many more on the horizon.

Chinaberry Dreams

And it’s more than just a personal endeavor for Trina – it is a family affair.  It’s not unusual to find her sisters, her parents, and other family members helping out in the store and helping teach classes.

To step into Chinaberry Dreams is to take a peek back into the past, while still being very much in the present.  For me, it is a unique opportunity to capture a part of my own heritage, as Trina’s grandmother and my own were sisters. Every time I step into the store, there is something there that reminds me of my own childhood and those wonderful memories of playing under quilts stretched out on frames and women talking and catching up with each other.

Chinaberry Dreams

So, if you are ever in our little neck of the woods, stop by Trina’s store on Main Street and, as Trina is fond of saying, “take a little Chinaberry home with you”.

Stop by and check out Chinaberry Dreams Soapworks and Gifts on Facebook for information on hours, current artisan work, and upcoming classes.

Local Trips

By: Sherree Thompson

Our family has been quite the road-running group this summer. We have taken mostly day trips, but we have had a few over night ones as well. Yes, I know, summer just started, but what can I say?

Table Rock

Table Rock

Our fist trip was actually before school was out. We headed to the mountains to show the kids what a mountain actually is. Since Table Rock is so close we thought hey, why not? After all, I don’t think one can really describe its beauty in terms a 4-year-old can fully grasp. They need to see some things themselves to get the true impact of such a sight.  Jay and I have hiked Table Rock before so we knew it wasn’t something we could have our little ones tackle quite yet. We did, however, hit the base of it to show them the creeks and to spend some time goofing around. We also checked out the waterfall, which was stunning, although the kids didn’t think so. One day they will appreciate it, but just not yet.

Table Rock

Table Rock

Next we had a fantastic beach day at The Isle of Palms. What a fun place that was! We parked in a county (at least I think it was county) park right at the beach. There were bathrooms (real bathrooms, not a port-a-john), changing rooms, a playground, grilling areas and even a small snack cart in case you needed a little treat. It really was the perfect spot for a family fun day!

Isle of Palms

Isle of Palms

Then over Father’s Day we headed out for our first “camping” trip with the kids. I say “camping” with a grain of salt because although we had a fantastic time and the facilities turned out to be truly appropriate for a first outing, it wasn’t what we had thought it was going to be. We headed down to James Island. We thought we would save a few bucks and get the “primitive” campsite and really give the kids a true woodsy camping experience.

Camping

Camping

We got there kind of late…okay, we were late. It was after-dark late. We checked in and headed to our spot. We parked, walked to the entrance trail, and saw a giant football field. There were tents pretty much along the entire boarder of the field. We laughed at our “primitive” spot and carried on with our setup. As we were heading back to the car we noticed frogs everywhere. Not like one here or there, but like you had to really watch where you step or you would squish one. The kids really enjoyed playing “spot the frog.” The kids did great sleeping in the tent, even though we forfeited our dry run of camping in the back yard.

Folly Beach

This county park was really geared towards families. They had a splash pad, bike trails, a water park and free access to Folly Beach. Folly Beach was awesome. There was a channel that runs along the shoreline. During high tide it fills and then it’s super suitable for small kids. I think we had more fun in the channel than in the actual ocean waves.

Let me just say that for each of these trips, we maybe spent $150. The county and state park system is a true jewel on the wallet. Anyway, in addition to this, I have had the pleasure of reading the book of John with some really great ladies, meeting a cool bee keeper in Sumter, eating some delicious BBQue from different parts of the state, and celebrating a sweet someone turning three.

So there it is – well, the highlights anyway. This type of schedule will continue on, my house will remain a mess, but we will be living life and enjoying all that South Carolina has to offer. May you find yourself in such a place! Happy Summer!!

The K.I.S.S. Life – Cooking

By: Lydia Scott

With all the people and critters coming in and out of our home throughout the week and two full-time employed adults, meals can be a big ol’ pain the patooty. I used to come home from work and stand my 300-pound frame in the kitchen for two hours to cook fancy meals five to six nights a week. I know, I know…the stove heat melted my brain and I wasn’t thinking straight. Or at all. Sheesh! But in my quest to K.I.S.S. (Keep It Simple, Stupid – as my daddy used to say), and get healthy, I needed to spend less time in the kitchen and more time with family and exercise. Thus began the weekly menu routine.

