Business Tips and Tricks, Hope Inspires, Hope Wissel

How to Stop Questioning Yourself

This morning I was struggling about what to post…. when this happens I generally scroll through the hundreds of past blog posts to see if something grabs my attention.  I’m grateful for the long list of blogs because it is a reminder of my life – the good, the bad and the ugly.

As the end of the fiscal year with Thirty One ends and a new one begins – doubt starts to creep in.  Weird since I had my highest career sales in 2020-2021 and most days I am comfortable where my business and my life are. It usually means, I haven’t taken enough time to seek God’s guidance in the morning.

Every morning in my Facebook memories, I see a quote from “Get Your Girl Back Movement” and no matter how old the message is, it seems to hit home!  Today’s was…

You can do it Hope and if you couldn’t, God would not have given you the dream in the first place. If you would have put as much time into your dream as you do questioning yourself and your ability it would have already been accomplished. Now- stop asking and go make your dream come true!

Kind of funny because since the MS, I struggle with dreaming.  I have a wish list of things I would like to do but not a BIG dream.  My last BIG dream was to pay off my credit card debt and I’m grateful with the help of my side hustle, this is DONE!  Financial freedom can be scary for an addict in recovery – money in the savings account, bills paid and the ability to enjoy each day without the stress of how to pay for things.  I have to consciously remember how unmanageable life was during my addiction (yes, shopping can be an addiction too).

MS has taught me to live in the moment (most days) because who knows what tomorrow will bring.  Planning long term can be stressful and tends to lead me into a fix, manage and control state of mind.  Not good for my MS or my recovery.  I think I squirreled.. LOL.

As I think about the new fiscal business year, I wonder what God would want me to do.  I’m doing a 6-week training program so I am focusing on being intentional about what God wants from me each day.  The problem is when a thought or idea hits, Doubtful Debbie pays a visit.  What are my dreams?  Are they mine or what I think they “should be”?  Will they bring me joy?  Will they help me reach my purpose in life?  I know I am not alone, right?

Then out of no where the message “STOP QUESTIONING YOURSELF” appears.  I take a breath and quiet my mind (not always easy).  I know my purpose is “to make a difference”, as basic as it is, it is my life’s mission.  From simply putting a smile on someone’s face, sharing words of encouragement, or raising funds for a cause – one small act of kindness can make a difference.

I’m not sure who needed to hear this, but I hope at least one person is helped by knowing they are not alone.  How do I stop questioning myself?  As soon as I realize it is happening, I close my eyes, take a deep breath and release.  Bless and release.  Sounds easy, right?  Believe me, if you struggle with this – you know it takes lots of practice.  If I can’t get out of my head I do something else – work on my puzzle, read, take a walk and enjoy God’s beauty or work on a blog post. I do things to bring me joy and help me to kick Doubtful Debbie to the curb.

What are YOU questioning yourself about?  Do you have a dream that gets pushed to the side when life gets too busy? Or are you like me and when that happens, you begin to doubt your dream?  Just for today, stop asking AND make your dream come true.  Who is with me??

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Hope Inspires, Hope Wissel, Recovery

Anniversaries – Celebrations With Reflection

This past week I celebrated two anniversaries both filled with emotions and the struggle to remember.  Two milestones in my life which changed me forever.

On Friday, hubby and I celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary.  We have been together 18+ years BUT only married 10.  If you know our story, you get it.  🙂

I generally blog about our story BUT this year,  I want to share the gratitude I have for this man.  Our road has been a rocky one – from his commuting for 5 years, to living together to marriage.  It all seems so basic, right?  But add to it – recovery on the road to relapse, a perceived loss of independence, his congestive heart failure, my diagnosis of MS and now his retirement.  Life on life’s terms which is something I’m not really good at.  It has been a true test for both of us of our wedding vows.  He has been my rock on my most difficult days.  I have tested his patience and he has learned how to communicate just a little bit better. We have grown together in so many ways…

