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      News & Press — maja arnold

      Lean Into GOD and Community to Carry You Through

      Lean Into GOD and Community to Carry You Through

      After losing her Army Green Beret husband in combat, 2018 Military Spouse of the Year Krista Simpson Anderson found strength and courage to continue raising her two boys by leaning into her faith in GOD and her community.

       

      The weekend she was notified that he had been badly injured from an IED attack, she still showed up to the small spouse group that had hosted by the spouse of her husband's commander. She knew if ever there had been a time she needed to be there, it was then. And those women continued to show up for her.

       

      Today, her mission is to “find a need and fill it.” And so her nonprofit, The Unquiet Professional (TUP), was born out of both gratitude and grief after the death of SSG Michael H. Simpson. Krista says that the support she received from her community inspired her to do more. She now serves surviving families, veterans, and their families by providing healthy and empowering opportunities to heal from the wounds of war.

       

       

       

      She shares that her biggest highlight and success over the last eight years has been impacting thousands of lives through TUP’s focus on mental health, empowerment, and strengthening families.

       

      “We have had our ups and downs, but we have always been able to make a difference in the lives of others, while trusting ‘we are where we are meant to be,’” she says. “I am so proud of the incredible individuals who work so hard to help me carry on Mike’s legacy. I could never do it alone, and I have never had to.”

       

      Krista has since remarried another Green Beret, and believes it is important to offer support to other spouses who have remarried because their journey is one that is unique.

       

      “I am proud of these individuals who have lost their loved ones and had the courage to move forward,” she says. “I know the ray of emotions and challenges that come along with that decision can be difficult. But I also know what a gift it is.”

       

       

      Through her most challenging days, Krista has found that her desire to use the life GOD has chosen for her to make a difference for others is what continues to drive her. Every day she seeks to be the person for someone else that she needed at the beginning of her journey.

       

      “I want to be there for them through their darkness and continue to be there, encouraging them along the way, when the light does finally begin to peek back in,” says Krista.

       

       

      Another driving force for Krista is to maintain the legacy of her late husband that she is passing down to her boys. They were so young when he passed, that she and her husband make a daily vigilant effort to keep his presence in their home. Her oldest son expressed to her at age 4 how much he loves that TUP reminds him of his daddy, because he never wants to forget him.

       

      “I get this amazing opportunity to impact the lives of others while sharing Mike’s life with the world, praying that I can also show my kids what a gift it is to serve others,” she says.

       

      If you would like to be featured in Maja Arnold's "WOMEN UPLIFTING WOMEN" blog, please contact us at kristin@elisely.com for an editorial inquiry. This blog was created to inspire, uplift and empower women globally to step through adversity to LIVE a KIND & HAPPY life full of HOPE, FAITH & GOD.

      Shining a Light Through Acts of KINDness

      Shining a Light Through Acts of KINDness

      Since launching Women Who Do Wonders International (WWDWI) last December, Pamela Bolado has been on a mission to increase global participation through lifelong learning of philanthropy and humanitarian development. 

      WWDWI is an exclusive community membership platform built by women to unite, support, and amplify the power of female entrepreneurs, mission-driven community leaders and philanthropists working to improve the lives of women and children around the world. At its core, WWDWI is about KINDness.

       

