Monday, February 20, 2017

Hello.... It's Been A While

THE LAST TIME I WROTE

December 5th, 2016, my 43rd birthday... I wrote a blog post from a hospital room where I was with my youngest daughter. She had a random seizure and stopped breathing the day before. It was the scariest day of my life but also the most significant.


As I sat to write this revival blog post tonight, I re-read it and got moved inside all over again. One thing I LOVE about the written word is that the feelings and emotion behind them last a lifetime; each time eyes scan the page. Just like a song, you are sent back in time to a place where you once were. Sometimes we need those reminders over and over again. I was meant to read that post again tonight.

When life gets tough, it is very easy to fall into the depths of misery, of  pain, sorrow and frustration of what surrounds us. However when we allow that, we stay there and never leave. Nobody truly wants to stay, yet so many cannot escape when the storms of life consume them.


THAT DOES NOT HAVE TO BE YOU

I can't tell you what to do, I can't tell you how to live your life, but I can encourage you and tell you that this too shall pass. I can tell you that I've been there... that I am there right now and I am fighting it with everything in me to stay strong... and I will win.

You see, everyone assumes that the strong ones never have a hard time... that we can just run through without stopping. People even say it... " You are strong, you will make it through" they say it with such definite assumption that we don't need a shoulder to cry on, a hand to help us stand back up, a little push towards the finish line, that hearing those words will anger us if we are quick to respond..

WE ALL NEED SUPPORT

Life will attack you when you are on the path that you were meant for... and the closer you get to the finish line, the harder the hits will come. My only explanation is that it takes mental toughness and lots of strength to achieve greatness, to be all that you were meant to be, and so, if this is where you stand right now, know that you are in the preparation phase, so punch back harder.

You see, not everyone gets to experience these moments of growth because not all people discover their purpose in life. You may have found your purpose, don't ignore it. CHASE IT and move the obstacles and things that hold you back out of the way with a force that makes a statement.


YOU WILL NOT STOP ME!
YOU WILL NOT BREAK ME! 
I WILL CONQUER THIS TOO!


REALIZE THAT YOU MUST CHOOSE

So... life has you down, things are not coming together as you had planned... so what will you do?

You have two choices:

GIVE UP
OR
MOVE FORWARD

Give up... and you'll never move forward. Move forward and you will become exactly who you were meant to be as long as you never give up.

Time is all we have... so spend that time focusing on where you are going, not where you are. Use where you have been only as a reminder that you have already made it through so much... that you will never be there again and that you can conquer just like you did before.

I encourage you tonight to pick yourself up, wipe those tears, shed that anger, brush the dirt off your kneecaps and run against that wind. Let your hair blow and leave the past behind you. Your path awaits you and there is so much to fight for.

   xoxo
~Shells~



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Monday, December 5, 2016

What I Didn't Think Would Happen... Did

Today is my 43rd birthday... and just as I typically do each year on this day, I am reflecting on the past year of life. Today however, I am reflecting from a hospital room watching my youngest little angel peer at a television screen from her hospital bed; bandage-wrapped head.

I chuckle in reflection, as the last 3 birthday's have been kind of crappy, and at the time it was happening, that fact seemed so significant. I was so sad and upset that I did not have a special birthday celebration planned for me as I see others have had through the numerous daily social media posts, that have become part of our daily routine.

Now, as I sit here watching and wondering what is going on with my daughter after she collapsed into what seems to have been a seizure yesterday, all of this seems so silly and meaningless.

It's a birthday... a day to signify that I made it another year... so insignificant compared to this little life I am staring at.

Her life is a struggle every day. A struggle to communicate what her mind is thinking, a struggle to get through day after day, a struggle to "fit in" and be accepted as a "typical" human being when she is not typical. Yet she does it with a big smile and a sweet disposition.

My Daughter Brie, has Down syndrome, and what an inspiration she is.

