Their Stories


Dear Journal: 2015 Reflection

As this year is coming to a close, and thanksgiving is coming up, I would be so ungrateful if I did not recognize my many blessings through the year. I thought this would be a perfect time to reflect as december will be just hectic christmas beast mode time. This is by no means to boast because there really is nothing to boast about when all things are given to us from above, and nothing really does belong to us they are all His for His purpose. He is the giver and taker of all, we appreciate them while we have them and also appreciate them when we don’t.

This year has been a very eventful year. Had my first baby at the beginning of the year! YAY! She was born with a bilateral cleft lip which was a complete shocker to us! This was an extremely difficult time for me because I couldn’t help but blame myself. (the hormones didn’t help either) but we managed to get over blaming my bad eating and pregnancy cravings, or random cultural superstitions and loved her like nothing else. After her birth we were blessed with paying $2000 for a little newborn!! (love the healthcare system NOT!) Then to add to that we had more costs for her surgery as well.( fun fun fun) But as I count my many blessings I am so grateful that our insurance was able to help out and she is the sweetest blessing we have received!

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After the baby was born we bought our first house. Had a fair bit of renovation work, painted the entire interior of the house and carpeted the whole house and tiled a few areas. Again I have to count my many blessings with the many people who helped us out with this project, especially my parents spending their entire vacation sanding and painting. With renting out the basement we have had to practice a minimalist style living, and I have also been able to do lots of fun DIY decor with random things around the house. I am also so grateful that we have awesome renters that are way too nice and are so awesome and pay on time!

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A big milestone for me was for the first time in my life since I started working at 15 I did not have a real job of some sort. I was officially a “Stay at Home Mother.” It was extremely difficult for me at first as I considered myself an extremely independent woman! I didn’t have to rely on nobody. Can I just say how much it is a privilege it is to be able to stay home with my little baby and watch her grow every step of the way. We have been so blessed that my husband currently has a job that is able to support us while he is studying full-time and working full-time. My whole life I had joked about being a stay home mum but didn’t actually think it was going to come true. But iI have to say that this opportunity to stay at home may not always present itself so while it is here I will enjoy it and make the most of it.

Personally I knew that I couldn’t just sit and watch movies or YouTube or reality TV shows all day. I also knew that I didn’t want to clean my house all day everyday so I managed to find an outlet to keep me feeling “busy” and somewhat productive. This is what led me to officially starting this blog. I really didn’t have an end goal with the blog as there were so many things I am passionate about. I was also way too scared to start this blog because of what people would think about me!!!!! (Isn’t that sad that we live our lives because of what people think of us.) I knew that my grammar was terrible and I didn’t even know what to write about.I also didn’t want to be “oh another blogger” But eventually I had to overcome all my self-doubt and JUST DO IT! The majority of this year you I have been just playing around with several layouts, several logos as I went through this whole process. (thanks for bearing with me) So that’s why you have probably been seeing so many random things here and there. It was just me trying to figure things out, figure who I was, figuring out my style and where I wanted to go. Eventually I rediscovered my love for topics on self-improvement and self-development. I loved studying why people do the things they do and studying people’s behaviour. I also have had several impressions to focus in on strengthening the family and family psychology.  So after a whole year of just blogging random posts, I have finally come to know my area.I feel that personal growth and family are two I know I need to learn and grow from the most  and I feel like this is where I will thrive the most.

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This past year I have grown a lot in terms of understanding and learning about my personal purpose and vision. I have set goals out financial and time freedom. I have progressed so much more than the first year with my relationship with my husband (but there’s the occasional freak out).  I am always finding ways to improve myself as a teacher, mother and an example to my daughter. I am endeavouring to enjoy quality time with my daughter being present with her just being together without phones, cameras or any technology between us trying to capture each moment. I love being a mother and love my life (cliche I know).

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In a few days I am privileged to visit my family for both my brother and sisters weddings. And baby also gets to have her first christmas with the family in New Zealand. Although our bank account has not increased whatsoever in monetary value this year we have been blessed with way more than we deserve. I am so grateful for a loving Heavenly Father who continually watches, protects and blesses us even though we don’t deserve any of it.

So with this reflection of this year there were plenty of both ups and downs. There are still many things I want to work on..  What are some of your reflections of the year behind us? What have you learnt? What do you want to avoid or repeat? Would love to hear your thoughts.