      "I have had a long road to where I am today," says Pamela. "Since launching, I have met the most extraordinary worldly women, connected with mission-driven organizations and continue to brainstorm how to utilize my platform for greater good."
      Her highlights have been pitching for the first time on the "2-Minute Drill," which recently featured on Amazon Prime. Through her pitch, WWDWI was awarded the JA Worldwide Impact Award. 
      Pamela also had the opportunity to showcase her magazine, Wellness & Wisdom, and nonprofit, Mission Wonder Women, at the 2020 DPA Oscars Gifting Suite in LA.
      "I have a big vision for WWDWI," Pamela says. "This next year, my goal is to increase visibility globally, grow our community, and build a strong Ambassador program." 
      The Android and ios app, launching this fall, will provide an alert system for women-founded nonprofits to gain worldwide access, visibility, and assistance from mission-driven entrepreneurs, philanthropists, and corporations. Also launching this fall is Pamela's Fired Up For Fearless Challenge in support of mental health and wellness.
      "In five years, I see WWDWI gaining the exposure I worked hard to achieve and spreading its wings with chapters all over the globe," she says.
      By trade, Pamela is an award-winning esthetician who has spent 23 years supporting women in many different ways. After becoming a military spouse, she created her first event for women of the military in 2018. It was then that she found deep purpose in supporting women who deserve recognition. 
      In launching her magazine during the pandemic, she was able to build a global platform to spotlight inspiring women when it was needed most. And shortly after, she launched WWDWI.
      "I knew it was time to spread my mission even further and try to make even just a small impact in the lives of women and children through my community, connections and hard work," says Pamela.
      On her hardest days, she has found it most helpful to stay focused on weekly and monthly goals that fuel her fire, whether they be big or small. "Every little achievement motivates me to keep going," she says. "Knowing that I can make even the smallest impact is more than enough motivation."
         
      "I purchased Maya's gorgeous KIND necklace last year," Pamela says. "I receive so many compliments on it. KINDness is what we all need. Speaking of KINDness, let's all do one random act today and everyday. Spread the word!"
      If you would like to be featured in Maja Arnold's "WOMEN UPLIFTING WOMEN" blog, please contact us at kristin@elisely.com for an editorial inquiry. This blog was created to inspire, uplift and empower women globally to step through adversity to LIVE a KIND & HAPPY life full of HOPE, FAITH & GOD.

      LIVE Your Best Life: You Are Enough

      LIVE Your Best Life: You Are Enough

      Feeling as though we aren’t good enough… for one reason or another… is a struggle common to the female journey. And in those weak moments, it feels impossible to believe that the only person holding us back is ourselves.

      But what if we’re wrong? What if we are enough… simply because we just are? What if the power to LIVE the life of our dreams is already within us?

      Teen author Kelen Tamurian says she has wasted many years on striving for perfection. But there was always something she felt that she could have done better. There was always something to criticize. She just never felt good enough. Not her grades – even though she is an honor student – not her ability to play the sports she loved, and not her body.

      “We LIVE in a society where more is better, and perfection is the object we are told to obtain,” says Kelen. “I compared every inch of myself to what I thought I should look like, act like, and be like. I spewed words of hatred towards my body that carried me through everyday life, and I ridiculed myself for missing that one point on my math test because I thought I should’ve been able to get that perfect score. I thought I needed it to be smart, worthy, and valuable.”

      And so, Kelen wrote SIMPLY Not ENOUGH, a fictional novella that encapsulates the journey of a teenage girl who learns to accept that she is good enough, simply because she is.

      Kelen says through writing her book, she too began to tell herself that her worth did not depend on any outward appearance or trait that she possesses. Her worth depends simply on the fact that she exists, that she has a heart that beats to LIVE the life she chooses and is open to giving and receiving love. She recognized that she is enough, simply because she is. No questions asked.

      “My role as a teen author and teen mental health advocate has completely changed my life, for the better,” says Kelen. “As I was gearing up to write my novella, I realized that women feel this need to shrink themselves to fit into society, a tight pair of jeans, or that standards that others have set for them. I recognized that it was time to stand up and stand out.”

      Our journeys to self-love and self-acceptance begins in our thinking, because how we think about ourselves dictates our realities and our relationship with ourselves, says Kelen. It determines the life we LIVE.

      For this reason, Kelen started a movement called “Simply Enough,” geared towards empowering young women to show up as their highest selves by understanding the value of their presence and the importance of their worth. Through sharing personal experiences, exploring the topics of Kelen’s book, SIMPLY Not ENOUGH, and building a community of women that lift each other up and support each other in times of need, “Simply Enough” strives to change the way young women show up in the world.

