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2019 Year In Review

 
 
 

 


2019 Year In Review

Lisa Harris ~ January 12, 2020

Today is January 12, 2020! We are officially 12 days into a new year and a new decade… how is that possible? With the holiday craze, family vacation, and falling a bit under the weather (10 days to be exact!), we are delayed in publishing our 2019 Year In Review.

How dare we fall off calendar? The world is expecting immediate results in real time. If you don’t publish before the end of the year, you might as well forget it… the world has simply moved on. Right? Well, the glorious thing about running your own privately-held business is you can choose if, when, and how you share.

With that said, we decided it was important to reflect on the past year, take a moment to celebrate our 2019 wins, and acknowledge those who contributed to our success. Here are our highlights:

  • Welcomed six new Fashion Meets Poetry brand ambassadors to round out our team of ten.
  • Created a fun Galentine’s Day event in partnership with ModernWell and shared 10 unique video love poems from women in our community. 
  • Guest hosted our first-ever LIVE radio show, Unveiled Beauty: Women, Bravery & Stories on KFAI 90.3 Minneapolis on International Women’s Day (March 8, 2019). LISTEN Here.
  • Featured in Latin Evolution TV discussing the diversity of our platform and highlighting Maricella Herrara, our first Mexican-American woman to share her story on the Unveiled Beauty stage. WATCH Here.
  • Launched Unveiled Beauty in St. Cloud, Minnesota, sold out both our Spring and Fall events, and joined in sisterhood with +120 women.
  • Coached, guided, and mentored twenty women across the Twin Cities and St. Cloud to boldly share their stories in our Unveiled YOU! program.

  • Served on the Distinguish Panel of Judges for the Miss Minnesota 2019 competition where Miss Minnesota went on to compete LIVE on NBC for Miss America 2020.
  • Family featured in Lake Society Magazine, Summer 2019 Issue.
  • Shared my talk: The Power of Storytelling at several events and organizations including: Dress For Success Twin Cities, Accelerated Global Connection, Rock What You Got, and A Night of Wellness, plus discussed Mentorship with Hmong American Partnership (HAP).
  • Partnered with our first charity, Dress For Success Twin Cities for our November event and with the help of Kendra Scott in the Mall of America raised money for the organization.
  • Appeared on our 9th TV segment with the lovely Miss Minnesota, Kathryn Kueppers to promote our November event. Thank you Fox 9!
  • Produced our 20th Unveiled Beauty storytelling event at the beautiful Minneapolis Institute of Art.

  • Launched our Unveiled YOU! 12 week women’s empowerment program, a transformational, personal development program that guides women through self-reflection, writing and giving their story a voice on the Unveiled Beauty stage. Learn More About Here.
  • Expanded our brand into merchandise with the pre-sale of our Bravery is Beautiful t-shirt to be delivered early Spring 2020. Pre-sale available – ORDER Here.
  • Published our first-ever Unveiled Beauty blog story: A Mother’s Imperfect Love written by Ivy Kaminsky. READ Here.
  • Delivered a 3X growth in attendance since our 2017 launch event and expanded our social media following and exposure.

Thank you to our 2019 team who supported this platform above and beyond anything we could have ever asked for! With the dedication and commitment of the women in our community, we delivered our mission and built heart connections.

Thanks to these extraordinary women:
Special Event Producers – Amber Rose Bjerke (Spring 2019), Beatrice Adenodi (November 2019), and Mandi Moon & Jessica Sparks (St. Cloud)

Event Emcees – Anahita Champion (Spring 2019), Maria Johnson (November 2019), Kelly Radi (St. Cloud)

Art Director – Tressie Schneider

Last but not least, a special shout-out goes to all our sponsors throughout the year. With your generosity, talents, and time, we were able to provide a premiere experience for our women.

