My beautiful friend, and newly crowned Mrs. California United States, asked me to come speak to her women’s group, the Golden Rule Group or GRG, about inspiration and overcoming obstacles in life. I have never found myself to be particularly inspirational as I have simply lived my life… just being me regardless of whats been laid before me. I took Dawn up on her offer and went to Los Angeles to speak at her meeting with excitement.
Honestly, I have not been a fan of talking about my past struggles for quite some time. Domestic violence and homelessness typically elicit negative feelings from most and a look that I am all too familiar with. I took quite a bit of time thinking about what I wanted to say and how I wanted to incorporate the past into all of the amazing blessings in my present life. I was extremely nervous after all I didn't know anyone beyond Dawn. I wanted the women to see how far I have come not where I have been; after all my past doesn't define who I am it simply gave me a spring board to get to where I am.
After writing my ‘speech’ and knowing it word for word I felt prepared. When I stood up to talk, I delivered the first line before I chose to set it aside and speak from my heart to the group of women in attendance. It wasn't as hard as I had anticipated but was able to get my points across without being uncomfortable in my own skin. I was surprised to find out that many in attendance had similar experiences and handled them in different ways.
I was honored to be able to talk to them about overcoming obstacles, no matter the size, and moving forward towards the best life you can. I discussed everything from Got Your Back Heroes to pageant preparations, losing my 34 year old best friend to a heart attack just a year ago and my involvement with the American Heart Association and GoRed for Women. I was able to discuss prioritizing one’s life, because as women we tend to take care of those we love more than taking care of ourselves.
At the end of the meeting I connected with several attendee’s for upcoming events and speaking engagements. I also felt that I was able to educate many of them on the need to take care of their health and overcome adversity in your own positive and healthy way.
Thank you to the Golden Rule Group for their acceptance and openness!