Thursday, August 30, 2012

Unwaivering Faith ~ Updates On My Empowerment Journey






Since I stepped out on faith two weeks ago today and left my job of almost 5 years to pursue opportunities that would allow more flexibility for my family and time for my dreams (read about my leap by clicking here)  I'm not going to lie, I have had many doubt filled moments and thoughts that say, "What the heck were you thinking leaving your steady job!". Unexpected expenses or bills seem to be popping out of no where, making my decision seem even more crazy!!!   Then in each moment, I decide to dig in and trust that God will make a way, and that I am taking the cap off of my 'salary' (thanks Elisha for helping me see the bigger picture :-) and now God can take over and there is no limit on what can come my way. I feel like Peter walking on water, I look down sometimes and feel like I"m falling but then I look up and know who I have to focus on.  It seems that when I turn it over to Him and changed my focus He seems to be working things out each time.  This morning I had another one of those moments which lead me to post this update!


This is a new level of trust and faith for me, but the reward is so worth it. The joy and peace I have now is truly immeasurable as a mom and wife and helps drive me forward to create this life that will serve me, my family and the world . Words can't explain how much more present I am when I am with my family. I wake up and go to bed feeling calm and patient. I am truly very thankful today!
A BIG thanks to my supportive hubby (love you babe!) and faith filled friends and family who are there with the right words of encouragement to help me keep going.

To all of you pursuing your dreams, there truly is a power out there that can make this journey easier!  I am super excited to see what things will unfold for me now that I have enlarged my vision and putting my trust in God who has always taken care of me in the past.  Let's continue to move towards our dreams!!







Make it a great one Empowered Peeps!

Had to share this beautiful song by Forever Jones, "You Can Do Anything", that I listen to for encouragment..may it encourage you today!






To learn more about Empower Her, Inc. and to support our missions (donations are tax deductible) please visit our site!



 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 





Tuesday, August 21, 2012

P.S. I Quit ~ A Step Closer To My Dream

Photo credit: Blue Eyed Yonder


I dreamed about the moment for years, the day I would finally stroll in my bosses office and say the words, "I've enjoyed my 4 years and 8 months here, but it is time for me to put my family and dreams first.... I Quit!" The months and days leading up to my decision to leave my company were tough as I flip flopped back and forth between the pros and cons, and would make up my mind and then chicken out when the cons would literally slap me back into my reality. Then about 4 months ago when my youngest daughter came down with pneumonia and I had to miss a lot of work to care for her and other family issues, it was as if God was making things really difficult to stay comfortable in my job.

I joined my company years ago because my then boss and team worked from home, and they were rocking it as moms in the office and on the home front. Then things changed a few years ago, and the flexible work from home model slowly evolved into the typical 9-5. I was very successful at my company, so I powered through the now required long office hours and ate through all of my paid time off to care for my sick children, sometimes myself and the many things that come up as a mom.  My stress levels went through the roof and it started to effect me physically, mentally and emotionally. I came home exhausted, snappy and no good for my family. I read a blog by Brenda Chapman, the visionary behind the awesome Disney Pixar movie Brave, who wrote about how she realized that she was her best self at work, putting up with lots of different thing and showing her employers her best self, but when she got home from an exhausting day at work, she took everything out on her family, they got the worst side. She writes in her blog article Balancing Work and Family, The Art of Diplomacy .."Why do I spend so much effort trying to make nice with people that don’t mean as much to me as my family – yet I don’t make the same effort with my family? Am I an idiot?”  She wrote how this was her light bulb moment and immediately made changes that would allow her to give her family her best self.

A light bulb went off for me in that moment as well, I had to make a change!   I began getting more messages that seemed to be shouting at me to make a change.  It's funny how they start out as whispers and then become screams and then finally you are faced with only one choice.  So I made the decision in my heart and an opportunity came about that would give me more flexibility for my family and more time to pursue my dreams with Empower Her Inc. However there was one catch...it would mean walking away from the success and money at my company. My dear hubby was so supportive of me, and knew my agony and how my job was taking a toll.  We ran the numbers and scenarios and felt that it was a good move that would put me closer to my dreams and have flexibility for my girls. The school season rolled around and I decided that I had to make the move as I wanted to be home when my girls got home from school and be able to give them my best self.  It seems like when you make a decision to move to another level, the enemy comes on with full force to throw every obstacle and doubt your way that he can think of. I was in tears so many times leading up to the 'day' and questioned my decision constantly, but my daughters faces reminded me of my 'why'.