Woohoo! Yes! Yay! Whee!!! I get to spend time EVERY STINKING WEEK creating a menu and then planning a grocery list from it. Can you sense my sarcasm there? Ha! While it’s not my favorite thing to do, it serves a very valuable purpose: it keeps me sane, thus making other people happy. Sane and happy are both good, right? I’m still on the fence about that.

Here’s the big challenge for me. First, we don’t do the pre-boxed dinner kind of meal, because it’s against whatever religion I need to say I am to make that a reality. We will go a little crazy sometimes with taco night and use canned Spanish rice and such, but I die a little inside when it happens. Second, a minimum of two dinners must be teenagers-who-don’t-love-cooking friendly. We don’t believe in kids who do nothing being waited on by adults who do it all. Sorry folks…everyone pulls their weight in this house! If you can reach the sink, you can cook something. Anyhow, this means the recipes must have not more than about five steps and five or six ingredients, and nothing that requires (much) concentration. Those dishes that require you to “stir constantly for twenty minutes?” Um…no. Not gonna happen, at least not with an edible result.

The more experienced teen (Rae-Rae) gets the more detailed recipes. Now, I have tried asking them come up with what they want to cook on their own, but we quickly tired of barbecue sauce chicken breasts and tacos. And keep in mind, we have both internet and a kitchen stocked with twenty or more cookbooks. They just aren’t into the chef-thing like I was as a teen. But, the kids will be popular in college because they will know how to make eggs, burgers, casseroles, and pancakes, while their friends struggle not to burn the ramen. They will also know how to make a grocery list based on what they’re going to eat and how much cash they have. Wooo! See? We try to make it sound exciting!

So, Saturday mornings are my quiet time to pull out the iPad, the notebook, the Tonka (okay, she kind of forces her way in), the grocery list from the fridge, my coffee, and a pen – preferably in a pretty color, because I’m silly that way. And then I open my email for links I’ve sent myself for recipes I stumble across that fall in our dietary range, go to great recipe sites, and check out my Kroger app to see what’s on sale. Then I mix it all together to come up with our menu, along with who’s cooking and who gets to clean the kitchen.

menu planning

menu planning

We also have a night or two devoted to my favorite: FFY – Fend For Yourself. Eat what you find and leave no mess behind. Good times!

Then using the list of items that need replenishing, the recipes, and a quick supply inventory, The List is created. And yeah, I could use phone apps and such, but I prefer not to have to haul my phone or tablet around in the store. So, I write out my list, organized by categories that make sense to me and the store layout, because it helps me forget fewer things. This way, I only leave off two items, instead of twenty.

menu planning

Sometimes I leave more room in the menu later in the week with the cop out of “T.B.D.” because I either can’t come up with something or I have a feeling I’ll prefer to play it by ear. Also, the menu is not written in stone. Stuff comes up (like laziness, for example) and sometimes we switch nights or just do something totally different. Also, Big D’s (my hubby) schedule is really iffy, since he is a security alarm technician with a lot of his work happening later in the day. I don’t usually write him in on the cooking schedule, because often he’s not home until after dinnertime. But he winds up cooking dinner about once a week, usually when I need a break the most, because he’s awesome that way!

That’s all for now, because it’s Saturday morning and as you saw, my grocery list sure ain’t done, so I gotta get to it! PLEASE feel more than free to leave me some comments to share ideas and tips for getting more K.I.S.S. in our lives!

Life After Cancer Treatment

By: Katie Austin

While battling the big “C” four years ago, I quit doing almost everything.  I put all that I loved to do aside so that I could focus my energy to rid myself of this demon.  After treatment was over and I was declared to be in full remission (applause!), the challenge for me was, what next?  What am I going to do now with my life?  Will I ever be normal again?

faith

What I discovered is that I was so focused on fighting my cancer that once the treatment was over, I wanted to jump right back into the pool of life and do EVERYTHING that I had stopped doing. I got back out onto the competitive volleyball court (physically wasn’t ready), worked long hours at the computer and went back to college (mentally wasn’t ready), and put aside all of the emotions that come with fighting cancer. I was able to keep things going for a few years, myself going all the time and everyone around me thinking that I am happy, doing well and on the road to a complete recovery.  What I didn’t see coming happened this year.