This little angel has changed so many views for me... she is a constant reminder that life is not that hard to get through unless you MAKE it hard. You can choose to smile, and keep going or you can choose to be resentful and give up. On the days that I get upset and frustrated by the things that surround me and the obstacles that I face... her smile is always there to remind me not to sweat the small stuff.

Yesterday was a scary day. She collapsed, stopped breathing and was not responsive for what seemed to be an eternity, although it was about 20 seconds. I panicked, and in that moment as I stared at her pale face and blue lips, I realized how precious life truly is in a way that I never wanted to experience.

What I didn't think would ever happen, did.

I saw a  precious little life flash faintly in front of me. I thank God that it was only for mere seconds, and not for eternity.

In those seconds as I watched my lifeless daughter, I was numb. My eyes frantically scanned the scene for my 14 year-old daughter and my 8 year old son; who is also her best friend.  Frightened with what was happening, I watched them completely fall apart. The fear in my son's face as he screamed in terror, is something that my mind will never erase. It was the worst few moments of my life thus far, yet it taught me the most significant lesson I have ever learned.

We must never take life for granted. We must celebrate every single day, NOT just once a year, and that celebration should simply consist of thankfulness for the life we have, even if it's not the one we want. We breathe, therefore we live.

My mom was there with us and stayed calm in the craziness, holding and hugging Brie as she came out of the episode that had occurred before our eyes. Mom was my rock, as she always has been as I dialed 911, fingers trembling, mentally praying and hoping that all would be okay.

I am happy to say that today, my little angel seems to be okay. Although her head is bandaged as her brainwaves are being observed to be sure that this seizure was a one time episode, I am blessed with a resilient little girl who is still trying to smile through yet another day in her life.

I am thanking God for life, not just mine but for hers. So quickly life can be taken.

As I tucked my son into bed at home last night, while my mother was with Brie at the hospital, he asked me if he could talk to me about why he got so scared. His voice trembled and he choked up as these words escaped his mouth...

"Mom, I was so scared when Brie stopped breathing because she is the only person who is always there for me when I am sad or upset. She always hugs me and kisses me when I cry and she plays with me when nobody else will. It's like she knows exactly how I feel all the time. If she wasn't here, I wouldn't have her to make me smile."

Tears rolled down my face in complete understanding of what he meant, as I hugged him tight and assured him that his little sister was going to be okay.

She has touched so many with her precious little life.

So what did I learn?

It is not the birthday celebration that matters, it is what actually happened in the year of life you are celebrating. It is about what you went through that changed you, formed you, and grew you as a person, mind, body and spirit. Those are the things that truly matter and hold the most significance. We are to celebrate that which we overcome, the days that we never give up, and the ability to smile even when we don't understand it all.

Today, I am blessed. My 43rd birthday is beautiful. It is a day, just like every other day to celebrate the wonderful joys that I have and have had in the past; I sit now watching one of them get through another day, now, resting peacefully despite what surrounds her.

Sure, it's nice to feel loved and celebrated on your "special" day, however I realize even more now that celebrating and loving life itself is so much more significant than a nice dinner and birthday cake. Perhaps that is what God was trying to show me through this.

So... I encourage you today, to celebrate your life WITHOUT cake.


Until next time....PURSUE WHAT YOU HOPE FOR; LEAVE BEHIND WHAT YOU WISH TO FORGET.... 


                          xoxo, Shells

mother-author-speaker-mentor




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Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Just Imagine If It Had Been You...

So, it is late on this Sunday night... I just wrapped up my live broadcast on Facebook. My topic tonight was self belief and self esteem. Considering I was competing with Sunday night football, I felt blessed to have a great turn out and must admit I was surprised that many viewers were men that I thought would have been watching the game. (Ha!)

Being that Mondays are the day that I typically write and post my inspirational/motivational blog, here I sit now, carefully considering my topic of choice, but even more so, the approach I am taking with it,

because...

it also happens to be September 11th, a day that is likely the most memorable day in American History. A day that even if I wanted to forget, I could never do so with exposure to every tweet, snap, Instagram and Facebook update that harshly reminded me this morning with photos of the explosion, and wreckage, and with profile avatar's changing to a temporary skyline of the twin towers.