I woke up the morning of my 'quit' day, feeling soooooooo nervous! OMG..it was horrible. I got the girls off to school and started my shower I was in full on panic attack mode.. I was like "I can't do this, what am I doing??!!?" Then I heard this voice say, "It's not about you.....It's not about you..."  At that moment I felt as if God put peace in my spirit that truly surpasses all understanding. I was immediately calm and heard Him say "This is about your family and the girls and women that need to be empowered in this world that is constantly tearing them down.  I put many gifts in you that need to be used..it's time to move closer to what I have destined for you." It was so clear, and from that moment on, I was ready to take that leap of faith that would change the trajectory of my life forever.  I never understood how faith really feels until now.


It's been five days since that day and I feel so free, and truly in God's hands right now. I'm holding onto His promise that He will use me for His purposes and be a lamp unto my feet. This quote from Martin Luther King really speaks volumes on where I am right now...I truly am on the first step of my staircase, but I do have faith that God will help me on this next leg of my journey, but I did have to take the first step towards the life that I want to create.



One of my dreams when I made this change was to greet my daughters when they came home from school, to do homework with them and just be a present and focused mom and wife. I snapped these photos of my new reality that I hope will encourage us all to truly seek God and have faith for the dreams that He has placed in our heart . To truly value and cherish our family and the time that we have with them.  I'm not sure what the future holds and I know its going to be scary and bumpy, but I feel so much peace, joy and hope for the things to come. Continue to dream big and take steps even if they are small to create the life that will serve you and your family best. My faith tells me that God will meet you right where you are! 

Photo Me after I quit..desk packed..ready for new things!


Me in the carpool line at my daughter elementary school..no more getting home at 6pm for now!

Helping my daughter with her homework that day..so priceless!!


Video of me before my moment..I have others of me when I was scared..but I won't post those..lol!



Let's all find the courage to do what we love and be our best selves!!




Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Merging Your Career and Passion



One of my many passions is photography. I am known for whipping out my camera at any given moment and capturing moments.  It drives my family crazy at times when they are my subjects!

Photo Credit: Kustom Kreations & Photography
My dear photographer friend captured this picture of me recently at Spark and Hustle in Atlanta a few months ago.  Notice the camera and pen in my hand!  I was trying to take notes, but I could not resist whipping out my camera and taking shots..lol!  It is a powerful example of how I struggle to figure out how to merge my many passions into my career.  I'm not sure about the rest of you, but I know I have several gifts that God has given me and as I forge forward on my mission to empower, different talents seem to pop up at different times on my journey causing me to question what exactly I am supposed be doing. I'm good at empowering girls, yet I have passions help women as well. I love planning amazing empowerment events, parties and programs yet, I love being behind the camera capturing moments. It sends me spinning in many directions at times!

I was talking with a powerful woman in the empowerment movement, Derschaun Sharpley, founder of H.I.S. Agency, the other night and she summed up this perfectly.  She described it like getting in your car ready to go full speed a head towards your dream/mission and then a squirrel (in my life this would be obstacles and setbacks) darts in front of the car and you slam on the brakes to avoid hitting it. Then once that passes, a car comes out of nowhere and cuts in front of you and you have to slow down for that, and you find yourself puttering along with all of these different things that come your way, not getting any traction! Can I get an AMEN to that!

I experienced this last Sunday as I was feeling a little stuck and decided to take my daughters and my camera on an adventure to a local nature and heritage center in my area.  I had heard earlier that day, that if you want something different in your life you need to do something different. So we hopped in the car.  We had an amazing time and I felt so alive exploring with my daughters and  capturing them and the beautiful sites.
Here are a few of the pictures...


Loved this white picket fence!

Loved this barn and red door!


Sisterhood Rocks!!



I was blown away at how beautiful the pictures turned out and the overwhelming feedback that I got when I posted them to my online communities.  I can take no credit for how they turned out and really feel that God truly blesses us with talents that are hidden and known.   This experience helped me to realize that if He gives us these passions and gifts He will also show us how to combine them and create a career with them if that is our desire.  We just have to trust the process and take it a day at a time as He unfolds that plan for us! 

I came up with the following posters with a few of the pics that I took that I plan to use for marketing materials for Empower Her, Inc.  I was actually playing around with my images and quotes that I love and realized that I had marketing materials that now featured my very own daughters!  Again just in awe at how God does amazing things to guide me on my journey and all through my little hands and vision! 

My youngest daughter..I know she will change the world and inspire others!