Sometimes it takes just one situation to bring everything to a complete stop. A good friend of mine at work recently passed away from cancer.  I was devastated.  Two years ago, when she returned to work after beating colon cancer the first time, we would spend time talking about diet, foods we found that helped to offset the side effects we were experiencing, and how excited we were to be in remission.  I hadn’t seen her for almost a year after her cancer came back.  When I heard of her passing, I collapsed at my desk, in shock, as I couldn’t believe she was gone. I wouldn’t be walking the first lap of next year’s Relay for Life with her.  Our talks were gone.  My friend was gone.

I went to her funeral the following Sunday to say good-bye and remember the beautiful spirit that had come into my life. This was the icing on the cake, the straw that broke the camel’s back, the card on the house of cards that would tumble everything downward.

I was depressed.  I wasn’t happy and I had to stop long enough to allow myself time to heal.  Plain and simple.  I hadn’t dealt with the emotions that come with fighting cancer and the fear that it could come back that will be with me forever. I needed to find out what my new normal was.

“If you are always trying to be normal,

you will never know how amazing you can be”

–Maya Angelou

I am making small changes to my diet, adding exercise to my routine, and staying active. When those emotions come out, I allow myself time to process them.  I am re-prioritizing things in my life so that my focus is where it needs to be.  My health was farther down on the list than I thought it was.  How can I do all the things I want to do if I am not healthy?  What was I thinking??

What I learned is that life after cancer is a process.  I am not where I want to be, but I have to be ok with where I am right now.  It’s about taking small steps to make small changes that will become lifetime changes.  More to come on this in my next blog post. 🙂

For those fighting cancer, I am praying for you and sending many well wishes your way!  Remember to stay in the moment and allow your body time to heal and rest. Remember that this is a process.  I wanted to share a link from the National Cancer Institute (below) that found to be helpful in my healing process.

http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/coping/life-after-treatment.pdf

Wishing each of you a great day and I look forward to seeing you back on the Every Woman Blog!

~ Katie Austin

Cauliflower Alfredo – How’s THAT for Change?

By: Mary Pat Baldauf

A few weeks ago, my boss and I were coming back from a lunch meeting when he chimed in about change.

“Nobody wants change. They all want to keep doing things the way they’ve always done them,” he said. “I give you credit for changing from an iPhone to an Android, but you don’t much like change either.”

Hold the phone! Granted, my boss only sees me at work, but I would say that I, especially over the past few years, have embraced change. I’ve changed my entire lifestyle to add early and regular exercise to my life. I’ve all but given up processed and fast food, and I’ve learned how to cook clean and healthy. And even now that I’ve “taken the leap,” I continue to experiment with new foods, recipes and healthy changes.

Caulfredo

Speaking of change, this weekend I tried a great new recipe from one of my favorite blogs Oh She Glows: Vegan Cauli-Power Fettuccine Alfredo. The base of the sauce is cauliflower, and it was delicious. I highly recommend it! Its a change you’ll love to try!

Please Pass the Magic Eight Ball

By: Lara Winburn

Recently, a friend said that she hated deciding what her family was going to eat for dinner. I concurred that when I win the lottery that is the first order of business- someone to make that decision every day. (Yes, I said when because, well you know, decision makingpower of positive thinking.) Anyway, I started thinking about why I hated this part my day so much. My family is not picky and they do not have high expectations…here’s to setting the bar low.

I hate this decision because it is the 9,742,303rd decision of the day.

I am exhausted by these decisions we are faced with from the time we get up to the time our decision-making, weary eyes finally shut. All of this decision-making is my least favorite part of being a grown-up…that and putting away laundry. (I mean, I am totally fine with washing and folding but why is there never room for it in my drawers?)

For me, decision number one starts with what my daughter is going to wear to school that pleases the fashion sense of a three-year-old and meets the weather predictions of the day. These decisions continue until those precious minutes at night when all is quiet and I must decide whether I should do a little joy reading or throw in a load of never ending laundry. This may sound small, but it is taxing all the same. I want to make the right decisions as an employee, wife, daughter, mom and heck, even a productive member of society. Should I work through lunch at work? Is it better to spend some time at the gym? Or should I just go ahead and make my way over to the grocery store to try to avoid that “hardest” decision at the end of the day? Is a chicken nugget bad for kids if it means we get more play time? Does the baby need to go to the doctor or is that rash going to go away before I make an appointment? Trying to make many decisions and all the while, just trying to cause the least damage to my family, my job and anything else in my decision wake.