All of these reminders are why I chose to stay silent, to NOT to post a "Remember 9/11" update. It is why I did NOT go live about 9/11, and also why I am choosing to post this blog on Tuesday instead of my usual Monday. It was out of RESPECT that I chose to separate myself from the "norm" once again because I tick a bit differently. As a person who is now "expected" to  voice an opinion with a comment, blog, or live broadcast on controversial issues and current events, I guess you could say that I rebelled today.

Just imagine for a minute, that YOU lost someone in that horrific tragedy; maybe you actually did... perhaps it was your son, brother, father, grandfather, uncle, daughter, sister, mom, grandmother, aunt, spouse, or best friend. As if the daily reminders would not be enough... like the empty seat at the kitchen table during breakfast, or the perfectly fluffed pillow that you now lie awake staring at that once embodied the one person who brought you so much happiness.

Then, on a day when all you'd like to do is get away from the reminders, you can't. You can't even jump online for mindless leisure knowing that it will be smothered with reminders, pictures and memories of the moment in your life that stands still.

How would YOU feel?


SO... I STAYED SILENT

Grief is something that I am all too familiar with, I know how much it hurts, the void it leaves, and how it never goes away, but merely morphs into a new layer of pain. Today... I thought of those that grieve not only on this day, but every time they wake up, and so I remained silent today out of respect for those who REALLY won't forget.

Social media is truly a necessary evil. It has connected so many of us and has SO many positive effects, yet still... in a crazy world where nothing seems private and nothing goes unsaid, we CAN choose to be a little different, a little more respectful, and a little less loud when we need to.


We will always remember, we will never forget. But let us also never forget, the daily grief, broken hearts and empty feelings, or the fact that some people WANT to forget that day and the pain that comes with every single reminder we post.


Until next time....

PURSUE WHAT YOU HOPE FOR; LEAVE BEHIND WHAT YOU WISH TO FORGET.... 


xoxo

Shells












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Monday, September 5, 2016

Once The Dust Settles...

The dust has settled from a busy week of trying to get nestled into a temporary space until the construction is complete on our new place. I figured I better not miss my Monday morning blog post.

BREATHE RELAX AND WRITE...

This is what I told myself on this Labor Day weekend. It is Sunday night, the first Sunday of football season, and my first Sunday living back in Florida.

I have had a great first week, excluding Wednesday; my first full day back. Not really sure what happened that day, but my emotions took over and a tremendous feeling of overwhelm got hold of me. Do you find it crazy how one simple thought can lead into a tornado of emotions, and how those emotions can completely overtake you in a moment? It happens to all of us, as strong as I am, it happens to me, so you are not alone.

Do you ever have moments when your whole life plays in your head like a movie in a matter of minutes, and as your movie ends in the present moment you are in, you wish it would just keep playing to show you what's ahead?

IF WE COULD ONLY SEE...

Life would be so much easier if we could just SEE the future. Think of the choices we would make, the people we would go see, the excuses we would no longer have and the purpose we would find in each day. It would be amazing, wouldn't it?

So...

Why don't you just pretend that you CAN see that future? Go ahead, picture the things that you want to happen... and know that EVERY choice and EVERY decision you make from here on out will have everything to do with making them happen. Then realize that your clock is ticking... How much more would you do if you TRULY adopted that mindset? How much would you do tomorrow if you woke up and realized that you only had 24 hours left?

After all, this IS how life works right? Of course it is, we just don't consciously think of it that way.

For the past several months, I have spread myself very thin, so much has been on the brain, and trying to make so many decisions all at once has paralyzed me in many ways.

I needed peace and clarity again... and this week, despite the many things that surrounded it, I believe a little clarity came back. Wisdom was gained through deep thought processes and getting my groove back is on the forefront of my goals.