With love

Tracylesieli xo

To be continued: Vision & Goals for the New Year

 


Story of an Addict to Entreprenur

againsttheoddsThis story is a wonderful example of how can make changes in the life for the better, a story of someone fighting against the odds and overcoming trials to get where he is today. We see so many stories of tech entrepreneurs that make millions from selling their Internet technology to the big tech giants. Though these stories are inspirational, they portray an image of success that few people can actually relate to. This is the story of Mr Wickstrom. We can all learn something or may be able to relate to his story. For me I learn that we all have the potential to change our destiny, change the outcome of our situations even though it seems like all odds are against us. They are in our hands. You may be in the situation to help change somebody’s life and direct them for the better. Whichever side of the spectrum we all may be able to influence for the good somewhere somehow.

The obstacles that young people face seem insurmountable. But no matter how bad it gets, no matter what mistakes you’ve made in the past, and no matter how old you are, you can overcome anything, become successful, and lead a respectable, healthy life. I say this because I overcame my battles with addiction, a battle that raged for more than 22 years. After winning my battle, I now run one of the largest holistic rehabilitation centers in the United States and help thousands of people every year beat their addiction and start a new promising life. This is the story of how I did it and what I learned throughout the process.

My battle with addiction

At the age of 14, my girlfriend broke up with me to be with one of my best friends. Overcome with grief, I sought comfort from any source that I could find and found my first beer. Instead of facing my problems, I learned to run away from them, and soon, beer lead to vodka, which lead to cocaine. Drugs became my way to escape any problems I had with family, money, relationships, or friends.

My battle with addiction raged for more than 20 years and four different treatment centers. It wasn’t until the age of 38 that I finally hit rock bottom: I could no longer play sports, I could no longer enjoy football games, and I could no longer hang out with my friends — all because of drugs. I was ready to become sober and found Narconon, the treatment center that changed my life.

I found a higher purpose

Narconon saved my life. After graduation, I had to make a choice about what I wanted to do with my career: I could either go back to selling things (I was a terrific salesperson for GM), or I could dedicate my life to helping people. I realized that I was given a second chance at life and thus, found my higher calling: a dedication to helping people beat their addiction, just like I did.

I opened up my own Narconon center and saved more than 6,000 people throughout the course of several years. It felt great to help people and make a true difference in this world.

The non-tech entrepreneur

Throughout my time leading a rehabilitation center, I studied and learned what techniques and methods were effective, and what weren’t. I dedicated myself to my craft and developed my own course, different than any other curriculum in the industry.

Inspired and powered by my higher calling, I took a loan from the bank and started my own rehabilitation center that followed my own curriculum. Three years later, I run the largest holistic rehabilitation center in the United States that helps thousands of people every year recover from addiction and start a new life.

Lessons learned

No one is going to do it for you — you have to do it yourself.

I’ve learned that nothing great is ever handed to you in life. When it came to addiction, no treatment center could have helped me until I made the personal commitment to do it for myself. Once I made that decision, I was able to utilize my intrinsic motivation to become sober.

Similarly, entrepreneurs succeed because of hard work and determination, not because of luck or a great idea. My business has succeeded and grown because I have dedicated my life to help rehabilitate people. It’s not about the money; it’s about the lives my company saves and the positive impact we make in society.

Play to your strengths and experience.

After I became sober, I didn’t try to learn how to code and build the next Instagram; instead, I evaluated my strengths and passions and decided how I could best utilize my skills to create a product for people that I could understand and can relate to.

Early in my career, I was one of the top salespeople for GM. I utilized my sales abilities to get a loan from the bank to start my own rehabilitation center. I then utilized the same sales abilities to show people why my curriculum is different and has a better chance at helping them beat their addiction than any other curriculum in the industry. It was my abilities that got us our first patients, which allowed us to grow to where we are today.

No matter how large the obstacle, you have it in you to overcome it and succeed in life. Use my story as fuel to light your fire, overcome your obstacles, and make a positive impact in society.

croppedPerWickstrom2Per Wickstrom is the president and founder of Best Drug Rehabilitation, a rehabilitation center focused on helping people beat their addiction through holistic and natural methods. For more on addiction and recovery visit their website bestdrugrehabilitation.com.


How I became a Dream Coach

*** Featured Dream Coach Joanna Ruckenstein***

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Joanna Ruckenstein, a woman dedicated to lifting people up, wants to share her story and insight on how she fulfilled her biggest dreams starting at 36 years old.

Joanna was born in Montreal, Canada. She grew up having everything she ever wanted. Attended good schools, always had abundant food in the fridge, went on family vacations, and had a loving family.

But growing up Joanna often felt alone; like a black sheep. She also has a big heart and tried to be a good person to people. She always just wanted everyone to like her. So she lived for other people and not for herself.

In elementary & high school, Joanna was bullied & made fun of most days and came home crying. What’s worse is that she didn’t defend herself.

