Category Archives: success

Grade My Selfie

If you looked at my report cards after kindergarten you would see a mediocre or below average student at best. You would read…”Rachel does not always do her best, she requires additional reminders to complete her work.” “Rachel needs to grow up.”” Rachel enjoys school, but needs to work on being more responsible and a better lister.” I was told, I didn’t work hard enough to meet my full potential.

From school to school I would go and that’s what the emphasis always was, Rachel isn’t applying herself and that made me not just lazy, but a failure.  I was defined by my education and the grades I wasn’t achieving.  The reality is, when your a kid and your only job is, as full time student and you can’t make the grade, your a failure. I will say today, that also made me preconditioned to fail as an adult. In defense of the educators at the time, we didn’t have the extened knowledge we do today about mental illness, mood disorders and learning disabilities and I would like to think that the lack of empathy, was just based on sheer ignorance and I am glad that we are continuing to make strides in raising awareness for the mentally ill and disabled. Perhaps we should not be labeling our kids, “special”.  Everyone is special in their own individual ways and let’s start redefining what makes a person successful. I think we need to show caution, when putting so much focus on the grades. Not just for the student who isn’t making the grade, but for the ones that are and rating their own sense of self worth on those grades.

I will say that I am far from mediocre and far from perfect. I am always a work in progress. I started paying it forward to myself, for the sake of my own kids, by getting back to basics.  A few years ago, after finally receiving my own diagnose of ADHD along with some mood disorder traits, causing depression and anxiety later in my adult life.  I finally decided to make myself accoutable to my own happiness, by sharing a simple moment each day, that I am triumphant…#365daysofjoy I choose to focus on the character of each individual. I honor those who have the ability to inspire me, to smile or laugh. The, “american dream”, should be for everyone to have an equal opportunity to find joy and while we can’t change the past, we can certainly learn from it. For me, educating a difference, means empowering my children, to do what they are passionate about. I believe, if they find that…it will sustain itself.

 

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Simply Not A Simple Minded Mom

When my children entered middle school I started to feel lost…My role as a full time mom changed. I was no longer needed in the same capacity as I was when they were younger.  In elementary school parents are welcomed and I was good at being a parent volunteer. I looked forward to dressing up for career day or dropping off a special birthday lunch. Over the holidays, I got excited about the annual visit to see Santa and coordinate their outfits for the hundreds of cards I would mail.  Needless to say, we have outgrown Santa’s lap and the school doesn’t allow drop ins to deliver cupcakes to the class. I no longer had a daily purpose, for which I felt valued.

My journey to share 365 days of joy, starts with being a mother first. I had to find a way to stay connected to my children, who are now old enough to spend a responsible amount of time, online. So, as a way for me to stay connected and to protect them, I decided to join them. I created an Instagram account, under my twitter handle @ctgirlonthego and just started sharing messages of joy everyday. #MondayMotivation #TerrificTuesday #WackyWednesday #ThorwbackThursday aka TBT, #FunFriday #SuperSaturday and #SundaySelfies which all became part of a daily routine.

Today I share, I no longer need to use all those daily hashtags, because over the course of the past three years…it’s become, one single hashtag #365DaysofJoy that both my children follow. Times may change, but with hard work, consistency and passion for what you love, your purpose will always bring you a lifetime of happiness and self worth.

Celebrating Life

Lets begin with…in the past, not that many years ago, I actually wouldn’t celebrate my birthday. I would cringe with the mention of it. No cake, no presents, if my children even mentioned it, I would tell them it just made mommy feel old. The truth was, the idea of anyone celebrating my life felt superficial, when I myself felt so unworthy of my own life.

No more…because, I have found joy in all the simple moments that have added up to a lot of gratitude and appreciation for my life and just that alone, “the present”, is a gift and we should celebrate that.

Last week, November 3rd, I turned 44 years old. I was grateful for my life and as hard as that life may be sometimes, or as sad as we may feel sometimes, I found joy in the day. I know that everything I have had to go threw even the things that pain me, are meant to be. As I get older, I can fully appreciate the women I am, the women I was and the women I will be someday. I move forward, knowing…I will not just continue to grow old, but stronger, kinder and wiser. I share that you, “my friends” and family have continued to give me the greatest gift, by holding me accountable to be brave and have the courage to continue to believe that, I am worthy of a good life. You have helped me to see that, I can and do make a difference. I matter and without me in this world, it might be a little more boring, probably a lot less complicated, certainly quieter, but not nearly as joyful!

