A Bad Chapter Doesn’t Mean a Bad Story – Remarkable Unfiltered Conversation with Kim Violette

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Kim Violette

I got to connect with a great friend, Kim Violette around a topic that is near and dear to my heart: Blended Families. We have traveled a journey through divorce and remarriage, and while it was no walk in the park, we are both in a place where we are happily married again and our kids are doing just fine. We’ve learned that “a bad chapter doesn’t mean a bad story” in life. It’s just one season and doesn’t need to define everything.

Kim Violette is a Remarkable Woman working a dream job as a Mortgage Loan Officer with Integrity Mortgage. She is married to a Prince William County Police Officer, lives in Stephens City, VA, and has raised four girls – a combination of “yours, mine, and ours.” She loves encouraging others by sharing any wisdom she’s gained from her own life and has even written a book, Annie’s Miracle inspired from her childhood, and has another book in the works!

During our unfiltered conversation, Kim shares authentically about her own story, being married at a young age, and quickly realizing it was not the right choice, but not wanting to leave the relationship based on experiences from her own childhood. But she came to a point where she knew the relational toxicity was not healthy for herself or her girls, so she made a beautiful decision. She determined to make herself marketable in order to gain the freedom and confidence she needed to have choices and ability to take care of herself and her girls.

During this time in her life, the hardest part was just feeling very alone. I could relate. Separation and divorce are painful, and no one would wish for it, but there are times when it seems necessary. For myself, I didn’t want my daughters to look at my first marriage as an example for marriage. I wanted so much more for them, and knew I had to model it. But the “chapter” was certainly lonely.

We’ve learned how to roll with being blended families! It’s quite an adventure, and we both feel like we are winging it and working at it every day! For myself, I’ve told my step-daughter, that I’m not her mom, I’m just “bonus.” And we’ve both found healthy ways to maturely get along with our former spouses and even “team parent” when needed.

Kim and I want you to know that if you can relate to any parts of our story, please reach out to us. We want you to know that you are not alone. Post a comment below, or email us privately. We’d love to hear from you.

Click below to watch our unfiltered conversation on YouTube:

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Live and Work In Your Strengths

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As you can imagine for a person who runs a website called Remarkable Women, I sure do have the privilege of meeting a lot of remarkable women! But today I want to talk about a good friend (and a former guest on my podcast) who truly lives one of the most unique lives of anyone I know. Her name is Sonya Dalrymple, and she and her family live a largely nomadic existence.

Along with her husband and three kids, Sonya has been traveling around the western United States for a few years now, seeking out new adventures, skills, and relationships along the way. She and her family have lived in the major cities, visited most of the national parks, and enjoy beautiful hikes, trail running, snowboarding, and much more in between.

How cool does that sound? Now, you may be wondering how this lifestyle is even remotely practical. How does the family get by? What about school for the kids?

Well, Sonya offers a great piece of advice to remember in our professional and social lives: “Live and work in your strengths.”

She says that, as women, we tend to focus on our weaknesses and often compare ourselves to others. It’s better to honestly embrace our own unique strengths and run with them—and that’s exactly how Sonya lives her life!

She and her husband own several businesses. In their management consulting company, Don advises owners and executives with strategy and systems to drive revenue, and Sonya helps them set up online marketing platforms to find and grow loyal customers. Their businesses give them the flexibility to enjoy a blended life of work and play, homeschool their kids for a season, and find lots of ways to get outside to recharge.

Sonya has a passion for helping others and pointing them to the right solutions, be it around business, education, adventure, or health. She loves helping families make positive changes in their eating habits, and educating them on the negative impacts of sugar, dyes, and other harmful chemicals in our food and skincare products.

I think Sonya is an amazing resource for anyone seeking to live and work in their strengths—to go after something new and exciting. As she puts it, “Life is more efficient, fun, and meaningful when we do.”

Follow Sonya on her website and read more about their family’s unique adventures at Freejourners.com. I know she’d love to hear from you!

Freeing Yourself From the Performance/Achievement Trap – Remarkable Unfiltered Conversation with Connie Jones

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Connie Jones is a Remarkable Woman from Peachtree, Georgia. She owns Arise Counseling and Coaching and works with leaders and owners to help them discover their strengths and hone their natural gifts so that they are equipped and empowered to achieve their business objectives. Most importantly, she helps them own their success and pursuits in a way that is fulfilling and meaningful, and not burdensome or lost.

Connie shared great wisdom throughout our interview. I know we only scratched the surface of her insights and experience. But one of the first things she said that really made an impact me was that most of us are asking ourselves one of two questions: Am I enough? Am I too much?

Those questions stem from a comparison mentality, looking around at others and wondering how we measure up. We are searching for our value and allowing others to define it for us. It is often the reason we allow ourselves to be caught up in the performance/achievement trap. It’s never a fun place to be. We are always chasing something and feeling like we need to “do” more in order to “be” more. We cannot win. Really, we need to rest in our own identity. And then live a life of passion stemming from that authentic place.

