SHE SHINES

Thursday, May 16th, 2019

CM 15936

Hello Beautiful Ladies! My name is Cathy McKinnon. As the founder of Wellness Warrior Coaching, I work with ambitious women to create personalized success rituals to gain more energy, strength, beauty and confidence along their journey to optimal living. My coaching works to address health, wellness and mindfulness habits to remove limiting beliefs, create habits that fit with your individual lifestyle and goals while reducing stress! I came to this career through my own transformation and battles.  Now I share my learnings to help other women not fall into the same pitfalls I did and start to show up as their authentic selves!

I thought if I listened to them, if I followed their guidance, if I played safe I would be happy, right? That’s what I was taught- go to college, get a degree, get a good job. After some harsh words by a family member I thought, screw it I will prove them wrong, they will see. I dove in head first at many times working multiple jobs, purchasing my first house by age 20 and grinding through long days because I thought this is what I was supposed to do.

Why did I still feel empty and alone? I thought this is what they said would be the fulfilling moment of my life?

Because I was supposed to be seen as this success; when I had a struggle I hid it from everyone. When the tumor in my thyroid was inadvertently found at a fertility workup due to my multiple miscarriages, I didn’t want to tell anyone. While I heard the words the doctors said, something felt off and every other time I have had this off feeling- a bombshell happened within the next few days.

At this point I was hiding my depression by doing what I did best, grinding and hustling to hide the pain. My family praised success, right? So lets give them that and not show them what I felt was a failure. I come from a large Irish Catholic family and I couldn’t maintain a pregnancy? How is that logical? I needed to know the rationale before I could explain it to anyone else. That is how I handle most situations in life, I have to step back and process them myself before I can share and explain them to others, this would be no different.

POSITIVE FOR MALIGNANCY- I read those words over and over again, staring at the print out I made the surgeon give me. I sat in the hallway of that Cancer center staring at that piece of paper for what seemed like forever. How do I even begin to share this with anyone?

I sat on that news for a weekend, keeping it to myself, processing it…and not going to lie, drinking it away.

I shared the news of the cancer with my inner circle but did not share the struggle to have a baby, how would they begin to understand my sadness.

A few weeks after my cancer diagnosis I received notice that my position was being eliminated and I would be offered a small severance package. The kicks kept coming. I interviewed for the company I am still at today with a turtle neck on to hide the fresh scar, still not supposed to be driving and still facing side effects from the harsh hormonal crash my body was on. Thankfully I was able to hold it together to get through the interviews.

My angel baby was born and what should have been the happiest time of my life turned into a living nightmare. My partner coped with the new stress by increasing his alcohol intake, hiding his drinking, lashing out in rage and anger. Threatening text messages, emails, and explosive arguments in public and private. The game of survival began, as his drinking raged on so did his hiding things ( or so he thought) including hiding a firearm, vodka bottles under his bathroom sink and his sneaking out to the bar after
the baby and I were asleep. I couldn’t allow my son to be raised in such a toxic environment, he deserved better.

I launched into Mama Bear mode, this baby took me 5 years and I’d do what I had to to protect him including bringing him into my bed at night and locking us both in the master bedroom as I had no idea what was going to go down when my partner arrived home from the bar. When we moved to our new home it was a fresh start for my son and I. A new state, a new school for him and a new neighborhood. I started to reconnect with my friends and do more things for myself, something I hadn’t done in ages due to the chaos that had become my life. I discovered yoga, I laughed more than cried, I enjoyed bike rides with my son, we went on adventures without the heaviness I previously carried.

Everything got overhauled, from our habits, routines, street address, and mindset. I found ways to incorporate this new way of living into our busy schedules. I became clear headed, less stressed and smiled more than I had in years. It took years of trial and error, frustrations, depression and impatience…..but we were there, it wasn’t perfect but the number of days that included laughter were more than ever.