Through her teenage and early 20s, she lived through several romantic relationships full of lies, and men who took most of her money & time.

At 36, Joanna finally got to a point where she decided to pack it up and leave Montreal, the city of many of her broken memories. She knew there was more to life than what she had already lived, and so she sold her home to go find more.

After extensive travelling through Europe, the middle East & Asia, Joanna decided to live in Thailand. It was there that she made beautiful connections with people who were more connected to the land and the simple things in life. These people had much less material possessions than she did, but they were somehow always happy and resilient.

Two days after her 39th Birthday, Joanna fought her first pro Muay Thai fight (Thai kickboxing) at a local stadium. That experience was the catalyst that proved there were no limits in life.

Now back in Canada, Joanna works as an inspirational dream coach. She uses different approaches such as active listening but also motivational dinners & an online 11-week program called the Party 4 One to show her clients how to live every day to the fullest, build up their self-confidence and the courage to chase their dreams.

“Life is about always taking care of yourself, living with integrity and demanding respect”

Joannaruckenstein.com is in creation because Joanna sees the world needs some help.

“Today, my life’s work is specific to travelling the world, supporting and empowering all people, and helping those who can’t afford help. Being able to travel while doing this has thrilled my heart and my spirit. This is my WHY. This is what I would continue to do even if I had 20 million dollars.”

“People need to check in with themselves, chase more joy and chase their dreams. And then give more”

If you would like to follow her in her amazing endeavours visit her on facebook or twitter to get her fun updates. Be DreamQpied- Be occupied with your dreams

 

 


Interview: Actress Nikica Markot

*** Interview with London Based Actress Nikica Markot***

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1. What Inspired you to become an actress?
I have always been performing throughout school, and had a strong background in dance. My choice to turn to Acting was one that just seemed to happen. You see, I was inherently shy at school, the type of shy where talking to anybody was the most painful experience, and let’s not even get to making phone calls! However, when I was on stage and dancing, I felt like I could be anybody I wanted to be, I could be my true self and nobody could stop me. We were doing A Midsummer Nights Dream at school and everybody had to recite a monologue for an audition ~ an element new to class. I literally had sleepless nights over it, but somehow got through it and was cast as Titania. The whole experience was so exhilarating and freeing I have found that acting and theatre became so much a part of my life, that I am unable to imagine life without it!

2. What challenges have you faced? 

Acting is an enormously competitive industry, and so naturally even the luckiest of actors face enormous challenges. I am no different. To begin with, auditioning for drama school was far from a breeze for me. I audition 3 years and didn’t get a place on the straight acting courses, for some of the schools I came really close. However, it just wasn’t meant to be. So, I took a leaf out of many successful actors, and decided to make it work for me. I started looking into degree courses that incorporated acting training with other skills, and it was actually my Mum who found the course I did. The one thing I knew that was vital, was the schools reputation, and luckily I trained at one of the best; Central school of speech and drama in London. The course I did focused on training well rounded theatre practitioners that could act, write, direct and produce. This course gave me really key skills to continue in the acting industry, but again because it isn’t the traditional route it can be challenging. And acting is an industry that never stops challenging you. A huge challenge I am facing currently is moving back to the UK and re-establishing myself.Working in Korea for the past 2 years have developed my skills as an actress and director beyond my wildest dreams, but a lot of people don’t recognize the work I did out there as they have nothing to compare it to.

3. How do you overcome those challenges?

Having a strong support network is an essential tool in life, not just with acting. Without my family and friends, I can not say where my career would be right now, but I know that without them, my confidence will have been shattered. There is no way that I could go through the rejection, criticisms and set backs that I already have gone through and will do in the future without them. My mother always taught me that you have to believe, trust and love yourself no matter what. And that is something that has followed me throughout life. My teacher who cast me as Titania always used to say “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try and try again,” which I believe is a proverb by William Edward Hickson. This is something that always picks me up after a bad audition. It has given me that ruthless determination to make it through to that audition where I do land the part.
In my personal practice, I find that the stress and pressure can get too much sometimes, and so meditation and yoga have become vital components to my daily routine. I find that it allows me before an audition, to release all of that negative energy and focus on the task in hand.

4) How do you maintain a balanced life with everything going on?

Living a balanced lifestyle is really important for me. I always start my day with a green smoothie, and as much as I love my caramel macchiatos, if I need a caffeine fix on a long day I try to reach for a green tea instead. I am a huge fan of extra virgin organic coconut oil, and use it as much as I can in smoothies and cooking. As for exercise, I practice meditation and yoga everyday. I try to work out 2 or 3 times a week too. The most important thing for me is to exercise outdoors as much as possible, as I find I feel more relaxed from nature.

