STANDING ON NEW LEGS

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The Long Journey to Heal CELESTE CORCORAN  FROM LOWELL, MASS. WAS STANDING WITH HER DAUGHTER SYDNEY, 18, ON THE SIDEWALK OF BOYLSTON STREET NEAR THE BOSTON MARATHON FINISH LINE WHEN THE FIRST BOMB EXPLODED NEXT TO THEM.  HER HUSBAND KEVIN WAS NOT INJURED AND USED HIS BELT TO STOP THE BLEEDING IN HER LEGS. CELESTE LOST BOTH LEGS AND SYDNEY NEARLY BLED TO DEATH FROM A SEVERED FERMORAL ARTERY IN HER THEIGH. THROUGH MONTHS OF RECOVERY AND PHYSICAL THERAPY, BOTH ARE WALKING. CELESTE IS ON HER SECOND SET OF PROSTHETICS AND SYDNEY IS ABLE TO HELP HER MOTHER THROUGH HER RECOVERY. THE BOMBING HAS LEFT AN IMPACT ON THE FAMILY AS CELESTE AND SYDNEY TO COPE WITH THEIR "NEW NORMAL" AS CELESTE CALLS IT.  The Long Journey to Heal CELESTE CORCORAN  FROM LOWELL, MASS. WAS STANDING WITH HER DAUGHTER SYDNEY, 18, ON THE SIDEWALK OF BOYLSTON STREET NEAR THE BOSTON MARATHON FINISH LINE WHEN THE FIRST BOMB EXPLODED NEXT TO THEM.  HER HUSBAND KEVIN WAS NOT INJURED AND USED HIS BELT TO STOP THE BLEEDING IN HER LEGS. CELESTE LOST BOTH LEGS AND SYDNEY NEARLY BLED TO DEATH FROM A SEVERED FERMORAL ARTERY IN HER THEIGH. THROUGH MONTHS OF RECOVERY AND PHYSICAL THERAPY, BOTH ARE WALKING. CELESTE IS ON HER SECOND SET OF PROSTHETICS AND SYDNEY IS ABLE TO HELP HER MOTHER THROUGH HER RECOVERY. THE BOMBING HAS LEFT AN IMPACT ON THE FAMILY AS CELESTE AND SYDNEY TO COPE WITH THEIR "NEW NORMAL" AS CELESTE CALLS IT.  The Long Journey to HealCELESTE CORCORAN  FROM LOWELL, MASS. WAS STANDING WITH HER DAUGHTER SYDNEY, 18, ON THE SIDEWALK OF BOYLSTON STREET NEAR THE BOSTON MARATHON FINISH LINE WHEN THE FIRST BOMB EXPLODED NEXT TO THEM.  HER HUSBAND KEVIN WAS NOT INJURED AND USED HIS BELT TO STOP THE BLEEDING IN HER LEGS. CELESTE LOST BOTH LEGS AND SYDNEY NEARLY BLED TO DEATH FROM A SEVERED FERMORAL ARTERY IN HER THEIGH. THROUGH MONTHS OF RECOVERY AND PHYSICAL THERAPY, BOTH ARE WALKING. CELESTE IS ON HER SECOND SET OF PROSTHETICS AND SYDNEY IS ABLE TO HELP HER MOTHER THROUGH HER RECOVERY. THE BOMBING HAS LEFT AN IMPACT ON THE FAMILY AS CELESTE AND SYDNEY TO COPE WITH THEIR "NEW NORMAL" AS CELESTE CALLS IT.

I remember watching the news right before the BOSTON MARATHON recently.  CELESTE CORCORAN was being interview as having been one of the victims of the marathon’s bombing on last year.  While the interview was intriguing within itself, it was something she said that struck me at my core.  She made the statement that she was “STANDING ON NEW LEGS”.What I found so profound about that statement was that she did not seem to be referring to her artificial LEGS that she now wears due to losing both her LEGS in the bombing.  It is more than obvious that this tragedy has forever changed her life in ways she probably would have never imagined.  What was most striking to me was her RESILIENCY.  I have no doubt that behind closed doors she has experienced both physical and mental anguish over this horrific event.  However, she appeared more DETERMINED than ever not to give the enemy the satisfaction of keeping her down.  STANDING ON NEW LEGS took on a whole new meaning.

Get up

We all have heard that there is always someone much worse off than our present troubles.  This is indeed true!  We worry over a pimple, a bad hair day or even being overweight.  These are issues we can always OVERCOME.  However, what do we do when we lose an appendage, an eye, or a loved one?  We often take for granted waking up every morning and spending the day as we had mapped out in our mind or just nonchalantly winging it as if tomorrow will be here again.  How many of us can recover from tragic life changing events just as people who are victims of such heinous crimes as the BOSTON MARATHON BOMBING?