Her one main success tip, quoted from Brene Brown, addresses this:

OWN IT

We talked about our own journeys as passionate women who sometimes feel like we are “too much.” We both have great vision and want to make a difference in the world around us. If we shrink back from any of that, we’ve learned that we are not happy. Connie says we are actually robbing the world of the gift that we have to offer because of who we are. There’s no other individual like us with a story quite like ours.

As Remarkable Women, let’s all own our own stories! Imagine what the world would be like if we committed to that boldly each and every day. I know it’s not always easy, but I’m sure it will lead to more happiness, freedom, and impact in our lives!

Connie is writing a new book this year, Warrior Arise – Live Boldly, Bravely, and Authentically You, so definitely keep an eye out for that.

Connect with Connie

And she would love to connect with you. You can find her everywhere online:

Watch Our YouTube Video of Our Remarkable Unfiltered Conversation Below:

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Have You Outgrown a Friendship? – Remarkable Unfiltered Conversation with Dr. Carleah East

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Dr. Carleah East is one Remarkable Woman. As a Clinical Psychotherapist, Licensed Mental Health Counselor, Psychology Professor, Author, Speaker, Wife and Mom, she juggles much every day. After listening to her speak, though, you can see how. Her energy is infectious and her passion for helping others drives her. She created The Sapphire Woman as a way to encompass all of her pursuits and to help women, “reclaim their power, embrace their truth, and design their destiny.”

Dr. East and I could have spoken about people and relationships for hours! Today, we focused on how to handle friendships that we may have outgrown. It’s not an easy thing to acknowledge and hold onto the “power” that each of us can own for ourselves. It’s hard enough figuring out how to break free from the strong messages given to us from society at large. It’s trickier to stop any negative scripts when they are part of our closer network of friends or family. But sometimes it’s necessary when we start changing our perceptions and thought processes for what we want for our own lives. Like Dr. East says, sometimes we may need to “put certain friends on the shelf.”

We also talked through some ideas on how to process those bumps in the roads in friendships. Sometimes it’s not about us or our battle. Sometimes it’s theirs, and we have to lower our expectations for the relationship temporarily and meet them where they are because we care about them. There is no need for hard feelings. But it does take a certain presence and awareness to be proactive in the friendship instead of being sensitive or reactive.

Dr. East is full of great insight and wisdom. She shares much of it in her book, The Hangover, 12 Steps to Emotional Sobriety. Many of us as women are not aware of how we connect ourselves to people and the consequences – good or bad – of that. This book helps women heal from emotional addictions and focus on growing themselves, knowing that they can feel perfectly imperfect all by themselves. They can move towards emotional freedom and greatness.

Her one success tip for us is:

Don’t let others define you for you are your own definition.

Connect with Dr. East

Dr. Carleah East would love to connect with you. You can find her at The Sapphire Woman, on Facebook and Instagram and Twitter at @TheSapphireDiva. She’d love to work with you or your organization as a guest speaker, coach, or counselor.

And remember, “You are great today, just as you are.”

YouTube Video

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The Reality of Human Trafficking in the United States – Remarkable Unfiltered Conversation with Yolanda Schlabach

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This is one of those unfiltered conversations that needs to be taking place all over the country. When people hear of human trafficking, they typically associate it with something that happens internationally or in movies. The hard reality is that it is happening right in our “backyards,” in every state in the US, and we often are just not aware of it.

Yolanda Schlabach is a Remarkable Woman from Delaware, and she is passionate about bringing awareness and reform around this ugly reality. She is the Executive Director of Zoe Ministries, whose vision is that every girl under the age of 18 and from Delaware that is freed from sex trafficking is provided the opportunity for full rehabilitation. She believes that if we educate ourselves and others on what to look for as signs of the presence of human trafficking and offer proper training for law enforcement, we can curb the statistics and bring about reform.

During our unfiltered conversation, Yolanda educated me about some of the statistics around human trafficking in the United States and the difference between prostitution and trafficking. The numbers are staggering. About 300,000 cases were reported last year in the US, and familial trafficking is on the rise. 83% involves US citizens. I was shocked to also learn about the rise of trafficking involving international women and that massage parlor trafficking has become big business.

It’s almost overwhelming to think about, which is why I think these conversations are so important. There are things that we actually can do to help. Yolanda pointed to some great resources where we can learn more about the issues around trafficking. She shared how to report suspicious activity through the National Human Trafficking Hotline at (888) 373-7888. And we can always volunteer or donate to organizations like Zoe Ministries that are providing support to victims rescued from the bondage of trafficking.

Connect with Yolanda

You can also listen to her TedTalks, Sex Trafficking in the U.S.: Young Lives, Insane Profit and Life After Trafficking: The Bridge From Trauma to Triumph  and reach out to connect with her if you have any questions or interest in helping her combat this issue in the United States.

YouTube Video

yolanda schlabach