Twin Cities
Famiglia Meschini Wines
Yoga Pants Bakery
ModernWell
Lumber Exchange Center
Minnesota Monthly
3Bosses
Tressie Schneider Creative Services
Gina Watkins Hair
Fox Face Studios
It’s Anahita
Citrine Studios
Strategic Visionaries Financial Planning
My Social Drive
Minneapolis Institute of Art
Mirror Ink
Schmidt & Salita Law
Christie Legal
Mai o’ Mai Floral & Gifts
Maria Johnson Speaking Mastery
Anahata Collaborative
Select Wise Ink Authors

St. Cloud, Minnesota
Wingnut Tattoo & Body Piercing
Cooper Collective
Lalalee Boutique
White Peony Boutique
Tina Scepaniak Real Estate
J. Sparks Ink
Mandi Moon Consulting
The Buckle
Christine’s Cheesecake
E & Co. Clothing
Deerwood Bank
Kelly Radi, Author & Speaker
Arbor Hair Studio
Angel Schneider Makeup
Custom Catering
Joshua Schneider Photography 
R&A Photography

Above all, it was a rewarding and powerful year. We laughed, we cried, we boldy stepped into our bravery, and we built authentic connections with each other. Together, we continued to rise above with our heads held high and our hearts full. We supported one another behind the scenes and practiced our message of love and women’s empowerment.

It is my greatest honor to serve the women in our community and I look forward to embracing new faces, new stories, and new connections in 2020… we have lots up our sleeve. Stay tuned.

For now, I simply say THANK YOU! I am grateful to all those who played a small and large role in helping us get to where we are today…

We believe storytelling has the power to heal the world.

This is us.
This is what we do.
Making Heart Connections.
One Story at a Time.
#braveryisbeautiful

 
 

A Mother’s Imperfect Love


A MOTHER’S IMPERFECT LOVE

Written by Ivy Kaminsky | December 23, 2019
Unveiled Beauty Guest Blogger

My innocent, nine-girl-old heart pounded a million miles an hour and tightness began building up in my chest. The familiar sound of shouting took over our house as I sat on my bed listening. No matter where I was it was impossible to block out. With fear as my courage, I slowly crept down the hallway a short distance from my bedroom to the spare bedroom. It was there when I saw her.

Her slight frame lie curled up on the bed as he towered over her with rage. Like a machine gun firing multiple rounds, he spouted venomous words just inches from her tear-streaked face. Witnessing her in that position, looking so small and meek, so afraid and under attack, made me spring into action. I was determined to make it stop and do whatever was necessary.

Without thinking, I quickly wedged my thin body in between them and declared willfully, “Don’t hit her; hit me!”

Thankfully, he didn’t hit either of us. You see, my mother was my world; I loved her to the depths of my tiny being and I could not watch her being abused one more time.

Four years later, no longer a little girl, I found myself powerless at the hands of the same man. It was a warm, Friday afternoon in early June and the sun played hide and seek behind the clouds. School was still in session, but I was bored. Sitting in the second row near the window, I stared outside. I felt unchallenged and distracted when my thoughts were interrupted by a classroom phone call.

My teacher answered it and said, “Ivy Kaminsky, please gather your things and go to the office.”

A good student, I did as I was told. Uncertain as to why, I wondered. What could be happening? Did I get caught for something? At thirteen, I was starting to do things that one could get caught for doing.

When I arrived, they said my stepdad excused me early from school and was waiting outside – odd. There he was sitting in my mom’s old Ford Elite. I slid into the passenger seat, looked at him staring straight ahead, and closed the door. I immediately knew something was wrong. He mentioned receiving a call from the family I was planning to babysit later that day, but first, he had to stop home to change. His story didn’t quite make sense. Then, with a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach, my feet gripping the floorboards, and my mind racing, we drove the short distance to our house.

Our house was quieter than usual. My mom was vacationing in Las Vegas with her girlfriends, so it was just the two of us. When I think back to that day, some details are a blur and others are forever ingrained in my memory. I distinctively remember how my mother’s queen-sized bed almost filled up the space in the room, and my stepdad saying, “Take your pretty little clothes off or I will take them off for you.” The details of what I wore are also vivid. It was my favorite outfit: mint green, petal pusher pants and a matching sherbet–colored, plaid crop top with crisscross cutouts at the shoulder. My mom bought it especially for me from Dayton’s department store and it was a big splurge. It made me feel special. Plus, it matched my pearl pink jelly shoes perfectly. I will never forget the room, the words, the outfit and the horror of what happened next.