5. What would be your advice to others you wish to chase after their dreams?

My advice to others who wish to chase their dreams! I would say do it. Try not to think about the consequences, and if it will make you happy just following the dream, then you should go for it. Try to live life without any regrets.

If this is something you are wanting to pursue I am sure she would love to give you some tips and tricks of the trade. Stop by her website and leave her a comment or message! Go out there and be amazing!!!


5 ways to Fight Homelessness

***Sponsored Post Moolah Tube***homelessness

When ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are in the service of your God

We have all walked by a homeless person and lied that we didn’t have change in our pocket. Maybe we have walked by them and felt guilty that we really didn’t have anything to give them. Or we left the $10 bill in our wallet and gave them the $1 bill…Many a time we have been plagued with the stereotypical argument that they just want to use it for drugs and alcohol therefore making us hesitant to want to give freely and with love… But have you ever sat down and spent 5 minutes to hear their story? In my endeavors to being less judgmental I have researched some ways that I can be kinder and open to the homeless and anybody else less fortunate than I.

1. Recognize the bigger picture: We are all beggars  one form or another… Whether it’s for love, for time, for food, for money or forgiveness. We are all wanting something from somebody so put ourselves in those shoes of feeling  helpless before we make a quick remark, smirk or judgement

2. Educate yourself about them – There are so many reasons why somebody is in the situation they are in. They could have run away from abusive circumstances, they may have a mental illness, somebody who has lost their job. Talk to them and actually find out what they need some may just be in need of attention and a listening ear.

3. Be Kind – A smile or a hello is a kind gesture and can go a long way instead of just ignoring them.

4. Carry something extra – In your car during winter I generally have an extra pair of socks, gloves or a sweater that I am wanting to donate. If you are out and about that could be the best thing to give. If you have a packed lunch maybe you want to put in an extra granola bar or cookies for somebody who may be in need.

5. Volunteer – your time is something so valuable. Whether you go to a homeless shelter and help out or a soup kitchen. I have looked into this many times and they get so many volunteers during the holiday season they actually prefer that you volunteer other times when they need more help.

BONUS – Support Businesses who are trying to make a difference. Moolahtube is trying to do just that, and they are looking for your support. Watch this video to see what this awesome company is trying to do.. especially if you like sharing uploading and making videos and actually getting money for it!

Click here to show Moolahtube your support and fight homelessness!

 

Moolahtube Post.Share.Win


Creators of the Pacific

***Featured Blog***

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The Beautiful people of the pacific have amazing talent. Whether it’s singing, dancing, cooking, crafts or being crazy we seriously can do it all. Okay I may be a little bias…. Today we are featuring a awesome blog called Creators of the Pacific. This is a wonderful blog for all you people who are interested in getting into the world of YouTube!!! We all have to admit sometimes we get stuck watching video after video on YouTube and before you know it ummm you have  spent a couple of hours on YouTube instead of doing your assignment, or cleaning or doing something that was actually on your to do list.

Creators of the Pacific was founded by Erica Gayle Tacras. Her aims are to unite and ignite collaborations amongst content creators in the Pacific Rim.  Featured on this blog are a creative collective of YouTube video bloggers, artists, musicians, comedians, actors, and filmmakers. They create content that influences and impacts the masses. Right now they are mainly all from Hawaii but I am sure they would love to get many more on board. This is a beautiful initiative that I am all for supporting!

Personally I would love to see more of our talent especially from our Polynesian people, doing their thing and getting recognition for the awesome work that they do.  Whether you have been thinking about it for a long time or have just decided this would be a great idea, grab a camera and give it a go!!! We all have something that people can learn from or even to just get entertained. Yes there will always be haters and negativity wherever you go whatever you do, it’s a thing in life we all have to deal with. But don’t let other people determine your capabilities and your potential.

Creators of the Pacific have some awesome vloggers that you should check out so you can rub shoulders with and learn from their experience. If you have been thinking about vlogging or have any questions  head over to their blog and check out their videos. Or follow them on twitter :)

xo Aim for the Stars!!!!!

 


ARTea Room – Food and ART

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Because I am a lover of all things beautifully vintage and antique, I am more than happy to write up about this cute ARTea Room for food and art. I am also a lover finding and eating at unique places, not your usual big chain restaurants, (even if that means I will be just eating a muffin.) I really do enjoy going out to eat as a family especially when I am in a unique cozy and warm atmosphere.

