Tag Archives: gratitude

Unimaginable Joy

I’ve had my innocence stolen as a child, been abused for my strength to fight for my dignity and been stripped of my integrity out of shame, for another’s misfortunate understanding of who I am.

I have prevailed…a runner, who has shed the pounds that once masked my pain, found strength in my legs that have carried me throughout the process and an awakening to my human spirit that is a beautiful gift for all of humanity to see.

When I traded in my anger for compassion and learned it takes patience to appreciate the process, I freed myself from the pain that left me motionless. The miracle of a once unimaginable joy, came in a daily message that I share with every survivor…be accountable, your happiness is the greatest gift you can give to yourself.

When I run my third half marathon, on March 20, 2016…I will remind myself, it’s simply putting one foot in front of the other and every step in this race, is part of my journey. A race, I will slow down long enough to appreciate and a memory that I will cherish. Each step will be triumphant and I will be grateful that I had the tenacity and strength to endure the process that has led me up to this finish line.

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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.