REALIZATION

There are times in our lives when we have to enter chaos to experience peace. We have to feel overwhelmed to realize that we need to calm down, and we must feel lost to find ourselves once again. Adversity, as we all know, is a chance to grow, but it is also an opportunity to realize things... to discover more about who we are and what we are made of. Without confusion, we would never know clarity. It's just par for the course.


AS THE DUST SETTLES MORE AND SETBACKS DIMINISH

The next few weeks will require more patience,.. more of finding my groove again, and although I can't say I feel 100% ready for it all, I can say that I am better today than I was yesterday. I am more level in my head than I was a week ago and I am ready to tackle what lies ahead of me. I may not be ready to conquer the world again like I once felt I was, but I know in a matter of time... as I jump life's hurdles one by one and celebrate the small victories, I will be ready to conquer the world once again and I hope that the world is ready for me  when that happens.

Until next time....

PURSUE WHAT YOU HOPE FOR; LEAVE BEHIND WHAT YOU WISH TO FORGET.... 


xoxo

Shells













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Monday, August 29, 2016

You Can Overcome It!

Ahhh.. that calming sound of piano music twinkling through the headphones as I type; one of my favorite times to myself is when I write.

It is healing, cleansing and always seems to remove heaviness I feel in my mind. It's why I choose to sit and write when that feeling comes on... when I feel weight that needs to lift. I feel that is when God is telling me " Sit Shelley, sit, type, and inspire... sit to pour out what so many others feel but never share, what they wish to overcome but can't."

I simply obey, even when reluctant, and well, tonight is one of those nights.

I am feeling anxious tonight, scared a little and confusion in some areas of life are pretty strong. I know I will be okay, some answers have already been revealed, but I am human, after all, and my life is a puzzle that is still incomplete.

I am sure some of you have times in life when you sit back and think WHY??? Why is this happening to me? WHEN? When will life get easier, less complicated and more stable?

Just know....

You are NOT alone. There are other people exactly where you are in this moment, where you've been in the past and even where you will end up in the future. It's a journey that you MUST live out, you mustn't give up... a path that was paved for you a long time ago and it has a happy ending. I know this first hand and no matter how hard the blows, I KNOW that I was placed here to carry on, to be strong in my walk and stronger in my faith and I am also supposed to share it all with you.

Although my personal life is something I like to keep semi- private, I have been dealing with some things personally that seemingly made no sense. It seemed like another hiccup in life, and I am REALLY over the hiccups. How many more blows can I take? I often think. However, then I am reminded that the hiccups in my life have been the exact things that have revealed the real me... they have pushed me to grow in heart and in faith. I am thankful, and appreciative of them.

In times like this, I remind myself of where the hard times led me. It helps. It reminds me how far that I have come, and gets me excited of the journey ahead.

Life is tough, and then it gets tougher. But if you hang on through these storms in your life, the rewards will be sweet, and will get sweeter with each struggle you overcome.

YOU ARE AN OVERCOMER!

So... that is my message for you tonight. it is pretty short, and pretty simple, but behind it lies strength to overcome, strength to push through, faith to guide you and hope to help you know that YOU CAN MAKE IT THROUGH.

Please know that the world needs you... you are significant even when you feel so small. And when nobody else loves you, GOD does. He is there, He has been there for me through many tearful moments; He is there for me right now in this moment, and He is there for you too. If you need His strength all you have to do is ask for it, and also ask for patience.... because trust me when I say, you will need a lot of it as you push through this life. But eventually... one day this life will be over and what matters then is who you were and what you did for others. Nothing more.

His timing is the VERY best timing, I promise. TRUST in it and carry on with a smile just like I strive to do each and every day.



Until next time....

PURSUE WHAT YOU HOPE FOR; LEAVE BEHIND WHAT YOU WISH TO FORGET.... 


xoxo

Shells











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Tuesday, August 9, 2016

This Whirlwind We Call Life

Tonight as I sit and type this late Monday night blog, I am filled up with thoughts, including how life is such a whirlwind of events, emotions, thoughts and actions. It's quite amazing really, how we toggle through each and every day, without falling asleep from pure exhaustion before it's over.