      “Simply Enough” provides its members with the tools they need to fully begin to accept themselves as they are through meditation, journaling, body-acceptance, and body-neutrality. They learn how to connect to their inner wisdom and how to heal their past traumas, and most importantly they learn to respect their personal journey without judgment for what it looks like compared to the community members around them.

      This high school community has over 40 members based in Washington, and is growing every day. Kelen’s vision is to take her community global.

      “I feel that in order to heal and truly come to a place of acceptance for the self, you have to be open to choosing to LIVE your life differently,” says Kelen. “You have to be willing to incorporate new positive habits into your life that will foster change in your thinking about yourself.”

      Kelen says her generation struggles with negative social media impacts, which creates a toxic place of comparison that can further contribute to feelings of not feeling good enough. And so, Kelen plans to continue advocating for teen mental health and spreading her messages of self-love and self-acceptance through her Instagram page.

      “You have the power to determine your own reality, you have the power to believe in yourself,” she says. “But it will not always be as easy as just deciding that you are good enough. You will have to consciously and continuously work to change your thinking, your habits, and your relationship with yourself, as well as your mind and body. This may sound scary and overwhelming, but it is also exciting and invigorating to know that you are the creator of your own destiny. You are the one who gets to decide how you want to show up in the world and that is a pretty special thing if you let it be.”

      Kelen is now a high school senior. Through her continued hard work, she recently received the College of William and Mary Leadership Award and is a finalist for the RevolutionHer Youth Community Vision Award. Through her school, she has also received the English Department Award twice, Jesuit Grad at Grad requirement honor, and is co-president of its National Honor Society chapter.

       

      If you would like to be featured in Maja Arnold's "WOMEN UPLIFTING WOMEN" blog, please contact us at kristin@elisely.com for an editorial inquiry. This blog was created to inspire, uplift and empower women globally to step through adversity to LIVE a KIND & HAPPY life full of HOPE, FAITH & GOD.

      Healing Trauma Through KINDness

      Healing Trauma Through KINDness

      Being brave creates a ripple effect that can change the course of many lives. And, it begins by being KIND enough to meet ourselves where we are in our life journey, says Canadian police officer and Brave Inspires Brave founder Heather McWilliam. 

      Being KIND also elevates us to a higher consciousness of compassion to meet others where they are, says Heather. Even when we don’t have all the pieces to understand what obstacles they may be currently facing.

      For Heather, her drive to promote activism and KINDness came from a place within herself to ignite the light to serve her highest purpose of inspiring others to brave their best life. She says this is about fully stepping into our voices, especially through adversity and fear.

      In her case, this meant standing up to a police system that had failed to respect her rights of safety from sexual harassment and assault. As she was told it would be impossible to win her court case, she chose to bravely walk into the darkness to shed light on this grave injustice.

      Her court case went on to become a Landmark Human Rights case that brought forward awareness in police culture, women’s rights, disability rights and police corruption throughout Canada.

      Heather says that for her the ripple effect of being brave had an impact far greater than she ever could have imagined. She has witnessed how her bravery has inspired so many others to bravely serve their own truths as they choose KINDness to themselves by honoring them.

      Today, Heather’s organization, Brave Inspires Brave, advocates for women’s rights, disability rights, mental health, and human rights as it relates to the effects of police harm within police organizations and communities through its partnerships with experts in law and policing, oversight bodies, investigators, researchers, mental health experts in trauma and PTSD, gender specialists, empowerment coaches, military survivors and leaders, health and wellness coaches, and many others.

      However, this journey was not an easy one for Heather. Even after fleeing from her home in Ontario, she continued to be threatened, stalked and hacked. A community sworn to protect and defend made her feel afraid, abused, and betrayed.

      Today, she works to heal from C-PTSD and other mental health injuries.

      Heather believes that survivors of trauma are especially resilient, their experiences are valuable, and together they are stronger.

      “I didn’t want to live in fear and be ashamed of my mental health injury, so I treated it with the mindset of an athlete,” says Heather. “I realized I needed to train my mind and body to overcome the trauma.”

      In doing so, she realized that she needed to be KIND to herself, as healing became her new full-time job during her temporary leave of absence. But Heather says she needed these lessons to continue to serve and protect others through her injury.