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When I heard those words from CELESTE, it immediately gave me NEW LIFE realizing that I too can stand on new LEGS.  While my ephiphany is not to be compared to having literally lost any limbs, I realized that I do not have to be a product of circumstance but instead be a circumstance of great product.  What that means is that no matter what tragedies LIFE deal to us, we have the option of wallowing in self pity and doubt or use the situation to our benefit by LEARNING A LESSON, CHANGING COURSE, removing some people from our life, or just simply changing a situation to a positive one.

resiliency

So whenever  you doubt yourself, your abilities and capabilities or self worth, remember CELESTE and the other victims of the BOSTON MARATHON BOMBING that refused to allow a situation to define their happiness but instead created a BRAND NEW LIFE and reality that can still be just as rewarding and fulfilling if not more than before.  Are you with me?  I dare you to STAND UP ON A NEW SET OF LEGS and CHANGE the negative prognosis of your present life and situation to a POSITIVE JOURNEY of RESILIENCY that will open up all POSSIBILITIES OF WONDER that you have yet to encounter…but in due time.  It really is as simple as a choice.  What’s yours?

Blessings and Inspiration,

Shannon Ayers Speaks

A SLAVE TO THE NEED FOR AN “I’M SORRY”

Life becomes easierEveryone has been hurt by at least one person in their lifetime.  Some of those hurts run deeper than just one of life’s experiences.  I recently had conversations with about four different people totally unrelated speaking about the topic of apologies.  Haven’t you said or felt that if he/she would just apologize you could move on?  I have also been there with thinking that I needed an apology from someone in order to have closure.  After having those recent conversations, I remember saying to a couple of these people to not be a slave to an apology.
Closure  IS WHEN PEOPLE SHOW YOU WHO THEY ARE AND YOU BELIEVE THEM!!!! CASE CLOSED!! MOVE ON!!

 

We give people too much power over our happiness and our mental well being.  While an apology does at times help to feel better about someone or a situation, we should not be dependent upon someone else doing the right thing in order to feel better.  Why does anyone deserve that much power over you?  I have learned in my life time that people are going to be people.  At the very least, the gift you get in someone who does not apologize for hurting you is them showing you who they are.  When you know what and who you are dealing with, count it as a gift of knowledge.

Today-I-Take-back-my-powerTherefore, when someone hurts you, don’t sit around waiting on them to apologize in order for your heart and mind to heal.  Instead, take that energy and use it toward being a better you by putting your faith and trust in God and not man.

I am freeRemember, God will never fail you!

Blessings and Inspiration,

Shannon Ayers Speaks

Working Woman Wednesday Spotlight: Shannon Ayers @STAR_Management

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Feature FridayI am proud to introduce my very first “FEATURE FRIDAY” by posting a feature done on myself by THE QUEEN’S ENGLISH PR.  I am honored, humbled and so grateful to The QUEEN’s ENGLISH PR for featuring me and my business on Working Woman Wednesday. Thank you from the bottom of my heart!

Blessings and Inspiration,

Shannon Ayers Speaks

The Queens English PR

This week we shine the Working Woman Wednesday Spotlight on Shannon Ayers of STAR Management Consulting. Just launched in January of this year, this Honolulu, HI based company provides support for  Customer Service, Human Resources and Public Relations Consulting.

Shannon Ayers, STAR Management Consulting Shannon Ayers,
STAR Management Consulting

Shannon is a military wife and mother of four that has had the opportunity to travel the world. She holds a Bachelors of Science in Psychology and is actively working towards Masters Degrees in Human Resource Management and Business Administration. Whew! That just sent my brain into overload 🙂 How does she do all of this? Shannon says “[It is] My faith and trust in God is the glue that holds my life together and keeps me on a path that is completely ordered by the Lord.”  Amen!

Let’s learn more about Shannon and STAR Management Consulting


Why did you become a business owner? …

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LIVING OUT YOUR PURPOSE

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Live on PurposeYour PURPOSE should never out live you.  You should outlive your PURPOSE.  If you do, when it is your time to depart this life you have completed your mission and finished your business.  I believe that each day should be lived to our fullest potential. Anything short of that is cheating the world of what we can become and the contributions we can offer to our environment. Life is too short to waste it on living beneath our greatest potential and PURPOSE God has called on our lives.  Be Blessed!  Be Encouraged!  Be Inspired!