For those of you who are old enough to remember the Dunkin Donuts commercial years ago, where the little dude would come in every morning half asleep and say "time to make the donuts", life has seemed that way at times for me, does it ever feel like that for you?

(For those of you who have NO idea what this commercial reference is... just Google it! Ah the power of search engines for the young ones)

Anyway... back to where I was, life is sometimes robotic, monotonous, and simply put, boring. This is why we must CREATE some excitement into each day to keep from being bored to death. My "creations" are often looked at as CRAZY... because I do things that keep me busy... excited... but they are not necessarily what the "world" finds exciting. I set goals and go after them.

When I rewind the past 11 months of my life, I am amazed that another year has gone by... time really doesn't sit still. In fact, it moves at lightning speed right before our eyes, which is why we truly must make the best of every single day. We must be certain to do some conscious things in the midst of all the unconscious behavior.

What is your life like? Is it calm or crazy? Predictable or spontaneous? I must say, that mine had become a bit predictable as I shifted my career focus into achieving a life- long dream, and moving to a new state. I had to get into a new routine, and routine is often a necessary part of success. However, over the past several months, many changes have occurred, some challenges have reared their ugly head, causing me to suit up and fight some battles. However in the fight, I also gained some victory and all of it has led me to yet another whirlwind... an unexpected twist in my journey.

In just one short month, on the 1 year anniversary of my exciting move to Charlotte, NC, for a new beginning, I am moving back to Tampa. Not because life did not work here, it has actually been amazing, I have made some great friends and business connections that I intend to keep, and have loved my home and neighborhood. However, let's just say that a person in life challenged me and instead of fighting it I made the decision that perhaps I still have work to do in Tampa. Funny, that in the middle of what seemed to be a negative thing, positive light began to shine through.

I have heard and even experienced a "break" from something, only to pick it back up later and try it again and been incredibly successful. That is how I am choosing to look at this unexpected journey back to a place that I said goodbye to a year ago.

Although bittersweet, this move has purpose, just as the move to NC did. I stay faithful that this purpose will be revealed in bright light, so that I won't be confused as to what that purpose is. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't nervous, because I am... however each and every moment leads you to the next. So sometimes, despite your fears and uncertainty, you just have to accept it and claim it.

I am looking forward to seeing what lies ahead, I have changed a lot in one year. The growth that I have experienced as a human being... in my soul, faith and heart have made this experience SO worth while. I embrace the journey ahead, I know it will leave me with more stories to tell!

One day though, I hope to feel more settled... to live a life that is more calm, and hope I don't find that boring.  I really do close my eyes often to dream of the day when I will be sitting on my back porch, overlooking a beautiful lake in the mountains, crisp air wrapping me like a warm blanket, sipping a cup of coffee, reading a good book and thinking to myself...

"Yep, this is what I worked for. That whirlwind I call my life was worth it."


" When you wake up and your reality is no longer a dream... you know that your dreams have become your reality." ©Shelley Giard 2016



Until next time....

PURSUE WHAT YOU HOPE FOR; LEAVE BEHIND WHAT YOU WISH TO FORGET.... 


xoxo

Shells






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Monday, August 1, 2016

Your Soul Will Come Alive When You Go After Your Dreams

Tonight is my typical blog night. I missed posting last Monday because it was my first night "Going Live" on FB  and I had to prepare. It was pretty cool, a new learning curve and pretty successful. It's a hard decision to make these days, with all the ways to reach people, exactly which ones to use. So... I do what I feel most people with some sort of influence do... I use them all. Some people like to read, others would rather watch, and I want to reach them all.

I am not really sure with all that is roaming around in my head tonight what to share, but I prayed about it and simply asked God to give me some words that someone needs to hear. When I have drawn blanks before and asked that of Him, some of my best stuff has been delivered, so let's see what comes out of this. I will just tell a story of something that happened today and let it flow. It touched me and perhaps it will touch you too.