      "I am not my injury,” she says. “I am not what happened to me. But I am the hero I need to be to survive and thrive, and with that I am able to love myself more than I ever could have imagined. I strive to always see the beauty in all of us. Our weaknesses can become our superpowers if we learn to master them.”

      Choosing to be KIND to yourself, by rising above it all is worth the fight when it allows you to find yourself, says Heather.  She now sees the world as a journey to learn necessary lessons for us all to become our highest selves.

      “Through the darkness, we must continue to reach for the stars,” she says. “To brave our best, to choose love over fear, and to tune in to allow for all that our purpose is calling of us.”

       

      If you would like to be featured in Maja Arnold's "WOMEN UPLIFTING WOMEN" blog, please contact us at kristin@elisely.com for an editorial inquiry. This blog was created to inspire, uplift and empower women globally to step through adversity to LIVE a KIND & HAPPY life full of HOPE, FAITH & GOD.

      Have FAITH to Follow Your Dreams

      Have FAITH to Follow Your Dreams

      Diving into entrepreneurship is terrifying. With the inevitable failures and second-guessing and learning as you go, it is quite possibly the most challenging role any woman could ever take on.

      It tests all that you’re made of. And exposes all that you’re not. It takes a lot of FAITH.

      Just like being a mom does. Especially when you’re the mama to a child with special needs.

      A little over a year ago, Kristin Bentley left a position as an executive creative for a startup – that gained such visibility it acquired contracts with Fortune 500 companies such as Hilton and US Foods – having FAITH that launching her own company, Elisely, would open new doors to a career path full of passion and purpose.

      Weeks later, the state of Washington was quarantined. And a few months after that, Kristin’s now five-year-old son was diagnosed with moderate ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder).

      She says the diagnosis didn’t come as a surprise. At three years old he could build a vortex out of large cardboard IKEA blocks and explain in broken speech how they form. And categorize a deck of dinosaur cards by the periods they lived in and what they ate. But, he also ate the drywall in his bedroom and would wander from the house if he thought no one was looking.

      Even though Kristin already knew it in her heart that her son was affected by autism, it didn’t make it any easier to accept. She says it took her and her husband a few months to process what it meant for their son’s future.

      “The hardest part, as a parent, is accepting that what your child’s future might look like is now a little different than how you’d envisioned,” she says. “Of course, you still want the best for them. But you have to modify what that now means and have FAITH in your ability to embrace it.”

      2020 was a year full of pivoting, personal growth and required self-care for all of us. Most of us found ourselves juggling a new balancing act of working from home, overseeing our children’s education as they transitioned to virtual learning, and struggling to maintain our own mental health needs.

      For some of us, the last year wasn’t much different than others. The juggling act of working from home and overseeing the education and weekly therapy of a child with special needs often comes with tears of both joy and heartache.

      Sometimes, the only thing that gets you through your day is pure FAITH. FAITH in yourself, FAITH in your partner, and FAITH that you are not failing your child.

      Today, Elisely Co is a creative agency that assists aspiring authors and a publishing company with a global platform for those looking to launch a magazine or book. Together, they power an online teen community of creative leaders that provides mentorship through the collaborative creation of Teen Creative Magazine, a quarterly digital and print magazine read in over 19 countries that globally raises the voices of GenZ.

      “Everyone has a story,” says Kristin. “We all experience hardships. Every single one of us. And when we’re struggling we often isolate ourselves and don’t speak up, because in that moment we feel vulnerable and raw. It takes a lot of courage and FAITH to own our truths, to be authentic with others by sharing our stories. But, when we do... it creates community and strength and healing. You never know who you’ll inspire.”

       

      If you would like to be featured in Maja Arnold's "WOMEN UPLIFTING WOMEN" blog, please contact us at kristin@elisely.com for an editorial inquiry. This blog was created to inspire, uplift and empower women globally to step through adversity to LIVE a KIND & HAPPY life full of HOPE, FAITH & GOD.