I wish I could share the hundreds of birthday wishes I received on that special day and not just from my own loving family, the birthday wishes from friends both near, far and some from those I’ve yet to meet. This year, I celebrated a new tradition and I thank you, for giving me a reason to believe their are genuinely kind people everywhere, that care about me. I go to bed leaving my phone on and allow the sound of my notifications bar, to wake me with a smile, forcing me to start my day with gratitude. With each and every beeping, buzzing birthday wish, I fill my heart full of joy and gratitude for the kindness that exists all around me.  I thank you, for reminding me…when I open my eyes to see joy around me, hope for a bright future will continue to pour into all of our hearts.

Thank you, for being kind and making the time, to show me that you care about another birthday. I appreciate all the simple moments, you continue to share…they have added up to a whole lot of gratitude. I wish you always #365DaysofJoy

xo

 

365 Days of Joy

I had never imagined that I would still be here sharing the simple moments in my life that I celebrate #365DaysofJoy.  I am truly humbled by all of you, who listen, read and share my story. This journey has led me to be inspired by wonderful new friends, amazing opportunities and most importantly a new found “hope” my children will grow up and share my enthusiasm and passion for life. The greater good has always been for all children to have empathy and gratitude for not just themselves but for those they meet throughout their lives.

This weekend I re-marry the love of my life, again. Thirteen years ago when we first married, I didn’t know what it meant to be married. I was not prepared or ready to make the commitment it takes to have a life long partner. I was selfish, immature and insecure. We were clearly uneducated on what the covenant of marriage meant. I share with you today, “I’m ready” and I know my future husband is. We have both done our homework, finding our self worth and that’s allowed us to make the commitment to being one love. I honor us and our vulnerability to trust one another, the patience needed, the work required, the ability to forgive and have empathy and compassion for our differences. That’s what will sustain our marriage as we face the future ahead.

On July 1, 2001. My wedding day…It was a “fairy tail”. The big white dress, the tiara, the ring, the parties…I guess you could say I ended up suffocating myself in tule while drooling over cake tastings. This was suppose to be, the beginning of the future of all the things I had imagined would validate “me” in life. What I didn’t realize is that no amount of stuff or anyone person could validate me, only I could do that for myself. We came home from our honeymoon, expecting our first child. We moved into the new house we had to buy to raise our children…We got so caught up in making believe that when reality set in, we couldn’t afford the life that brought us nothing more then “fleeting happiness” nor were we equip to handle the underlying problems that had gotten us there to begin with.

In December 2011, we got a divorce. My ex and future husband likes to say, we made the most expensive mistake in our life. I say that’s true, but had it not been for that mistake and the pain it caused; We may not have been here today.

On, September 13th 2014, I look forward to the future with a new found hope and gratitude for the love of my life as husband and wife, sharing #365DaysofJoy till death do us part.  Amen 2 That!

Simply Not A Simple Minded Mom

When my own children entered middle school I started to feel lost. My role had always been, “full time mom”. I had been this super involved mom, a constant presence in their daily lives an admitted “career volunteer”. In elementary school parents are welcomed to be present as much or as little as they choose and I chose to be present a lot. I was good at it and it was rewarding knowing that not just my kids, but all the kids enjoyed and wanted me around. As my children have gotten older, entering their pre-teen years I am no longer needed in the same capacity as I was in prior years. I also felt as a mom, this sense of allowing them that independence to grow up and make mistakes finding their own paths, that don’t require my constant physical presence in their daily life.

My journey to finding social media success sharing 365 days of joy starts with them. I had to find a way as a mother to stay connected to my children, because even though I trust my parenting thus far I believe that while and as long as my children live under my roof, its my responsibility to know what they are doing and who they are socially sharing with.  I felt compelled to protect them and that required joining them.