Pain is a funny thing, we often hide it inside as to not call attention to ourselves or our troubles, yet in my life, I have witnessed many times that letting it out and sharing a painful moment touches lives, helps us connect, and lets us inside one another's hearts. In all that, change often happens, positive change, life-changing change It's cool, and has a lot of impact; at least on me.

Some of you know that I am in the planning stages of my life long dream... building a massive mentoring community called The S. Giard Group, whose goal is nothing more than to impact the lives of everyone involved and to change the way people look at personal and professional growth.

Our mission is to help EVERYONE involved, no matter how much or how little to manifest what ALL of us have inside. To rid ourselves of the things that hold us back.

This goal is something that has been in my head for a long time, about 11 years, actually. For the past 7, I have been mapping out how I would build it and run it. For the past two I have been piecing it together and now I am filling the pipelines. It is the most influential endeavor I have ever attempted.

I am excited and thrilled that I am now in the stage of adding mentors... finding the very people that will help me run this and make it a reality. With that being said, I have been interviewing people over the past several months and it has been a great process.

Today, I met with a lady that I was introduced to by one of my newest mentors, Ken, who is on the leadership and accountability team. The three of us met for coffee and she and I began to get acquainted. It came time for me to present my company and all that I have planned for it to this new contact. After I presented the whole concept and all that we were about, she was wowed. She shared personally with me a little bit about her son and as she did, she became very emotional coming to tears and said "If my son would have had something like this to plug into, his life would have been very different. This is really great Shelley and I would love to be part of this!"

I knew, in that moment, that I wanted her on my team.

You see, there is something to be said about a genuine soul, one that is not afraid to share, not afraid to cry. One that has been through their own experiences and KNOWS the value of having something, someone to plug into. A soul that KNOWS what self improvement and self discovery can do for your life. It was an awesome moment and I am looking forward to welcoming someone with a business degree as well as a masters in the Psychology field on the team.

Things are coming together. It is exciting, and no matter how long it takes to build this dream, I will push on despite the people who may think I am a crazy, far-fetched dreamer. They are right, I am. I am likely as FAR-FETCHED as they come. But, so were Walt Disney, Hans Christian Anderson, Dr, Seuss, Colonel Sanders and Ray Croc, just to name a few. They went for YEARS being broke to go after their dreams. They were relentless on the emotional roller coaster it is to go after a dream. However all of them, ALL of them reached their goal, fulfilled their dreams, changed lives and lived to see it happen.

For those who gave up... we can't say that. We don't know what may have happened if they had stuck it out just a little while longer. They died defeated, and likely worn out by the cruelty of a life without dreams and goals. A life that most people lead...

Is that the life you lead?

I am ALWAYS preaching on dreaming big and going after them and I will preach this till the day I die. If you are going to follow me, get used to it, or politely say good bye and know that I wish you lots of success and happiness.

As my tag line goes, "I am the girl that will tell you that you CAN when everyone else says you can't."

If you need that, I am here to plug into. I am here for you to share with others who need an outlet.

Today... I was moved by a tearful moment when someone felt that my company could have changed her son's life, THAT was so encouraging and it's little moments like that from a complete stranger that keep me going sometimes. That's two in the past several days... God knew I needed that encouragement and delivered it right on time.

I hope that somehow, these words stirred something inside of you. KNOW that I believe in you and want to help you in any way that I can. Reach out, anytime to the email below and I will help you find your voice and your way.

Email: TheSGiardGroupTeam@Gmail.com
Subject Line: Blog Reader

Be AWESOME, Dream BIG and don't let anything stop you.

"The past is the inspiration to the story, the days ahead are the painting... remember that you hold the brush to create it. Now go make it a masterpiece." ©ShelleyGiard

Until next time....

PURSUE WHAT YOU HOPE FOR; LEAVE BEHIND WHAT YOU WISH TO FORGET.... 


xoxo

Shells






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