My oldest daughter..after I looked at this shot it looked as if she WAS dreaming
about a bright future!

I always like to end with a little video inspiration, so I wanted to share this powerful speech given by my new role model Nell Merlino, the founder of Count Me In and Make Mine a Million a non-profit that helps women business owners take their businesses to new levels! She also was the vision behind the Take Your Daughters To Work Day movement! I tell you one woman's vision can change the world!! 

Please feel free to leave a message and tell us about your vision or ways you are merging your careers and passion!!




Here's The Speech..So Many Great Tips!






Let's Continue Merging and Dreaming Big!!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

We Are Winning!


I don't know about you but I feel like the last few months have truly been kicking my butt, one obstacle and battle after the other. Geesh!!!  After such a great start to my 2012 it would seem that everything came to a screeching halt and it is as if I have been pulled into a boxing fight that I didn't sign up for nor was I prepared for, physically mentally and spiritually!  It started with my youngest daughter getting pneumonia, having two allergic reactions to medications and several trips to the ER/doctor's office, then going through a crazy move, to battling things as a mom, wife, employee and every other area in my life.  You name it, it seemed like forces beyond my control have been throwing everything but the kitchen sink at me and my family lately.

I looked at myself the other day in the mirror and was like WHOA..what happened, I truly feel like I have literally been in a battle, bruises and bandages all over my body, spirit and soul.  I woke up today in tears as it seems that I get through one thing and then another thing pops up out of no where.  As I drove to work today blinded by my tears, I began to get angry, as all my life I seem to have battled craziness and I was finally getting a break and that great things were coming my way and I was on the right path.  Then BAM out of no where I was dragged into this boxing ring of life ducking, dodging, getting punched and knocked out!  I was crying out to God like... "okay what happened what am I doing wrong..PLEASE make it stop!!

God brought to my mind the controversial boxing fight this past weekend between champion fighter Manny Pacquia and Timothy Bradley.  I am not a big fan of boxing but happened to be watching the fight with my hubby and family friends. All I knew was that this Pacquia guy was supposed to be one of the biggest and best champion fighters.  Everyone knew that the odds were against Bradley.  For those who didn't watch the fight, Bradley got his butt kicked during all the rounds, but managed to get in punches and keep going. I was totally rooting for him the whole time..something about underdogs!!

Boxing Fight June 2012 Timothy Bradley (left) vs. Manny Pacquia (right)

He even broke his foot and twisted his ankle during the second round and had to be wheeled out in a wheelchair after the fight..but you know what, he ended up WINNING THE FIGHT!  The scorecard was a split decision although it clearly should have gone to Pacquia.  As I dried my tears today I heard God say, "You are Winning, Kara, no matter what it looks like you are winning, in fact you have WON already"!  That word exploded in my spirit and I immediately remember how shocked everyone looked during that boxing match and how much controversy the decision has caused and how they want to take his belt and everything, but the decision stands. 

Bradley with his belt after the fight..bruised and battered but he won!

NOW WHERE IS MY BELT!!!

I realized today that I am winning and that this is part of life, especially when you are called to empower and change the lives of people especially women and girls.   These things have thrown me for a loop, but today I realize that I have won this fight in the end with God on my side! 

I heard TD Jakes say the other day that when trials and obstacles come, instead of thinking that they are pushing you further from your goal, think of a bow and arrow and how in order to hit the target you have to PULL the bow further and further back before you release it. 


He said that each obstacle..trial..and thing that comes your way is pulling your bow further and further back and when it is time to let go and release it.....WHOOOSHHHHH...that arrow flies through the air with such force and hits the target!!!!!!!  So today I am choosing to believe that instead of being beat up, being knocked down, and being pushed further from my goal, I am closer than I think.  I am ready to RELEASE..and hit my target and do what God has called me to do through my non-profit, Empower Her, Inc., my event planning company, Events By Kara and our girls mentoring program G.E.M.S. & Jewels Empowerment Group for girls! 



 I realized this week that during the last 12 months before all of this mess started, I obtained my 501 c (3) status, obtained my LLC , planned, designed and executed my 1st conference for women (PLWG Leadership Conference in October 2011), put together 4 fabulous events for family and friends some of which had over 50 people,  did two empowerment parties (my passion), became a Certified Event planner in Jan 2012, was a featured panelist & sponsor at Dr. Tanya's Unplugged Retreat in February 2012, and was a vendor and photographer at Tierra Destiny Reid's Design Your Destiny Event in Atlanta in April!  It hit me, according to my score card...I am kicking butt in this fight and accomplished all of these things in the last 10 months!!!!! 