Blessings and Inspiration,

Shannon Ayers Speaks

THE HUSTLE BETWEEN MY EBB AND FLOW

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dream is free but the hustle is sold separatelyOver the last year I have had my share of EBBS and FLOWS.  I was so excited about starting a business and began the process of taking the necessary steps toward readying myself for the big six month start-up.  Everything appeared to be working well at a nice pace until I got a phone call that ended up spinning me into a whirlwind.  The phone call was about an opportunity to work with a potential NFL draft pick.  Therefore, I began the “NEW BUSINESS HUSTLE” of prepping myself for this potential client by moving into overdrive.  I was so excited and ready to embark upon an incredible journey of entrepreneurship that I knew would be an exilerating leap into the world of consulting.  This meant late nights, lots of research and spending a few dollars to get going.   Bear in mind, I work full-time, go to school full-time, I am a full-time wife and mom of four kids and active in my church; but I got this!!!.  Mentor(s)…check!  Business Plan…check!  Logo…check!  Website…check!  Social Media…check!  I am primed and ready.

 

Ebb and FlowI was astounded to hear my own words spoken out of the mouth of this potential NFL draft pick on ESPN.  I was blown away and felt, “Wow, I can really do this!” I began working with the family member who initially called me trying to devise a plan for this potential client.  In the mean time, I started making phone calls to family and friends that I thought would be able to help me with some leads.  All of sudden I go from a snail paced start-up to four “potential” clients.  I received hopeful expectations of contacts and information from reputable sources feeling as though I was well on my way.  I began telling family and friends what I was doing just so that I could hear the same excitement I was feeling about my new adventure.

In the meantime, Sequestration is no longer looming and goes into effect.  As a government employee I got furloughed right after spending money to get this business underway; but I got this!!   I am still in my HUSTLE AND FLOW!!  I was so psyched that I got way ahead of myself with providing “free” advice thinking that I had developed a rapport with the representative of the potential client.

All of sudden, the information I was waiting on from friends never materialized.  I was heavily criticized by one of my mentors at a time when I thought I was making significant progress.  The phone calls just stopped out of nowhere with the representative.  The potential clients wanted and received free advice [that they used] but did not want to set up a contract for business.  Tensions started to develop on my job with a co-worker.  I started flunking two of my graduate school classes.  The high I was feeling started to ebb fast.

Now I feel like a failure who has wasted precious time and money.  I stooped into a funk replaying all of the negativity I could think of in my head to explain why it just wasn’t meant to be.  After my aunt chewed into me explaining how I had no reason to hang my head low, my husband and a couple of close friends providing many words of encouragement, I decided to pick myself up and move foward.  Still in the back of my mind I am thinking, “Who am I to think that I could start a business at this late in the game of my life?”

I frequently spoke with one of my mentors who gave me a lead about pursuing my writing once again.  Now I am seeing a small flicker again.  So I subscribed to the recommended site and started to submit pitches in response to queries for articles.  Within the first couple of weeks or so I got requests to feature my writing in two articles.  Feeling psyched again, I started a much talked about blog.  For the last few years I would submit posts on my Facebook page with incredible responses from my family and friends.  Surely I would expect their support to come pouring in now that I have my own forum at http://www.ShannonAyersSpeaks.com for them to follow me.  After sending out a request for support from my well over 1000 friends on Facebook, I only received about maybe five or six Facebook friends who now support my blog.  What I did receive was a bunch of likes on Facebook and over 1600 views on my blog but not much support or feedback on my posts.

Once again I began to feel the downward slump of trying to figure out what in the world am I doing.  Someone just stopped by and literally started to ramble on about dogs.  I was trying to pay attention because she is really sweet but I just didn’t want to be bothered.  So I gave a big smile, nodded and gestured to show I was paying attention all the while feeling like, “Wrap it up sister!”  But then she said something that caught my attention that had no relevance to her ramble.  She said if you build a strong enough foundation everything will be alright.  WOW!!!  That brought it all home for me.  Of course I felt guilty for not paying attention at first because she gave me a profound word that fully described “THE HUSTLE OF MY EBB AND FLOW“!

What I came to realize in that moment was that all of this I am going through will make me stronger, wiser and better for a more firm foundation of what it is I desire to do.  Okay, I know this is no news flash that you have to go through something in order to be something or do something.  What is more significant to me is the lie we tell ourselves when what we see does not match up with what we desire.  It speaks to the scripture that reads, “Faith is the substance of things hoped for and evidence of things not seen.”  What good is faith when you can see everything right before our eyes?  What then would have to believe in?  What reason would we have for HOPE?  Why would I need a God who can supply all of my needs and give me the desire of my heart if I had no reason for HOPE?