As we sat at dinner the other night, the subject drifted to the one question to be sure about a relationship.  I had never heard this and honestly, I was scared. But he continued saying it is “do you bring out the best of each person?”….. Of course I had to know what he thought about us because honestly my memory is awful and fear was creeping in.  My immediate reaction was to feel less than. Not worthy of his unconditional love.  Instead of blurting things out, I prayed to be quiet while he finished.  He said “our life has been a balance –  sometimes we have brought out the best in each other while there are times, we have brought out the worst.  He said it is life but the true test is how you get through it.  We have made it.  WOW!  I didn’t get defensive.  I didn’t try to over analyze.  I just was grateful I kept my mouth SHUT and for how far we have both come. I may have already forgotten much of the night, I pray his words about our life together stay with me forever.

Jump ahead to Saturday and another celebration…. WE HAVE 3 YEARS!  I look back on where I was three years ago… a hot mess on the verge of losing my hubby, a mound of credit card debt, a victim mentality while I isolated feeling less than everyone else, broken emotionally, mentally and spiritually.  Appearing confident (often cocky) on the outside while a scared child on the inside.  I had walked this road before and relapse became part of my story.  I had let down my family, my friends but most of all I had let myself down.  The strong confident person was gone.  What was left was a broken, shell of my former self.  Sadly, I didn’t notice it – I thought I hid it well.  I blamed everyone else for what was wrong in my life when the only one who was to blame was me.

As I sit here writing, unable to feel anything but sadness (MS seems to play with my emotions as well as taken my memories) I struggle to remember how bad it was.  Not just this time but the first time (my first clean date was 10/26/91).  Hubby often says, God took the memories because it was too unbearable for me to remember.  God gives me glimpses at times but when it becomes overwhelming for me, they fade and only segments remain.  So instead of struggling to remember, I try each day to be a better person than I was yesterday. Does it always work? NOPE!  I know with God’s help, it will.  I continue to go to meetings – I need to hear the struggles, I need to share my blind faith, I need to be surrounded by people who have been where I have been and I need to remember  “never” should not be part of my vocabulary.

Today, the credit card debt is paid off.  Today, I am trying to connect with local women in recovery.  Today, I accept I am an introvert but it does not mean I need to isolate.  Today, I know my ride & die gals who have been with me since the first night 3 years ago are just a phone call away.  Just for today, I like myself.  Today, I don’t beat myself up over the weight or how I think “I should look”.  My life is blessed in so many ways.  Yes, MS kicks my butt BUT it is not an excuse to go back to those old destructive behaviors.  Living life on life’s terms is not always easy but WE do recovery together.

Thank you to everyone who has walked these many roads with us.  We are grateful for the part you have played and continued to play in our lives.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

Entrepreneurial Think Tank for Moms, Unclutter Your Life

How Blogging Can Change Your Life

Do I have your attention???

8 years ago I took a  challenge.  If you have been reading my blog for awhile, you know the story…

I met an amazing group of women, The Entrepreneurial Think Tank for Moms (now for Woman) founded by Lynette Barberi and Vanessa Coppes.  I wanted to grow my business.  I wanted to make a difference in the lives of others.  I wanted a full-time income from my direct sales business.  The question was, was I willing to work for it?  My immediate answer was YES!  But, it meant I had to step out of my comfort zone.  Not something I was very good at and even struggle with today.  Vanessa challenged me to start blogging.  Who would want to read what I had to say?  What would I write about?  FEAR crept in but the people pleaser in me wanted to be accepted by this group of women so I was willing to do whatever it took to have what they had.

My first blog post “Bullying – The Visible vs the Invisible” was first published on March 29th, 2013.  It was probably the hardest thing I had written up until that point BUT the feedback I got was amazing!  So, I jumped in with both feet and starting writing daily for years.  When my MS flared – my memory and the words became more difficult.  I stepped back to only a few times a week then I actually stopped writing altogether.  There was only so much I could write – who wants to hear about the struggles? Was I really making a difference?  Fear and doubt crept in again.