I heard this message last night right before another battle (I truly think that things get really hard because something so great is right around the corner) that put my focus back on track.  I know that something BIG is coming my way with what God has given me, and I wanted to share all of this today to empower us all to keep going no matter what stage we are in, whether its a battle or if things are going fabulous! 

I know it's been a while since I posted anything and I appreciate every ones support and patience with me and my vision! Let's get ready to HIT THE MARK in this second half of 2012!!

Here's the message..let's do BIG THINGS:

"Something Bigger Is On The Way"-Joel Osteen (audio..kind of long but worth it)



I always like to end with a song of inspiration, and I heard this, this morning, I hope it will uplift someone like it did me today! This test is your storm, but let's keep holding on!!!



Let's continue the fight and fly with like the speed of an arrow and truly live empowered lives! 

XOXO,

Kara

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Empower Your Image Project!


 

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world.”
-Marianne Williamson


You truly never know how God will use you to inspire and empower others.  What started out as theme for my empowerment birthday party last month has now inspired other women to think about how they are leaving their mark on women's history!  After sharing pictures from my Women's History themed party last month we began getting requests from women who wanted to also see themselves amongst powerful women both past and present.  There is real power in visualization and that we are no different than the amazing women that we admire on a day to day basis!  I was so thrilled with how my party came out (see blog post for more details) and to now partner with Kustom Kreation Photography & Celebration Decor to offer these collages as inspiration to amazing women making a difference everyday blows me away!!!

I am also sooooooo excited that a portion of the proceeds from each collage will go to our non-profit Empower Her, Inc!.   We plan to take the proceeds that are raised from this empowerment project and provide a woman with a Empower Her Grant (my 1st of many)  to help them with the launch of their dream business or help a woman in the trenches trying to build her vision. Often times it is just the little things like getting business cards, marketing materials, buying a domain name for their business or even application fees to return or start college that can help get a person's dream off the ground or the boost to keep going!  Whoohooo..I so love the 'gift of empowerment'... if you can't already tell!

We are also running a mother's day special which is a great gift idea for the moms and women in our lives!   For more information about this Empower Your Image Project please click here or visit us on the web: http://empoweryourimage.webs.com/ and email empoweringherinc@yahoo.com


Big Thank You to Elisha Akram, the creative founder of Kustom Kreation Photography & Celebration Decor for helping to make my vision a reality and using your special gifts and talents on this project! You are truly leaving your mark on history!



If you would like to make a tax deductible donation to our Empower Her Grant fund that will empower a woman or girl please donate by using the secure paypal link on our webpage!





  Thank you for support, prayers and encouragement!! Let's get our EMPOWERMENT ON!!

Empower Her, Inc. is a 501(c)3 organization http://www.empowerherinc.com/

Friday, April 20, 2012

Keep Going!


What a perfect end to a great week! I am happy to report that being a sponsor and one of the photographers for the Design Your Destiny Atlanta Event was AMAZING!!!!! Being able to stand in front of my sign for Empower Her, Inc. was an experience that I can not put into words.  The event was so powerful and the tips that were provided were truly life changing and helped me realize that what I have to offer the world has extreme worth and  incredible value!  I am truly excited to walk in this new area of my destiny.  To view some of my pictures from the event  Click Here.


Founder of Empower Her, Inc. Kara Norman at DYD Atlanta 2012

As I always say this road is not easy juggling  your dreams, passions, work, family, and all the other things that life deals to you.  I left the event over the weekend feeling excited but overwhelmed on how to truly kick things up to the next level.  I have all of these wonderful ideas during the day and then when I get home after a long day, and put on my mommy and wife hat, just getting to any of those things seem impossible and I get frustrated that things are not happening fast enough.  So just when I felt myself slipping into a pity party yesterday (I seem to have those moments often..huh..lol), I came across the story of a powerful lady by the name of Shawn Brown, the creative vision behind the Georgia based company CheeseCaked.  Her story of a near death experience, tragedies that included being pronounced dead twice after being hit by a drunk driver, losing her 10 week old son in the same accident, then years later losing the father of her young children and countless other obstacles, made me realize that I HAVE NOTHING TO COMPLAIN ABOUT AND NO EXCUSES). 

Ms. Brown's story had me crying (I seem to do that a lot too) as she described what it was like to almost die, lose loved ones, recover from all of her injuries and build a business. Yet she continued to pursue her passion and created a successful business despite everything!  