The FlowSo, all of this is to say that while I am not where I want to be, I have to keep pushing regardless of how low it seems at times.  Maybe I will be a master consultant or a brilliant blogger.  Maybe I will get this great job that stimulates both my mind and my pocket book simultaneously.  Or maybe I will just be a voice to encourage others to their dreams.  I don’t really know what the future holds, but as long as I rise another day, I will live for the hope that someday my dream will be fulfilled…and that alone is a blessed gift.

Blessings and Inspiration,

Shannon Ayers Speaks

WHAT DOES YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA IMAGE SAY ABOUT YOU?

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social-media

We are in a day and age of vast technology that continually grows everyday.  SOCIAL MEDIA has become the most used form of communication between family, friends and strangers.  Like many others, I peruse through FACEBOOK looking at photos, videos, news stories, and crazy postings that are circulated in a matter of seconds to thousands of people.  As I am viewing these items, I see so many different postings that are displayed in incredilbly poor taste and judgement…some from people I know and some I do not know.  This makes me ponder on whether or not these people realize the type of image that is being portrayed of them in SOCIAL MEDIA.

Think Before you Post Online

We all know at least one person that has lost their job, ruined their marriage or embarrassed themselves along with their families and children. Yet, everyday someone is trying to outdo the latest SOCIAL MEDIA debacle by posting some dreadful image or video of themselves or others.  What people do not realize or take into account before indulging in such poor taste is the type of image that is building up over a period of time that may not accurately portray their true personage.  This is called media presence.

LinkedIn Be Careful

Please bear in mind that when you interview for a job, put in an application for a loan, or start up a BUSINESS, your SOCIAL MEDIA presence is out there for review.  There is no real way to regulate how someone will research you on the INTERNET to see what you are about.  If you don’t get the job, they may not tell you that it was due to borderline pornographic pictures that you posted or the vile language you displayed in your postings.

Willy Wonka

People are going to judge your character and in some cases intellect by the the decisions you make in SOCIAL MEDIA.  You just never know how this will affect you in the long run.  Your present situation may not appear to be in jeopardy, but in this fiscal climate, things change all the time.

Also, those of us that are parents have a moral and parental responsibility to protect our kids.  If you are posting inappropriate IMAGES of yourself or speaking in a manner that would not be acceptable for your kids, think about how they can be affected.  Kids have the Internet right at their fingertips and can be exposed to social media with or without your permission.

So ask yourself, is it really worth it?  If it crosses your mind to post a picture of your two year old drinking beer, a video of your little girl dancing like Beyonce or a selfie of you in your undies, spare us and yourself the embarrassment by utilizing common sense and self restraint.  After all, your future and my sanity depends on it.

Blessings and Inspiration,

Shannon Ayers Speaks

THE REAL SCANDAL

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Scandal

Those who watch SCANDAL, especially women, can’t help but to admire Olivia Pope’s wardrobe, hair and resourceful use of business savvy and Public Relations tactics to spin positive on her client’s livelihood.  While anyone can do without the drama that comes with that territory, it is most certainly a fascinating TV life of indulgence to which many escape for about 45 minutes.

Question!  Does it ever get tiring living vicariously through the drama surrounding fictional characters when your own life is wasting by the wayside?  What have you done to jumpstart your career?  What have you done to jumpstart a healthier lifestyle?  What have you done to educate your way into a future that is rewarding both financially and mentally stimulating?

The real SCANDAL is the lie you constantly tell yourself, I WILL…TOMORROW!

SCANDAL is loosely based on the life of a real person who was so great at her job that it inspired someone else to a career far beyond her imagination.  Who do you inspire?  Judy Smith is the former lawyer and deputy press secretary of President George H. W. Bush.  She successfully represented the likes of Kobe Bryant, Michael Vick and Monica Lewinsky in addition to several other high profile clients who were embroiled in SCANDALS of their own.  Smith continues to run her own crisis management firm in Washington D.C. and is also currently serving as co-executive producer to the SCANDAL television show.

There are many Judy Smiths in the world who enjoy or have enjoyed successful careers that parlayed into inspiration that allowed others to be great.  The beauty of this is that greatness can and should be a trickle-down effect that encourages someone else to shoot for the moon.

main--Scandal

As my aunt would say, “GET UP OFF OF YOUR DO-NOTHING” and go after your dreams instead of watching someone fulfill theirs on television.  It is time to take that course, get that certification, invest in that business, etc.   Whatever it is, it’s time for you to get yours.  But remember, the most important aspect of your dreams is that they are guided by God’s will for your life.  Seek ye first the kingdom of heaven and all these things will be added unto you.  It’s time!  What are you waiting for?  Let the next episode be your life going in a forward trajectory of success and purpose.  Stop the SCANDAL now and live your dreams.  What do you have to lose?  Don’t worry, Olivia Pope is not going any where any time soon.