In January of this year, I decided I would start again.  Once a week was all I could handle.  I would share some tips and on occasion write about life.  It is good for me to get things out.  I figure if my ramblings can help just one person, it is worth it. I’m stepping out in faith instead of letting fear rule in this area of my life.

I have been blessed over the last few months and despite heartache which has come from losing loved ones…. I’m feeling pretty good (minor MS stuff), my ThirtyOne business is thriving and I’m rebuilding key relationships in my life.  God has blessed me beyond my dreams.  God willing, I will celebrate 3 years clean in May.  I have stopped beating myself up (most days) for the mistakes of the past.  I actually like myself (most days) which has helped with the stress eating (not necessarily showing on the scale BUT it is okay). I have found joy in cooking (who would have thought? LOL). I’m looking forward to warmer weather and spending time with hubby working on the yard at the new house and maybe even some mini trips.

What does all of it have to do with blogging??? Probably very little except I found my voice by blogging.  The ability to share feelings which I don’t deal with very well with others. The ability to step out of my comfort zone because when I do, the magic happens.

Do you journal?  Have you thought about blogging?  Blogging has helped my business and me grow personally in so many ways.  I’m always amazed when someone in my pick bubble googles a word or something and my blog or my name comes up towards the top of the list.  If they are finding it so are others, right?  I have gained customers and insiders (aka hostesses) through the link to my blog.  Have a business?  Why not give blogging a try?  Share recipes, share tips & tricks about your products, share how to’s….. just give it a shot.  I’m grateful I took the challenge so many years ago and still do some writing.  It will not be a magic wand of instant success but it will make a difference when you are consistent – monthly, weekly, daily whatever you decide to do.  When you do start (or if you already do) share your link with us…

Here is to another year…. have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

 

Hope Inspires, Hope Wissel, Making a Difference, Thirty One Business

Thirty-One Gives

At Thirty-One, giving is part of who we are

The name Thirty-One comes from Proverbs 31, which describes a community-oriented woman who gives back and helps others. From the start, community and giving have been at the heart of every decision we make as a company. As Thirty-One grew, we realized we had the power to make a real impact in the world. So, to help us take our mission even further, in 2012 we created Thirty-One Gives, our charitable program. The mission? Empower girls, women and families to build the confidence and self-esteem needed to live a purposeful, thriving life.

Why girls, women and families?

The Thirty-One sales field is a community made up of thousands of women, and we’ve seen firsthand how the opportunity to own an independent business can change lives. We believe confident girls become strong women who lead healthy families and build thriving communities. When women are supported and celebrated, they go on to make a positive impact in the lives of others!

Since its founding, Thirty-One Gives has donated over $100 million in product and cash to charitable organizations that share our mission. From breast cancer research to children’s mental health awareness and support for military families, we’ve forged partnerships with leading national organizations that support important causes near and dear to our heart and to the hearts of our Consultants. 

Giving in action: How we give back

One way we’ve made giving a part of our everyday business is through the Round Up! program. At checkout, every Thirty-One customer has the opportunity to Round Up! their order to the nearest dollar or make a donation of any amount to support our mission. Proceeds from Round Up! benefit a different philanthropic partner each season, allowing us to spread resources and hope to different causes and proving that every cent truly makes a difference.

Between Round Up! and donations of cash and product, we’ve been able to accomplish some pretty amazing things, from donating thousands of dollars to support organizations that combat domestic violence to providing care packages for families with children in the hospital. Not to mention the thousands of fundraisers our Consultants have held to raise money and collect donations for causes they believe in.

A community with heart

Not only is Thirty-One Gives about empowering and giving back to women, girls and families –it’s about relationships. We’re only able to do what we do thanks to the passion of our entire community of Customers, Consultants, Insiders and Home Office employees. If you’ve ever bought a Thirty-One tote or hosted a party with us, you’ve been a part of our giving story. The next time you shop with us, consider rounding up to continue supporting our charitable efforts. When we all work together, we can make a huge difference.