ARTea Room has the best of both worlds, imagine enjoying the company of both your favorite things, delicious food and beautiful artwork. Here at the ARTea room you can expect amazing service, finest quality teas, light breakfast and lunches, cakes, amazing artwork by talented artists and gifts for every occasion. 
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If you have special events coming up contact ARTea Room to see how they can help you  make it perfect. If you are in the area I am sure they would love for you to stop by have to have some cake or just take a stroll and look at their beautiful artwork collection. But if England is too far from you like it is from me their facebook page is just a click away!  I’ve got my fingers crossed that one day our travels might bring us to this little corner of the world!

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PoshSoiree – Custom Party Decor

***Sponsored Post***
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I love supporting “mommy entrepreneurs” and this is just the case with this business.  It isn’t easy staying at home with baby and trying to run a side business at the same time. Some days are just so crazy hectic, all in a jumble and it feels like you haven’t made any progress. Other days you feel like superwoman, house is clean, baby is happy, and clients are satisfied with your work and if you are extra super, dinner is ready for the hubby!? (I haven’t quite made it that far but maybe one day… haha) This post is dedicated to Maninder Kaur, a mother who has turned one of her passions into a business where she expresses her creativity and love for good quality beautiful decor. p.s Looking at these pictures reminds me that I need to start planning for my babies first birthday not that she will remember it or anything, I guess it’s mainly for us, but her decor is way too beautiful to not share!!!

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The seed was planted for her to start this business began while she was pregnant with her daughter.  Once you know you are pregnant you have your work cut out for you, baby gear, baby clothes, pregnancy clothes getting the nursery ready, oh and the baby shower and that isn’t even touching the surface. But while trying to get the nursery ready for her new arrival she came across a problem of not finding good quality beautiful decor with the right colour schemes she was looking for. Luckily she was crafty herself and managed to make her own decor to the exact way that she wanted. Also ensuring that it was made with quality and love so that it could last a lifetime. She then began doing baby showers for family and friends and ran across the same problem. The rest is history she solved her problem by doing it herself and this is where we find her today.

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 I instinctively knew that I was not just selling decorations or party supplies, but hopes, dreams, and memories that would stay with these families for a lifetime.

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Maninder makes a range of party decor pieces. We have featured just a few of them. She also loves custom orders to make sure your wildest dreams come to life. So if you have a birthday party coming up, baby shower or need super cute decor stop by and visit her store.  Or even if you want to be inspired by her beautiful creations I am sure she would love to hear from you! Have an awesome day!

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BSTREETSHOES.COM – Custom Design Shoes

***SPONSORED POST***

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Galaxy Roshe NIKE

I love hearing stories of Creative Entrepreneurs getting out there and turning their passions into a reality. This is just the case with this company BSTREETSHOES.COM started by Blake Barash. Leaving your safety of full time employment is never easy, so when stories of entrepreneurs arise I see courage, dedication and perseverance.

Previously Blake had been working in the banking and finance industry but with the instability of the economy there was always uncertainty whether he would keep his job. Somehow in a struggling job market Blake managed to turn a weakness in the economy into a opportunity for him. With creative skills in graffiti art, ceramic making, painting and woodworking he had been developing Blake stumbled across an ad on craigslist by Toms. They were looking for an artist to paint custom designs on their canvas shoes. Recognizing this opportunity he seized it and since then has built a substantial portfolio of custom shoes.

BSTREETSHOES has hand-painted, completely custom Nike, Toms, Converse and Vans footwear for adults and children. Here are a few my favourite designs below… (hint hint to those who are feeling like santa)

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If you love being unique and rocking your own style you should definitely check them out. No two pairs in the world are the same. Whether you live in the Australia or USA, if you’re wearing B Street Shoes, you’re a unique individual expressing your love for custom fashion. Also if you want to see the fun things they get up to on a daily basis hit them up on instagram.  Go out there and be amazing!!!!

What are your passions you are wanting to pursue??? Comment below would love to hear from you all!!!

 


Birth of Happytalk

First blog post for HappyTalk!! (Pat on the back to myself, its about time)…. so here is the inspiration for  the name for our blog! I am a big fan of Broadway musicals and I learnt this song as a little girl. Our blog name is taken from the title of one of the songs from the musical South Pacific. This musical is set in the Hawaiian islands during World War II and the predominant theme it explores is that of inter-racial marriage which was extremely uncommon during this time. I love this song title as it describes what this blog is about, and that it also talks about and having and making dreams come true whatever they may be.  If you know musicals its a super cheesy song (but I don’t mind a little chessyness every now and then)…Anyways This song is called Happy Talk hope you enjoy it and keep dreaming.  Here is my little rendition on this song but click here for the original…Stay posted for lots more fun updates here on HappyTalk!