Buried my old story, embraced a new purpose, new way of behaving, new way of taking on life. It took standing my ground on some decisions which were difficult but I knew my path was bigger It wasn’t always pretty, it included many tears but it was a definite awakening on what was truly important in life and what I truly wanted for life, to teach my son. It was this series of life events that shook me to the core and made me realize what/how I wanted to live.

As those close to me started to see the shift in me this new sense of joy, several had asked how I did it. I started helping those around me. One woman close to me asked, why are you not doing this for others, you could impact so many – your story is powerful. I didn’t have a good answer to oppose it, which meant to me it was time to dive in!

Today I work with busy women to incorporate success habits creating more beauty, strength, energy and confidence than ever so they can show up as the best possible version of themselves! It is never too late to reinvent yourself! Your path is not permanent and if it no longer suits you; it is time to change it up! Implement everyday habits to get you the life you desire today!

Thursday, May 9th, 2019

sarah - her story post

My name is Sarah. I’m a homesteading coach. I currently reside in Oregon with my husband. I’m a mom to two Jack Russell Terriers and 15 chickens. 

It took a few years to get me to where I am today, a homesteading coach who teaches others how to live more authentic and self-sustainable lives

What does that mean exactly? I teach others valuable skills to help them become more reliant on themselves than outside sources. I teach on several topics: gardening, canning, food preservation, raising chickens, raising meatbirds, and more. I also focus on mindset work and help women become comfortable in their own skin.

I haven’t always accepted or loved myself for who I am. In fact, it wasn’t until a couple of years ago before I began to fully embrace who I was.

In middle and high school, I was the shy girl, the fat girl, the weird girl, the girl who never took risks, and just hid in the shadows of everyone else – so desperately wanting to be accepted. I was made fun of by fellow classmates, sexually abused from the age of 9 to 16, felt abandoned by certain family members, and felt rejected by almost everyone I knew. I did everything I could think of to make other people happy just so that they could, maybe, accept me into their life; even if I wasn’t happy or being true to myself.

My senior year of high school was when I hit rock bottom – I fell into a massive depression and almost gave up on life. I never felt like I fit in anywhere.

At the end of my senior year of high school – I met my husband. He showed me what it was like to truly be accepted and loved for who I am. He helped me through my darkest times. He accepted me and embraced every weird, quirky, irritating, random quality I have. And, yet, I still didn’t see my value. I still had this huge fear that the more he learned about me, the more he would want to leave me. I had that fear about everyone I met.

In April of 2017, I joined a few of my friends in a book study. We read John C. Maxwell’s “The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth.” This book was a game changer for me. It helped me to really dig deep and discover my passions in life. It was then that I discovered, well remembered, my passion and desire to teach, motivate, and inspire others.

Ever since the book study, I have been focused on finding more ways to grow. I have dug even deeper into my soul to discover just exactly who I am. I have read several books, followed several high-vibe women, changed who I hung around, and started removing as much negativity from my life as possible. 

Now, you’re probably wondering – how does this have anything to do with homesteading? Well, it goes back to childhood… While I grew up in the city, my heart has always been in the country. I love everything nature related and love being outdoors. Whether it’s hiking, fishing, gardening, camping, or boating – I love it all! I have always wanted to have my own farm and a giant garden where I can raise and grow my own food. I never really fully understood this dream until the last couple of years while digging into my passions and discovering who I am. 

My husband and I have always wanted to grow our own food. But there were times we lived in a studio apartment or on a really small lot. At first, we thought there was no way we could grow anything. Thankfully, we were wrong. We learned many techniques and ways to grow veggies and herbs in an apartment. 

In 2017 we moved to a house on 1/3 of an acre. Still wanting to experience that farm life, but not thinking we could do much. We researched, a lot, and discovered so many ways to live more self-sustainably right where we are! We got some chickens, a couple of pigs, expanded our garden, and began researching ways that we could begin relying more on ourselves. 