Shana Brown, Founder of CheeseCaked


Photo of the car that Shana was in after the accident-(From Shana Brown's photo collection)


Shana Brown with her son, Jakori after his birth. He was killed in the car accident
(Photo Credit: Shana Brown's photo collection)


Her journey hit me like a ton of bricks and I feel that her perseverance will forever be in my thoughts especially at times when I feel that things are too hard.  We MUST keep going no matter what, even if we have to take small steps one at a time.  I am reminded of the saying based on two scriptures that states that "The race is not given to the swift or to the strong but to the one that ENDURES until the end".  We must endure many things when we pursue our dreams or just when we go through life in general, but the key is to keep going! 

Please take a moment to read Shawn Brown's story it truly is amazing (Click Here)!  Thank you Shawn for having the courage to keep going!



I also heard this song, "Hold On" the other day and had to share...let's keep it moving!!


Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Start Building YOUR Dream!



Yesterday I was casually going through my facebook feeds and this post came up on my screen and 'virtually' slapped me in my face! The words.."If You Don't Build Your Dream... Someone Will Hire You To Help Build Theirs." seemed to be screaming at me.  I am in the early stages of building this new vision for myself and this post reminded me that as I strive to be a 'corporate mom dropout' (shout out to Lucinda Cross for initiating this mom movement), I AM building MY dream and no one elses!  What an empowering moment to realize that I am ahead of the building game and already laying my foundation, one brick at a time.  Although I want everything yesterday and it gets frustrating I have to stop and celebrate each step no matter how small.


This week I am preparing to be a sponsor/vendor at Tierra Destiny Reid's Design Your Destiny event that is kicking off in Atlanta this weekend.  I have been following Tierra for a few years now and have watched her turn her layoff from corporate America and into a thriving empire.   She is where I want to be... a wonderful mother, wife, motivator, strategist and thriving business owner.  I am trying to surround myself with people who are doing BIG things as I feel that God has called me to empower women and girls in many ways.  I missed her event last year and when she launched this new tour, I signed up as soon as she shared the news..as a matter of fact I think I was one of the first registrants..LOL! 






I am determined to make 2012 my year..no longer sitting around and waiting..I want to learn from the best!  She reached out to me a few weeks ago about being a sponsor (see Empower Her, Inc. listed as a sponsor..whohoo)  and being one of the photographers that would also cover the event.  I was blown away that she was impressed with my passion, something that I enjoy as a hobby.  She also loved my "Leaving My Mark On Women's History" empowerment party. You truly never know who is watching you and what opportunities can come when you step out and start building your dream. 


So I not only get to learn how to design MY destiny, I also get to highlight empowering moments during the event through photography, and share my passion to empower with other women striving for more...seriously whose life is this??? Today I came across a picture of me at one of the trade shows for my current company in San Francisco a few years ago. I have been so blessed to travel to many cities representing my company and promoting our business.


Picture of Me At One of Our Trade shows :-)

It hit me today as I was preparing items to be a sponsor/vendor at the Design Your Destiny event that I will be representing MY company..MY dream this weekend! Sharing my vision for Empower Her, Inc. and the services that I will be providing to girls and women through empowerment workshops, programs and celebrations.  I pulled out my banner that I ordered six months ago, and as I put it together on the stand, I remembered all the times I put together booths for my company.  I never imagined that one day I would be doing my own. 


My Banner That I Will Be Proudly Standing By This Weekend :-)




Such an emotional and powerful moment to truly realize that I am building my dream instead of someone else's! I am super duper nervous but excited about what is to come this weekend through this amazing event as it will be my chance to get true feedback about what I plan to offer through my empowerment agency and my other talents and gifts.  I encourage you all to start building your dreams today or continue to take steps towards making your dreams your reality.  Surround yourself with positive people who are where you want to go and celebrate every milestone... no matter how small!


Big thanks to Tierra for believing in me and letting me be a part of this special event, I am very grateful, God is so awesome..whohoo!!!


More info about this weekend's event and Tierra's mission to help women Design Their Destiny!


Additional Link and Information: TDR Event










Let's finish this week strong and continue to build!!!



Monday, April 2, 2012

Unprecedented Favor!



A Little Spiritual Empowerment To Start The Week!

