You may be new to Women on Fire or you may have been a part of this ever-expanding circle for years.
I am super happy and excited to start off 2015 with you!
Women on Fire exists to celebrate or discover what you’re “on fire” about, and to provide inspiration, strategies and support to bring you more of what you want into your life.
The Spark! is your home for ideas, inspiration, and strategies — and to feel cherished and supported. Because you are!
(In addition, our monthly membership was created to super-size your experience here. See the P.S. below for a special surprise for you if you’re not yet an official member.)
Today our topic focuses on how to turn what’s been a big challenge in your life into one of your greatest gifts to the world. Your real gifts – your true purpose — are often hidden in shame or embarrassment or fear of being found out.
The irony is that it is often our pain that shapes us and makes us so very special – and can help us to help change life for others.
Take these women, for example:
Oprah is famous for sharing her great struggles (poverty, teen pregnancy, unstable home life, sexual abuse) and for transforming her turmoil into the fuel that propelled her career to greatness and beyond anyone’s imagination.
And it is true, too, for a dynamic and inspiring woman I interviewed last week — ABC News correspondent Mara Schiavocampo. You may have seen her on Good Morning America or in her last job at MSNBC.
Mara has written Thinspired, a brand-new book about her success in standing up to a nearly life-long food addiction battle to lose 90 pounds. Even if you don’t have weight to lose, you will be empowered in whatever struggle you might face by how Mara persevered to overcome her demons and become the very best version of herself.
Her life’s great challenge with weight has now become her gift to the world.
Mara’s bingeing and food addiction was at least partially set into motion by a well-intentioned relative who insisted on monitoring and regularly weighing in Mara when she was a little girl.
To confuse matters, when this precious little girl lost weight at her weekly weigh-ins, her reward was a sweet treat such as ice cream!
In our interview, Mara shared how ashamed she was for her eating habits – and also her joy at the freedom of now saying the truth of her life. And while her book has just been published, I believe she will help, inspire and influence many more people by revealing her greatest challenge than she ever would have in keeping silent even though she has a high-profile job on network television.
So, how is it for you? How can you turn your greatest challenges into your great strengths, as Oprah and Mara have done? Here are some questions to consider:
- Are you aware of the secrets you keep hidden?
- Have you overcome, worked through, healed from your challenges?
- If you told your story, who might benefit?
- If you die with your story inside of you, is that OK with you?
- What potential is locked inside of you, hiding, waiting for you to welcome it into the world?
To get clear about your obstacles, past and present, write down all of the challenges that have shaped your life. Then, make a plan to bring them positively into your life. What do you have to lose? My guess is you have everything to gain.
Have a fantastic week ahead and I am so thrilled to be on this road with you to living your most fulfilled and inspired life!
P.S. If you’re not yet an official member of Women on Fire, you are invited to join our monthly membership program where you’ll receive the interview with Mara Schiavocampo in your February membership package.