We got an idea in February 2018 to start up a little nursery and sell plants. Within a week of this idea, we found over $2,000 with of nursery supplies….for FREE! People were giving away pots, compost bins, pallets, tables, and other gardening tools. It was amazing. A month after that, I won a gardening basket at my work…. when I put my name in for that drawing, I declared it was mine. And I won it! It was that day that I got the idea to become a homesteading coach. 

I started working on my business idea. I started creating a website, built a group, wrote down some ideas on a few courses. And then I stopped. I let fear consume me. I let my old, limiting beliefs of how I wasn’t good enough overrule everything I had done. I let the opinions of others overrule the opinions I had. I started believing every single person who told me I wouldn’t succeed, running a business isn’t easy, I don’t know enough to teach others, and so many other negative stories. I let my fear and insecurities rule the entire year of 2018 and did nothing. I was still hiding in the shadows. Maybe not as much as I used to, but I was still there…not wanting to come out for fear of more judgement and ridicule. 

January 1, 2019. I saw a post asking people what word they would choose for 2019. Immediately, the word transformation came to mind. So, that’s the word I wrote down. Little did I know just what that would truly mean. I still felt stuck. I still felt like I didn’t quite belong. I wanted something more. I was ready to finally shove my fears aside, but I knew I needed help. I knew I needed to make a change. To finally invest in a coach. Within days, this amazing woman came across my feed. She was doing a 5 day challenge where we were to release our past baggage, push fear aside, and rebuild our confidence. That challenge was a game changer. It wasn’t long before I signed up for three of her programs and 1:1 coaching. 

Because of these programs, because of her guidance, and because of my willingness to make a change, to actually do the inner work – my business has made massive leaps.   Not only that, but I have found ways to accept and love myself for who I am, more so than I ever thought possible. I am no longer bound by other people’s opinions or beliefs. I have come to an understanding that not everyone is going to like me or agree with me. And, for the first time in my life, I am ok with that. I feel free. For the first time in my life, I have confidence. I show up on Facebook live, almost daily, without hesitation. I engage and connect and have built meaningful relationships with amazing women. I have overcome and pushed so much of my fear and self-doubt aside and just gone all in. My life has, literally, changed in more ways that I could’ve ever imagined. I even look in the mirror now and smile! I no longer see an insecure, ugly, unworthy person. I see a strong, confident, and amazing women staring right back at me.

Must plays such a huge role in our lives. If it hadn’t been for the inner work I did and reframing my mindset, I wouldn’t be doing what I am today. I wouldn’t be here inspiring and motivating others to step into their own power. I wouldn’t be teaching others valuable skills that will help them live more self-sustainable lives. And I wouldn’t be here, writing this story and sharing it with so many amazing, wonderful people. 

Fear has two meanings: Forget Everything and Run…. Or…. Face Everything and Rise. Which meaning do you allow into your life? 

That thought kind of goes with one of my favorite mantras that I like to live by: “be fearless in the pursuit of what sets your soul on fire.”

Thursday, May 5th, 2019

Ashtyn

Let me start off by introducing myself…. My name is Ashtyn Pharis, I am 25 years old and I live in Columbus, OH. I have a HUGE personality, I love working out (duh), I have a bulldog named Diva, I dropped out of college after one semester, I was extremely successful working my corporate job for almost 5 years and I decided to start my own business in September 2017. Some call me crazy…. Some call me courageous. I’ll let you form your own opinion after telling you a little bit more.