So I was home on Sunday and happened to catch this broadcasts on TV, and the title and message of the sermon was about "Unprecedented Favor".   I literally shot up in my bed when I saw those words especially the word...unprecedented!  I just kept repeating that word, over and over again..it just has such a powerful meaning and tone (definition: without previous instance; never before known or experienced; unexampled or unparalleled: an unprecedented event)!   I have experienced God's favor in sooooo many ways during my life, things that I just can't explain, doors that seemed impossible were opened!  So to think of receiving unprecedented favor..just blew me away and got my faith wheels spinning!! 

Right before I saw this broadcast I was thumbing through pictures on my phone and came across this picture, which was another document that I created last fall and put on my mirror (see my previous blog post about visualization).  I looked at the top of the picture and noticed that I had created a mock donation check ( like the ones that you get when you win the lottery..I might need to make a big one like this and take a picture holding it..hmmmm)  for $10 million dollars to be used for my empowerment center for women and girls (one of my big dreams!) 

Here's the picture..


I had forgotten that I added that paper to my items that I planned to visualize everyday.  I had moved these after I received my non-profit status letter (that matched my real letter by the way) and somehow this one got shuffled around and misplaced. So to see this letter only minutes before hearing this broadcast, I started dreaming and remembering that nothing is impossible with God and His special favor..I am a testimony to this for sure!

I had actually started calling around a few weeks ago to get information about vacant spaces that I would come across on the way home as a step of faith and got frustrated when people gave me the prices/etc or asked what it was for and when it was not retail they rushed me off the phone. One guy was like "is this for a battered women's shelter because we don't want that in our space".  I'm like no dude I am empowering women and girls, I didn't say anything about a shelter..argh!!). I hung up after that call and began to question how I thought that this could come together to actually have my own space.  My dream is to have state of the art resource center for girls and women to get empowerment, experience workshops, programs and a event space that can be shared in the community.  So when Joel Osteen read this scripture during the message..I knew it was on once again!!

Exodus 34:10, “I will perform great wonders that I have not done anywhere before in all the earth. People will see what great things I can do because I am going to do an awesome thing for you.”


He also said to thank Him in advance for receiving unprecedented favor, and boy do I need some unprecedented favor when it comes to this dream!  I was blown away that I received my status in the same time that I claimed on my vision statement last month and I guess this is no different. I looked back at the 'mock donation check' and noticed that there is no exact date on this one but it does have 2012 on it so we have a full 9 months for this to happen!  For all of us out there that want to see things that have NEVER been done before in our lives when it comes to our dreams..let's believe together that we are about to experience something remarkable, astounding, extraordinary, overwhelming and breathtaking!

Please watch this message when you have a moment and let's step out there on those things that seem impossible or too big and EXPECT to see some unprecedented favor in the next hour... week...month and year! Let's get our visualization ON..and put some action behind it!!




P.S. Please contact me if you have space or resources that you would like to provide for this cause or if you have the check that is in my vision or know someone that does..lol (again doesn't hurt to put it out there :-)  )!!

Make it a great day empowered peeps!!

Celebrating Life Everyday,

Kara
http://www.empowerherinc.com/

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

It's Your Time ~ Go Get Your Blessing!!



So I got in my car after a LONG, frustrating and exhausting day at my 'day job' (yes.. I work full-time..and get my grind on when I can).  Although I am waiting patiently to move into my new season with Empower Her, Inc. and my other passions, it still gets hard when you know what you have been called to do but can't take that leap just yet.   As soon as I put my key in the ignition....these lyrics came blasting through my speakers (I forgot I was jamming to some songs on the way in to work..lol)!

It’s like you’re lookin through a telescope
You see where you gone be
Growin’ gettin’ better
You’re not the person they see
Can’t be mad at the things you’ve been through
‘Cuz they built your muscle
Now you’re stronger than you’ve ever been
They can’t stop your hustle
Yo’ faith ain’t never small
That’s what brought you this far
See you got your dreams and you got your prayers
And you got yo’ God, He’s gone take you there
See everybody has a season and I’ve believe this one’s yours
‘Coz you’ve been working, waiting
This is what you’ve been praying for


I almost ran into a pole in my parking garage by the time this verse was done, I was so blown away by the lyrics as if felt like God was saying to me..it is YOUR SEASON...but you STILL have to "Go Get It"..which was driven home even more as I start bobbing my head to these next verses...

Go get it
Go get it
Go get your blessing
Go get it
Go get it
Go get it
It’s your time (it’s your time)
It’s your time (it’s your time)
It’s your time
 
You were made to live a good life and that’s what i believe
so hit the floor say a prayer start working you got to do something
It’s alright to crawl before you walk
It’s alright to walk before you run
*But if you wanna get what you never got.. gotta do something that you never done*
(love this lyric!!)