My stepdad raped me and violated everything sacred within me. Immediately afterwards, I took the longest shower of my life hoping it would wash away the shock, the nonstop tears, and perhaps even the memory of everything that happened. Not wanting my shower to end, I let the hot water run for what felt like forever. In the shower, I was safe; and all I could think about was how I was going to escape. Some months later, I sat terrified, yet calm in a packed courtroom alongside my mom. After hearing my case, the judge delivered a guilty verdict. This would change the trajectory of my life.

Finally, he was gone. Now, my mom and I could build a life together, safe and free from him, or so I thought. On the one-year anniversary of my stepdad’s prison sentence, the phone rang. My mother answered, and I could instantly tell it was him. She was drunk and he was charming. Powerless over him, this was the beginning of their regular phone calls and her visits to prison where he convinced her daily that I lied about the rape.

My mom would say, “It’s ok Ivy, you can tell me the truth.”

How could she say such things? What did she think of me?

Later, in one of her drunken states, I overheard her say to a friend, “She’ll probably be pregnant by the time she’s sixteen.” To hear these words from my mother, the woman who was supposed to love and protect me, simply crushed my teenage heart.

Feeling betrayed I acted out. I smoked, drank, lied, ditched school, and ran away. I would continue to be in and out of shelter homes experimenting with drugs and alcohol until I finally landed in a good permanent foster home until college graduation. Eventually, my mom was deemed neglectful and I became a ward of the State of Minnesota, a system that cared for me and had my best interests at heart. During this time, I was assigned a public defender, a compassionate caseworker, and an ongoing social worker. The state ensured I attended AA (Al-Anon and Alateen) meetings, saw a therapist regularly to process the trauma, and most importantly, was provided safe housing so I could further my education. I am grateful to the State of Minnesota and the resources I received as a young woman to overcome and one day thrive.

Given these life events, it’s no surprise that my mother and I had a strained relationship. She moved to Florida with my stepdad and we didn’t talk for several years. Eventually, he admitted to the rape and at some point, they finally separated. This started the mending and healing process for us both, which required significant forgiveness.

In 2003, on a business trip to Orlando, I chose to extend my stay to spend time with my mom. It had been a long time since I’d seen her. I was excited to catch up, maybe go thrift-shopping, work on some creative projects together (she was a talented seamstress and enjoyed DIY home projects), and simply hang out. Plus, I couldn’t wait for her home cooked Mexican lasagna and hamburger gravy over mashed buy viagra online superdrug potatoes. Yum! When she greeted me at the airport, I barely recognized her. An otherwise skinny woman, her mid-section appeared severely bloated and she looked unwell. In recent phone conversations, she failed to mention any health concerns and downplayed recent stomach pain. Needless to say, I was surprised by her overall appearance and demanded I accompany her to the doctor. Quickly thereafter, she was diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer, which started in her liver, spread throughout her stomach, and finally to her chest.

I was completely in shock and unprepared. Chemotherapy started immediately and I was with her during everything. Halfway through treatment, we brought her home and I stayed by her bedside. She was not herself. She was sleeping, but not restfully. She was hot, but her body felt cold. She would ramble nonsense and I couldn’t make her feel comfortable. As I watched back-to-back HGTV episodes, I had a lot of time to think. How long would she be sick? Could I handle caring for her? Feeling incredibly ashamed, I was not sure I could. In the end, I was not given the chance.

The following day, October 11, 2003 at exactly 10:00 am, my mother passed away at 54 years old. From diagnosis to death in two short weeks, my whole world was rocked upside down and sideways. I was not given the luxury of time to accept her diagnosis, not to mention her death. Going through the motions, I kept busy making arrangements, going through her belongings and honoring the only mother I would ever have, in the best way I could. I arranged two memorial services, one for her friends in Florida and another here in Minnesota for our family. Pushing my fear of public speaking aside, I honored my mother in front of both strangers and loved ones at both services. I talked about the complexity that was my mother, and my deep love for her. This was my responsibility, my obligation, and my gift to her. In the end, I was her only child and no one knew her they way I did. I had to show my strength and her living legacy.

