As a child, I often unconsciously focused on the good in others. I enjoyed identifying qualities that inspired me to reach for more. I was a quiet kid and very observant. I had a wonderful imagination and I was often considered different, hard to read or understand. The qualities that were once viewed as my weaknesses have served me well as an adult.

I now use my natural ability to recognize the strengths and capabilities in children. When others view them as being different, hard to understand or appear to be disconnected; I actually see a child with strong desires they’ve yet to learn how to keep up with. I see a child with profound potential and strengths they’ve yet to understand.

A parent once said to me that she’d never witnessed a person with a calm voice hold the attention of seventeen teenagers (for several classes) without having to yell at some point. Lol. Her observation of the atmosphere I foster in my classes and her inspiration to share that with me gave me the fuel I needed at the time.

Making the decision to start a nonprofit and focus my energy there was easy for me. The start-up phase was a different story. I moved in inspired action and eventually the dots connected and it continues to grow with the help of my supporters and partners. I’d always been someone who had great confidence in my ability to gain employment regardless of the economy.  Building a business was a new adventure. I learned I have talents and abilities I didn’t even know I had. The first year is kind of a blur. Building websites from scratch, creating marketing material, working while others are sleeping, seek funding, juggle meetings while also making time to volunteer, developing partnerships, dating the laptop and making the organization look bigger than it actually is. If you’ve ever started a new business you know exactly what I mean.

Every week, I gather my laptop, my projector, flash drive and class handouts. I pack up my snacks for the kids and load everything in the car. The feeling I get as I’m driving to teach an empowerment course to youth is one I can’t quite describe. It’s hard to believe sometimes that a young girl from Oklahoma City, OK., who honestly had no idea what I wanted to do as a teen, has been able to work as a professional model traveling this extraordinary planet. I’ve worked in the spa and wellness industry for two of the world’s top Forbes 5 Star management companies. I’ve had the pleasure of coaching others to help them explore their own potential in their personal and professional lives.

However, working with youth is the most rewarding experience of it all. Passing on valuable principles and methods that I’ve acquired along the way in my work and in life and watching them apply it to their life, but in their own way, is the most exhilarating feeling. Teaching them personal development, life skills, and wellness methods and observing their expansion has been priceless.

We all have unique gifts to share with the world. If we start from where we are now it will have a ripple effect. When we take the time to identify positive aspects in others we may realize how we’re all connected in extraordinary ways and we may even be inspired to reach for more.

Every Wednesday and Thursday I teach my 5-week youth empowerment program. Registration is available at www.truexpansion.org/registration or at www.facebook.com/truexpansionfoundationFeel free to view my latest blog posts.

 

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