Go get it
Go get it
Go get your blessing
Go get it
Go get it
Go get it
It’s your time (it’s your time)
It’s your time (it’s your time)
It’s your time

You’ve been qualified
By this mercy multiplied
You cannot be denied
‘Coz you’re finally certified
It’s official
Go ahead and testify
He’s gone bless you
You gone bless me
Now God be glorified 

The song ends with more "Go Get It's" and me breaking it down behind the wheel some more!  On days when it's hard and you may not feel like things are moving forward sometimes we have to be reminded that it is our time and season..and that we have continue to GO GET IT!!

So Empowered Peeps..I don't know about you..but my 'hump day pity party' is over and I'm back on the grind and ready to GO GET MY BLESSING!!! 

Let's rock out the rest of the week! Here's the song by Mary Mary to get your started! I"m jamming to this song (with a little running man mixed in) as I write this..so please feel free to join me..IT TRULY IS OUR TIME!!

Click Link Below to Listen!






Remember:



Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The Power of Visualization..Dream in Detail!

Hello Empowered Peeps!

So this weekend 'Cloud 9' was my home after receiving the news that I was approved for non-profit status.  I was just so blown away and could not stop praising God for all the things He had brought me through and the places that He was going to take me.  I was sitting at my desk in my home office on Friday evening (I set up this space in January 2012 and told myself that one day, I would be getting up and sitting at my desk in my very own Empower Her, Inc. Resource Center) and I came across papers that I had created and taped to my mirror in October 2011. 

My Home Office for Empower Her, Inc. :-)


At the time I was in the early stages of putting my non-profit paperwork together and decided to look up what the official letter looked like that your receive when you are approved for tax exempt status. So I google searched it and found a copy of some one's declaration letter advising them that they had been approved for their non-profit status...whohoo! The letter read "We are pleased to inform you that upon review of your application for tax exempt status we have determined that you are exempt from Federal Income Tax under section 501 (c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code".

I remember looking at that letter and the organization that received it and began imagining what it would be like to hold that letter with my name on it and Empower, Her, Inc. across the top!! So I printed a copy of the letter and took whiteout and where it said date I wrote "March 2012" and then made it addressed to "Empower Her, Inc.".  I also put a message on top of the letter "Empower Her, Inc. Official 501 (c) (3) by March 2012..Determination letter will look like this and come via mail with my name!" I also put messages on the bottom talking about my Empower Her Resource center detailing things about it as well.  I taped it to my mirror and whenever I brushed my teeth, fixed my hair..or looked in the mirror, my eyes would catch that letter and I would imagine the day I would receive mine!

The declaration letter I printed and replaced with my information..its sitting above my PC now



On last Friday, I looked at the letter and I almost fell out of my chair when I realized that my dream/visualization had come true. I had received my status on March 13th, 2012! (Received the news via phone and waiting on my official letter to come in the mail..will update blog once I receive it!!) I was blown away and could not help but thank God once again for blessing me and showing me that there is power in your thoughts, what you visualize and focus on. I know that this and my journey is all orchestrated and has a divine design!

UPDATE:
Here's the letter that I pulled out of the mailbox, shortly after posting this earlier in the day!!




My Official Letter Received 3/21/2012...OMG!!!

I want to encourage everyone to dream big..and when you visualize your dreams taking shape to see it in every detail...down to how it will feel, taste, smell, look, and sound!!!! There is so much power in our minds, thoughts and when you add spiritual power behind it..there is no stopping your dreams becoming your reality. This manifestation actually scared me when I realized it had happened and now I am a dreaming fool over here ..writing down all kinds of stuff, putting new pics on my vision board, putting a key on my key ring to symbolize the key to my resource center...even found these large scissors in the dollar store this summer that I also have on my desk to symbolize scissors that I will use when I cut the ribbon on my center.  I actually practice cutting an imaginary ribbon from time to time and my youngest daughter loves doing it as well..never to early to get kids to realize the power of visualization for sure!


Large Scissors I found at the dollar store that I practice cutting my imaginary ribbon to my EH center with!



Always Remember...



Be Empowered and Celebrate Life Everyday!!!



“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”
– Mark Twain



Empower Her, Inc. http://www.empowerherinc.com/

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Make It A Lovely Day!!

Came across this beautiful new video and campaign that Jill Scott is doing! I love love love Jill Scott's rendition of "Lovely Day" and the that fact that she is launching the "Have A Lovely Day" Campaign to foster Random Acts of Kindness and Volunteerism.