My mother’s passing kept me in a state of grief for several years. Despite her poor choices and our complicated relationship, she loved me and I loved her, deeply. After years of personal growth and healing, today, I choose to remember what made her special and the happier moments we shared together.

I’ll always remember this one Christmas morning. As a young girl, I was eager to see what kind of magical gifts Santa left under the tree, only to find nothing, not one thing. Can you imagine my disappointment? Did I do something really bad?

Waking my sleeping mother, I said, “Mom, I think Santa forgot me.”

She replied, “Oh, I’m sure that’s not true. He’s probably just running behind schedule or something.”

In the meantime, she kept me busy with several chores, which included taking the garbage down three flights of stairs and out the back door. By the time I made it back to the living room, the empty Christmas tree was magically full of presents. Santa didn’t forget about me after all. He left an Easy Bake Oven, some Shrinky Dinks, which I loved coloring and watching transform in the oven, and a Lord of the Rings Trilogy book set. The little bookworm in me couldn’t wait to start reading! Plus, my stocking was full of Bonne Bell Lip Smackers, an M&M candy cane, a Life Saver book, and lots more goodies. In a matter of moments, my mom pulled it off. I still don’t know how she did it. Although one thing is for certain, she made me believe in miracles and Santa Claus for another year.

My mother was a beautiful, smart and witty woman. She possessed the most gorgeous, thick, naturally curly, chestnut brown hair. Oh how I miss it. If only I could touch and smell it again. She instilled kindness and generosity in me, and she valued education. It was never questioned that I would go to (and be the first one in my immediate family to finish) college.

In many ways, she lives within me. We share the same sense of humor, love for travel, bold and beautiful eyes to see the world, an appreciation of the English language, a joie de vivre, and also our free spiritedness and chill demeanor. She is the reason I am who I am today, and she is also the reason I feel compelled to do the work I do to empower women, especially those in abusive situations. Watching my mother’s life play out has given me purpose. I intend on sharing what I’ve learned along the way about life and my own journey to self-worth.

This is my story. Despite its trauma and pain, I would not change a thing. It certainly has been one hell of a ride. I’m here today standing stronger than ever. Growing up with a functioning alcoholic mother who chose men poorly, I knew from an early age that I would never allow a man to lay a hand on me or fall in love with someone addicted to drugs and alcohol. As I reflect on everything that I’ve endured, I can see both the positive and negative impact my mother played on my life. I also see love.

I learned so many lessons that have served me well in my life. The fact is people don’t always do the right thing, believe you, or believe in you. So you have to believe in yourself, know what you stand for and what you stand against. And be willing to say, “No, that’s really not ok.” Simply put, Believe in yourself – no one else can do that for you. Value yourself first, so that you won’t allow others to treat you poorly.

Or as I tell all of my girlfriends, “Never settle! You get what you settle for.”

Oh, and one last thing – make sure to keep treasured family recipes and Christmas decorations! They ARE difficult to recreate and impossible to replace.

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IVY KAMINSKY

Ivy is the Founder and CEO of Find Your Power, a nonprofit that connects women with resources, opportunity and each other. Find Your Power’s main work supports underrepresented women by expanding their access to the Internet. Ivy and her team support their efforts through mentoring, consulting, workshops and elevating the work of purpose driven professionals. Ivy is a connector, a resource curator, and a community builder who values integrity, personal growth, and connection; and is passionate about helping women find their power. Some of her greatest strengths are as a deliverer, relator, motivator, and innovator.