I started with the most popular platform, Instagram…girls and a boys in the pre-teen ages. I just started sharing simple happy messages of joy everyday, using a daily hashtag that I would create to catch their attention and would include them without totally embarrassing them. MondayFunday, TerrificTuesday, WackyWednesday, ThorwbackThursday aka TBT, FunFriday, SuperSaturday and SundaySelfie all became part of a daily routine. The joy of it, I didn’t just lift my children’s spirt but those of their friends and in turn my own, as I started watching them curiously follow and often share or comment on what I was posting. Today and to my great surprise “I” Rachel Salvo aka “ctgirlonthego” am followed by so many who’s lives I have touched over this past year just being a simple mom who not so simple-mindedly had found a way to stay connected to my family and feel valued doing it.

The strategy to educate myself on how to even use social media required hard work and I have to give credit to Twitter for this one. I was able to communicate with professionals in the field of social media that without a doubt are beyond brilliant.

I made a list on the topic based on a trusted source and someone I had followed for years years via NBC  “The Today Show”, Mario Armstrong.  As I continued to share my joyful and sometimes witty self with my daily tweets, I came across a women whom I have grown to respect and admire, Marsha Collier. I share her book “Social Media Commerce for Dummies”, it’s an easy affordable fact finding book that gave me the basics to get started. I got involved in “daily chats” that have been without a doubt an essential tool to finding success in human connection. I credit someone I can now call a friend, Brian Franzo he is one of the hardest working social media strategist I have ever met @iSocialFanz. I am grateful for all these people who actually cared enough to share with me.

I can say today, that I am one step closer to finding a sustainable future for myself sharing 365 days of joy. I am passionate about inspiring people to succeed and it makes me feel good that I add value to someones life. Social media has enabled me to lend my face, my voice and my story with so many amazing people and for that I am grateful. My character is simply created to share joy and for today this has lead me to my own personal brand ctgirlonthego sharing #365daysofjoy all year long.

The Ultimate Throwback

When I started my journey to finding my passion,  I was inspired not just by the words and works of other writers, but more importantly the photos that I associated with them. It soon became a quest to seek #365DaysofJoy all year long as I was looking threw hundreds of memories that I truly found Joy, in the simple moments that brought me happiness.

The act of looking at the simple moments that brought me true happiness. 

My ex-husband and I had been living together for two years with our two young children since our divorce back in 2010. I started writing to keep me busy and diminish the anxiety that was starting to build over the holiday season, as I was anxiously awaiting a proposal from him to get re-married again.

We had been married for ten years so I had hundreds of photos of our life together, the life we shared with our two young children. Whether it was a silly face, a new toy, a trip to the zoo, jumping on the trampoline or just camping in the back yard. The photos sparked joy and yes even sadness. Not the sadness of losing all the material stuff that we thought we needed or can no longer afford to buy but sadness that we lost site of the joyful memories we shared just being together that were evident in those photos.

Today I share this with you, in the hope that if you have lost site of what really matters in your life take a look back at your old photos. Look at the expressions on the faces and the feelings that you associated with those moments. Spread them on the walls of your home and use them as daily reminders of what’s really important in your life.

Just maybe you will be inspired to put the past behind you and shine a light on the joy you have today remembering those good feelings. The Joy that I know has lead me to a moment of happiness in sharing my story, with you.

Vulnerable to Share

“Perhaps its the simplest and most popular truths that are also the deepest after all.” Quote-Thomas Merton

Today I am not afraid to share even my most humiliating moments because I genuinely love the women I was born to be and even though I am ashamed of some of the choices I have made; I have either forgiven or taken accountability for them.

In my conversation with people I am open to share not just my success but my failures. Why? People are more at ease to share an honest connection if they don’t feel intimidated by the person they are meeting.

I haven’t met many people who don’t have some form of regret in their life. Of course this leads us back to knowing people or your “target audience”, what can you share that will add value to someone else to make them feel better about themselves?

I like my simple rule upon first meeting someone; what is appropriate enough for my children to hear about me is probably safe to share. There is an appropriate time and place in any level of conncection to disclose the things we survived in our lives, always better to be safe then sorry you scared someone away.

Being cautious is smart and educating yourself on who your audience is by getting to really know people is always something I do myself.  Learn what makes a person happy, who they associate with, what their hobbies are…Find ways to relate with another person simply listening to what makes someone else happy can create a certain happiness or connection in its own right.

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