Visit www.havealovelyday.org to learn more and to get involved. #HaveALovelyDay!! Had to share!! Super cute..love the kids! I can't seem to stop singing this song now!!!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Empower Her, Inc....My Dream Has Come True!



Super duper thrilled to receive the news that I have received my official 501(c) 3 status!!!So as many of you know I have had a dream to empower women and girls for the last 10 years.  Working with G.E.M.S and Jewels Empowerment group fulfilled a big part of my dream, but I always had a desire to empower women as well especially when it comes to their dreams.  I remember volunteering at a resource center for women in Virginia about 7 years ago and when we decided to move back to Atlanta, I contacted the non-profit director and told her how much I enjoyed volunteering there and asked her if she had ever considered having a center in Atlanta. The lady practically laughed in my face when I told her I didn't have my degree (that was the first question out of her mouth when she found out I was 'only' a volunteer).  My spirit was crushed that day as I had dropped out of college and gotten married and had a family and all I had was a passion to help women/girls.  So we returned to Atlanta and I enrolled back in school and finished my degree with a BS in Psychology and a concentration in women's studies. I graduated with honors while juggling family life. 

Me and My Girls After My Graduation in 2007 :-)

While in school I volunteered at the Atlanta Women's Foundation and found out that there were  organizations and funds out there for people who wanted to work with women and girls. It was the first time I realized what philanthropy meant. I was able to learn about women philanthropist (hope I will be one as well) who donated millions to causes for women and girls and about grants and resources. I was blown away!!!

I got a job after finishing school in recruiting and that is where I connected with the founder of G.E.M.S. & Jewels, Adriane Simmons. She had a passion for working with girls and I had a dream to help women with their dreams. It turned out that in helping her I realized that I too had a desires to help girls not go through the same things that I went through with low self esteem and other issues. We have been running the community based program for 5 years now and it has been so rewarding. 


G.E.M.S. & Jewels 5 Year Kickoff Celebration 2011

It didn't hit me until early last year that my desires to work with women were still there and I had an added passion with planning and designing events that would uplift and inspire.  I decided in the fall of 2011 after being the event planner at Kim Thomas' (founder of Afro Puffs & Pony Tails) 1st Professional Leaders of Women & Girls Conference that I wanted to do more and combine my many passions into one organization that I hoped would become my own 'empowerment center' (forget you lady in Virginia :-)! I was fortunate enough to cross paths with Vanessa Parker of Pink Boss and decided to use her business services to form my non-profit. Vanessa was amazing she took my vision and completed all of the paperwork within a matter of weeks!  I got the 1st draft on Christmas Eve and was in tears as that was the best present ever, having it on paper! I mailed my application the day after Martin Luther King's birthday, which was symbolic to me as this was always my dream to make a difference. 

Today I posted on facebook about how everyday since that day I run to the mailbox checking to see if I got my status. Shortly after posting I get a post by Camille Allen (another fabulous woman doing big things) that maybe I should call and see if it had been approved. So I picked up the phone and called. My hands were shaking as the IRS representative said...."Mrs. Norman, Empower Her, Inc. was granted tax exempt status two days ago, March 13th, 2012 (which is also VERY symbolic as March is WOMEN'S HISTORY MONTH..my favorite month...making history for sure!) and the official letter went out in the mail yesterday."  I almost screamed in my cubicle but instead ran outside in tears!!! I called and texted my hubby, my family and friends who have supported me on this journey.

My friend who has been so instrumental in helping me walk in my new event design/planner passion, Elisha Akram of Kustom Kreation & Photography happened to be in the area and dropped me off a celebratory cupcake from Gigi's Cupcakes with a star on it (I was told years ago that God would turn my scars into STARS) to celebrate this special day! Once again I was in tears..Thank you Elisha!!

Celebration Cupcake from my friend Elisha!!


I came home and shared the news with my daughters and they were so happy.  My youngest daughter who is 8 ran to her bookbag and pulled out a mini report she had done on a woman in history that she thought was just like her mommy and shared the same dreams! What a coincidence that she did this the same day I got the news!

I had to record her sharing how Abigal Adams and her mommy rock..check her out below!! !



Empower Her, Inc..is about helping women like myself and girls like my daughters to celebrate and live an empowered life everyday
Thank you to everyone who has supported me in my dreams, this is only the beginning, I am so excited!! Please keep me, my family and my dreams in your prayers!! With God all things are possible!!

Hugs,


Kara
http://www.empowerherinc.com/