Learn More About Find Your Power: www.findyourpower.org

Candid Photos courtesy of Ivy Kaminsky
Photography credit Watt Second Studios

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I’ll Never Forget the Very First Time I Saw Her: Autumn Jones

 

 


I’LL NEVER FORGET THE FIRST TIME I SAW HER: AUTUMN JONES

Lisa Harris ~ May 30, 2019

In the shadows of the Golden Gate Bridge, on the other side of the Bay, I became friends with a woman named Autumn Jones. I’ll never forget the first time I saw her – tall, striking, and owning the space around her. A fierce and fair negotiator, she earned the respect of her team and business partners. I, too, was in awe of her. With style and grace, Autumn embodied women’s empowerment long before it was a buzz word and she was a leader in the making. Our professional paths merged as corporate retail buyers on the same team in the Spring of 2000. In the beginning, we were merely colleagues, never knowing at the time, I would one day hold her first born child, travel with her on business trips from New York City to Los Angeles and spend hours sharing our hopes and fears. Almost 20 years later, I know now, God simply had so much in store for us.

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Our time together in California was short, only 2 years. However, our friendship was just beginning to deepen. Through business and family travel, we managed to see each other almost every year since leaving the Bay Area. In 2014, I invited Autumn to walk beside me in a new chapter, one that would require both of us to dig deep, lean in and further strengthen our friendship. Every conversation and every stolen moment with Autumn, only solidified my belief that the world needed to know her. With an abundance of love, outbursts of laughter and a few curse words, she accepted my invitation to model for my new passion project. At first, it was the website, then my book, Unveiled Beauty: Handwritten Stories from a Poetic Heart and finally, sharing her story on the Unveiled Beauty stage.

With God’s grace, all knowing, all-powerful, Autumn Jones boldly took the Unveiled Beauty stage on Sunday, November 11, 2018 at the Unveiled Beauty X Fashion Show. This video served as an introduction to Autumn and gave the audience a window into our forever friendship.

That night, +200 people in the Twin Cities community had the honor of baring witness and supporting Autumn as she courageously walked us through her story, a 12 year fight with cancer, and the importance of having both empathy for others and caring for ourselves. Here, at Fashion Meets Poetry, it is our promise and commitment to the women on our platform to never share the intimate details of their story unless that is their intention. Today, I would like to share with you my thoughts of the evening and a little bit of what Autumn had to say.

When I look at this photo, I am reminded that a picture is simply a snapshot in time. It is the memories and the emotions that breathe life into this singular moment. In this particular moment, I am holding my breath and gently unwrapping my own bravery in order to gift it to her.  I see her in ways others may not. Fierce – yes. Confident – yes. Strong – yes. Scared – yes. Knowing Autumn as I do, it was her intention to show the audience her strength, yet her heart was craving to be seen. With the soft fluttering sound of angels’ wings all around her, the audience watched as Autumn boldly stepped into her vulnerability and stood in her divine beauty and bravery. Slowly, I began to breathe again. The melody of her voice and the power of her story commanded a room full of people and captured their hearts. My heart soared as each person fell in love with her just as I had many years ago.

I wish everyone could have been there to witness the beauty of that moment and the richness of her story. Like I said before, Autumn’s story is not mine to tell, but I will leave you with a few words she shared with us that night:

 

“This season has been longer than I could have ever imagined.  However, the things that have kept me going are important lessons for all of us especially when we are going through difficult times. One is the importance of self-compassionate care. As I grow older, I have learned that “life happens” to many.  I empathize with others, sometimes to the point in which I diminish what I am personally going through.  Empathy for others should not equate to diminishing care for oneself.  I struggle with this and give so much to others that at times I have very little left for myself.  It is okay to say “no”, and to put energy into yourself first, so that you can continue to give to others. 

My name is Autumn Jones.  I am a woman, a wife, a mother of two.  I am a daughter and sister.  I have amazing friends who always make my gratitude list. I am a Human Resources professional who thrives on helping people win at living their best life.  I love to travel, scrapbook, laugh, dance, and to sit curled up with a good book or watch a good movie.  Oh, and did I mention that I have breast cancer.  I have had it for over 12years.  It is a part of my life and yes, at times it sucks. But it does not define my story.  I think Stuart Scott, an ESPN Sportscaster who battled cancer, said it best with, “You beat cancer by how you live, why you live, and in the manner in which you live.”  Along with leaning on my faith and support from my village, the way in which I have fought cancer is to live my best life, because it is the only one that I have. “