So my husband suggested a way to deal with this “decision crisis,” to possibly avoid guilt, apprehension, and second guessing. Unfortunately, he did not suggest eliminating the decisions all together. Instead, he suggested trying to determine with each choice what is the worst thing that can happen? Now this may sound pessimistic, but truly it is not. For example, if I choose that book I have been wanting to read over laundry – will everyone have clean underwear or, worst case, will we be looking at bathing bottoms as under garments? If we wear rain boots to school and it never rains, worst case scenario – we have sweaty feet but not a complex. You would not believe how liberating I have found this to be. I mean, most of these decisions will not result in ruined childhoods or therapy sessions.

As some of you know, most of the time I am trying to embrace the chaos. So in that chaos comes these grown-up decisions, some trivial and some life-changing. As I weigh my options, I will continue to think through the worst thing that can happen. Guess what? Most of time that worst thing really isn’t that bad. Who knows – it might even be one of life’s happy accidents. Or if the decision making process and the worst case scenario doesn’t work, you may just hear me say “please pass the Magic Eight Ball.”

 

What’s Your Motivation?

By: Shannon Shull

Motivation is a key to success. What motivates a lion in the wild to chase down and devour a deer? Hunger! Like a lion in the wild, we all have a hunger of some sort. Hopefully in the case of us humans, we have a hunger to succeed in some way. Since we are human, we require motivation  to pursue something. As a lover of the Arts, I am motivated to teach so that I can share this passion and the fulfillment it can bring to one’s life. To me, motivation is desire. It’s what helps us take action.

Sunflowers

Whether a case of desiring a full, satisfied belly, or in my case, teaching others about the Arts, or in the case of a student, taking action simply because they want a good grade to get their parents off their back, motivation is a powerful thing.  If you’re a smart teacher, you will use positive motivational strategies that not only motivate your students to have a desire to do what you need them to, but allow them to see the rewards of their motivation and embrace it.  In the world of the dramatic arts, we are motivated to put on an incredible show. We want to entertain our audience and want to hear their applause. Fortunately for some, that is motivation enough. But in the real world, though most may be motivated to do things for the attention, it’s not always for the right reasons.

Think about what motivates you…is your motivational strategy in life positive?  Whether with career, family, health, education, etc, are you motivated for positive reasons to bring fulfillment to your life or is your motivation really not so positive when you really look at it? Is your motivation really to hurt someone else? Is your motivation to just survive and make money to pay the bills, though you’re miserable in your job?  Is your motivation ugly in nature at its base? Check yourself and re-evaluate. Please. Your life will be fuller and happier if your motivation is deep seeded in positivity.

Can we teach others motivational strategies? YES!! In my career, I am motivated by a desire to be the best teacher that I can be. Therefore, I feel that it is my responsibility to use motivational strategies in such a way that my students can recognize the benefits not only in the moment but down the road, as they grow into adults that must stay motivated to survive this harsh, competitive world.  I consistently show my students how the Arts can benefit them in life. Whether it’s utilizing the tools in the Actor’s Toolbox or understanding that a storyboard is a communication tool, I will always try my best to show my students the purpose of a lesson, and how they should take advantage of it and allow it to motivate them to become better, more successful people.

So as human beings who really want to strive to be outstanding and utilize motivation to achieve fulfillment in our lives, we can not only lead by example but share our own personal motivational strategies. We hear incredible success stories all the time about how someone has lost enormous amounts of weight. Their motivation was to live a healthier life. To be physically fit and feel good about how they look, as well as feel good on the inside. We hear stories of amazing strength in which someone defies death because of a motivation to see their loved ones again.  I think we’ve all heard about or maybe even experienced that level of motivation.

So in an effort to be a good example and provide some motivation, I challenge you to rethink your “real” goals in life and your motivation for reaching those goals. Do you have a strategy?  Is your motivation rooted in positivity? Is motivation even present?  As they say in the acting world, “What is your motivation??”  Be brave and share with us what you’ve discovered after doing a thorough check on what really motivates you!