Blessings and Inspiration,

Shannon Ayers Speaks

 

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ARE YOU A GLADIATOR?

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Most in present day associate the term “GLADIATOR” with Shonda Rhimes’ hit television show, Scandal. Many are referring to themselves as GLADIATORS all over Facebook and Twittersville, especially on Thursdays.  Who didn’t buy into the speech Harrison gave Quin? But are you really a GLADIATOR?

gladiator_GK

History tells us that GLADIATORS were used for sport by the Roman Empire engaging in arena combat with other GLADIATORS. More noteworthy, while a GLADIATOR’s status was considered less desirable, their unyielding spirit of fighting to the bitter end was an awe-inspiring gesture of audacity and triumph. When we think of a gladiator, we think of a beast of burden who has the fortitude, iron will and tenacity to remain an effervescent symbol of resilience and determination in combat to the death.

GLADIATOR is a powerful representation of what most of us would hope to be and others dare to consider themselves worthy of comparison.

So I ask….

Are you a GLADIATOR?

Are you willing to fight for what you want in this life?

Are you willing to fight for your dreams and goals you set long before disappointment became your foe?

Are you willing to stand up for what you know is right and true in spite of consequences?

Are you willing to fight for the love that once permeated your heart before scorn became a dominant inhabitation?

Are you willing to step out on faith and believe in the talents and abilities God placed within you to plow through adversity, interference and interruption in your life in effort to prohibit a dream to be fulfilled?

gladiator2

What say you…are you a GLADIATOR? I dare you to defy the odds of societal parameters and say…I am a GLADIATOR destined for success, settling for nothing less than what God intended — living a life that is pleasing to Him and before Him!! I will fight to the death against the adversities of this life that resolve to hold me hostage to my fleshly limitations. “We are more than conquerors through Him that love us!”

Blessings and Inspiration,

Shannon Ayers Speaks

SISTERHOOD ENCOURAGEMENT 101

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To Every Woman — Know Your Worth And Value!

I encourage you this day to toss out the notion that:

  • you are less because “He” dumped you or cheated on you or tells you your nothing
  • you are less because “She” flaunts her body in front of you making you think that because you’re over weight you aren’t beautiful
  • the texture or length of your hair makes you less attractive
  • your skin color makes you less appealing
  • your pedigree is less than Park Avenue or Lakeshore Drive because you came from the streets, projects, trailers, foster care or no formal education
  • you are less than a woman because you had a mastectomy, hysterectomy, miscarriage or are infertile
  • you are less because mama wasn’t there or daddy wasn’t there thinking you belong to no one
  • you are not worth loving because “Friend girl” did not support you, talked about you, lied on you
  • because “He” beats on you or verbally abuses you that you’re worthless
  • that because your loved ones passed on that you’re alone because you’re not

shebelievedPlease know that God designed us as women and that he loves us unconditionally. We don’t all fit the mold of the ladies in the magazines or on tv. Some of us around “that time of the month” began to feel depressed and reflect on hurt and pain that has happened to us before or is happening right now. Or we look in the mirror and don’t like what we see and feel hopeless. Some of us walk around with a smile on our face but with tears in our hearts behind closed doors. I want you to know that you are greater than your circumstance. Stand UP “My Ladies” and know your worth. Stand up “My Ladies” and know who you are and whose you are. Stand UP and encourage one another and do not tear each other down.

Girl You Got This

Why do I write this today, because in my own reflection of looking over the years from grade school until now, I just remembered the hurt and pain that I carried for years that I did not share. I remembered what it was like to have a smile on my face when I was truly hurting inside. I remembered what it was like to be cheated on, backbitten, talked about and belittled. There are still some today that want to see me fail to remedy their pain and misfortune. But when I look at my life now, I have a faithful, loving, handsome man of God who loves me like no other. I have four beautiful children that remind me everyday just how blessed I am. If you want to know how that should encourage you…I once was that little girl trapped in an adult body who thought she was worthless because of what others said or did. And now I know that I am worth the love I receive and those around me are worth the love I give. I don’t need a husband or children to know I am blessed. I am blessed because God ordained it to be so and I choose to step in it and receive it in Jesus’ Name. I dare you to Stand UP and love yourself enough to know your worth.

Here's to good women

My Ladies, Stand UP and make your presence known that you are worthy to be loved and cherished. But it starts with you looking in the mirror and convincing that woman you see to…….STAND UP!!!!!!

Blessings and Inspiration,

Shannon Ayers Speaks