In 2012 I graduated high school, I did what everyone else does and went to college in the fall; I went for pre-med because I had this AWFUL idea of becoming a doctor (no thank you). From August – December of 2012 I gained your solid freshman 15, I partied and drank almost every night, skipped classes and I think the more fitting word for “dropping out of college” would be I failed out of college. During Christmas break I moved all my stuff back home, lived with mom and dad again, started working at a tanning salon and was more confused than ever. I quickly got promoted to Manager at the tanning salon at the age of 18, made some pretty decent money and managed the salon for almost 2 years. During this time I continued to party… and party hard. I had no idea what direction I wanted to take my life in, I had no idea how to say no and stop partying. I knew I did not want to go back to school, so I started looking for jobs that would take me out of Columbus. I knew that if I wanted to change my life I needed to physically remove myself from my surroundings. Fast forward to May 2014, I received a job offer from a large dental corporation and moved out to Kansas City, MO. I quickly moved up the ladder with the company I was working for and genuinely loved my job.

During this time, I put on about 20 pounds and I felt EXTREMELY uncomfortable. None of my clothes fit, I did not want to be in any photos, I couldn’t even look at myself in the mirror. In 2016 I had enough and decided to make a change; I started working out and eating healthier. After seeing results, I quickly learned to LOVE watching my body change and gained my confidence back. When I moved back to Columbus in 2017 I started working for a different dental corporation, but my heart was no longer in it. I was obsessed with all things health and fitness, but I was even more obsessed with supporting women in becoming the best version of themselves. I knew that I was NOT going to live a life of going to a job I hated, deep down I knew I had more to offer to this world. After many months of going back and forth with myself on when the perfect time would be for me to quit my job and coach online full time, I decided to go all in with my passion in February 2018. The decision was weighing HEAVY on my heart, I have bills to pay, what if I fail, what if I can’t pay my rent, all the what ifs came flooding in all at once… but there was this burning fire in me that said “if you go all in right now, you will have no limitations and you will change the world”. As I was sitting at Starbucks on my lunch break on a Wednesday afternoon, I had no plan, I had no idea how I was going to make it… but I walked back into my office, dripping sweat of how nervous I was and told my boss I am putting in my notice. She said “WHAT, what are you going to do?!” I said, I am going to change the lives of women around me every day, I am going to wake up with LIFE, I am going to do what I love and make it my career.

In between all that, I was in a long term relationship that was on the verge of ending at the same time I was quitting my job to pursue my passion. If you been in any relationship before, you know that SOMETIMES it is just “easier” to stay. I knew I could do better and I knew I was being held back by the one person I once was head over heels for. Sometimes, you aren’t leaving the person, but you are leaving the dream you once had. Which is a hard pill to swallow. So… I did it. I left my relationship. I quit my job and I moved 700 miles to start over. 

It has been rainbows and butterflies since then – NOT! If it were only that easy! LOL Pursing your dream is not always easy, but I enjoy the journey. I believe the journey IS the destination. When I set goals for myself and reach them, there is always more that can be done; you’re never really at your final destination. I decided that I will create my life; I will not live my life for someone else’s dream. No matter how hard it gets or how long it takes or how terrifying it is, I WILL live my life for ME. Each day brings on joys and struggles, but I will never go back. I’ve been called crazy more times than you can count, maybe I’m naive, but I think it’s courageous. It’s courageous to get up and walk out of a job that paid me extremely well, to have “security” in knowing my bills were getting paid… I have faith and power in knowing that I am here to serve others. My God will NOT let me fail because I am doing what I am called to do. I am protected no matter what comes my way.

I urge you to follow that burning passion inside of you. It is NEVER too late to go after your dreams; it is NEVER too late to start over. You have to get uncomfortable in order to grow. Growth is on the other side of change. If you stay comfortable, you stay stagnant and you are not taking enough risks. Whether that is with your employer, your relationship, your fitness, ANYTHING… getuncomfortable if you want change.

There is one mantra that takes me through each day: “You serve no one by staying asleep.” When you choose to pursue your dreams it is HARD. It takes so much dedication to show up simply for yourself every day; and some days it is just easier to stay asleep. But the longer you choose to “stay asleep” or avoid what your heart so desperately longs for, the longer you are putting the power that lies within you to the side. And the world needs you in your most powerful state.