My customers have donated over 500 chemo comfort bags, as well as zipper pouches for our troops, dialysis comfort bags, Easter baskets, Mother’s Day gifts, and supported countless families in the community.  Fundraising opportunities are available.  My next give back program is for Rooted in Love – mini zipper pouches filled with necessities to share some kindness with women who are struggling.

Thank you for helping us to make a difference.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Family

Where Does Your Strength Come From?

My strength comes from God but he gave me an amazing momma to help me along the way…..

Have you ever wondered where you get the strength to go on? Or how you can be strong when others would have thrown in the towel?

I never really thought of myself as being strong BUT I knew my momma was…….despite LOTS of struggles, she came through it.  She continues to shine even on her worst days.  She instilled a sense of faith in me very early.  I know it is her faith which kept her going on the worse days.  Despite my bad choices and in my darkest days, I knew no matter what God had his hand on me and would take care of me.  I am grateful for the lessons she taught me.

Today is momma’s birthday………..

I won’t disclose her age but she DEFINITELY doesn’t look it. The last year has been tough but she has continued to remain strong.  It is her inner strength which continues to guide her even on the hardest days.

Let me tell you a little about this AMAZING woman… I have to admit, I’m grateful for years of blogging since I struggle to remember….

Growing up, Mom was always there.  She made sure our home was always open to my friends – I mean we were the house to go to after a basketball game or when there was no place else to go.  I may not have been thrilled but I was grateful I could pick up the phone and say – I am on my way with 2, 10, 25 or more people.  The house was always stocked with snacks.  After my Junior Prom, my parents made breakfast for over 300 kids.  Yes, the parade of non-stop kids through the house was a little more than this teenager was ready for but mom stood strong.

Off to college I went and there were struggles.  Freshman year, my parents divorced and it wasn’t easy.  I was in Rhode Island while mom was home holding down the fort.  Scrimping pennies to make sure I had a home to come back to.  They were tough years but we had fun.  She often traveled to Rhode Island for a weekend where we toured the mansions of Newport, shopped in Fall River and she even camped out in my dorm room.  After college, I headed home to work locally, moving back in with mom.  We spent countless nights walking the boardwalk in Ocean Grove.  Fast forward to my move to Egg Harbor Township and more years of rough roads.  In my addiction, I admit I pulled away and mom practiced some tough love but our relationship survived the test.  Along came Belinda and in the beginning there were struggles but through it all – mom was there.  She helped emotionally, financially and physically.  Despite some differences and hiccups in the road – she was there.

When Belinda left for college and I moved to Brick, it was a rough time for both of us.  Lives changed – I had a new hubby and the one hour drive to visit in Mays Landing felt like an eternity.  Then came my relapse and again mom was there.  She was there to help me through those early rough days.  Day trips to Mays Landing were done about once a month and there never seemed to be enough time.  Juggling travel up and down the parkway, MS issues, medical appointments, and life always seemed to throw us a curve ball.

Fast forward to 2020, when after a quick unexpected sale of the condo in Brick, hubby and I moved to Mays Landing.  Finally just 20 minutes away. Grateful to spend the holidays together, cooking in our new home.  Now I can actually stop by whenever I want or help out when something is needed.

My memories may be gone but in my heart I know I learned A LOT from my mom. She taught me: how to be strong when life is rough, how to save and budget (okay, so this lesson took longer to learn),  the importance of family and about being a mom.  She reminds me to believe in myself (you would think I would know this by now).  I can honestly say my mom is one of my best friends.

When you think about your qualities – strength, perseverance, or faith – have you thought about where you got them from?  We usually think they are a result of the bumps in the road, and they do help build strong character traits. BUT our family – parents, siblings, extended family – help to shape us as well.  They are the ones who help to mold us into the person God would want us to be.  Remember to thank them.

Mom, thank you for all you have done, continue to do and or always being there.  I love you!  Hope you have a blessed birthday!

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!