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IT’S NOT ALL RELATIVE: 
THE ART OF SELF-COMPASSIONATE CARE

Life-altering and devastating news can arrive unannounced at any point in our lives and leave us in a state of despair. In 2007, Autumn received this type of news. To fuel her inner strength, she pushed forth wearing her invisible ‘survivor badge’. Throughout the years, people reacted in shock and with that, a powerful revelation unfolded. When we discover someone is dealing with a more difficult situation than our own, we often downplay our personal struggles with beliefs that “it’s all relative”. What if it’s not relative? In the trap of comparison, we diminish the reality and enormity of our own journey and sacrifice self-compassion. In this captivating talk, Autumn shares her journey of navigating a 12 year fight with cancer and reminds us of the importance of having empathy for others meanwhile administering self-compassion care.

Autumn is an executive leader in human resources within the software industry, with over 20 years of experience in leading, coaching, developing, and training others. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Hampton University in Virginia and is pursuing her masters from Pennsylvania State University. Born and raised in Southern California, where she currently resides with her husband and two very active children. Autumn demonstrates resilience and strength as she continues to balance family, a high-demanding career and her fight with cancer. “Cancer has taught me how deep my faith is in God, and just because man says it is so, does not make it so.”~ Autumn Jones

 

Video courtesy of The Producers, Kirstie House & Ellie Dress
Photos courtesy of Andrew Schroyer and Amy Jeanchaiyaphum

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I Knew of Her Before I Knew Her

 

 

 


I KNEW OF HER BEFORE I KNEW HER: JESSICA IMSE

Lisa Harris ~ December 12, 2018

In a quiet town off Interstate 94 between Milwaukee and Madison, Wisconsin, I became friends with a girl named Jessi Wachendorf. Some may have called us teenagers, but as a mother now, I know we were only kids. As I think back to those gravel roads and Catholic prayers, I am reminded that God had a plan from the very beginning. I would have never imagined 25 years later, that same girl would be the first to encourage me to share my poetry with the world. In 1989, we were merely freshman cheerleaders performing amateur stunts on a high school basketball court – innocent, full of life and full of dreams.

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Despite distance and time, Jess and I managed to stay close over the many years. In 2014, I invited Jess to join me on THIS incredible journey – a journey that began with modeling in my soon-to-be published poetry book to sharing her story on the Unveiled Beauty women’s empowerment platform. Again, who would have ever thought life would lead us here. Then again, I now know this path was intended for us all along. It has undoubtedly enriched our friendship in countless ways and has revealed to us the power of storytelling.

With snowy flurries, a sign of Elliot’s presence, Jessica Imse gracefully took the Unveiled Beauty stage on Sunday, November 11, 2018 at the 2nd Annual Unveiled Beauty X Fashion Show. This video served as an introduction to Jessica and gave the audience a glimpse into our long-standing friendship.

That night, +200 people in the Twin Cities community had the honor of baring witness and supporting Jessica as she revealed her story and spoke about the heartbreaking loss of her baby boy, Elliot and how she has spent countless hours in a state of both grief and joy on her journey towards peace. Here at Fashion Meets Poetry, it is our promise and commitment to the women on our platform to never share the intimate details of their story  unless that is their intention. Today, I would like to share with you my thoughts of the evening and a little bit of what Jess had to say.

Looking at this picture, I can feel the intensity of the space. It reminds me of the quiet right before a storm when you know something powerful is about to happen. Jessica is standing in her divine beauty as her story begins to unfold. Her body language reveals her secrets and suggests that we might witness the internal struggle between her fears and the fierceness of her heart. In this fight, in this space, her heart wins and declares, “I am brave. I will be seen.” More than anything, I see my dearest friend who knows she must lean into her inner strength to allow her vulnerability to take center stage. On November 11, 2018, she did just that. Jessica Imse buy cheap viagra next day delivery removed the masks, peeled back the layers, and captivated a room full of people with her story. Standing before us, she unapologetically said, “This is me.”

I wish everyone could have been there to witness the beauty of that moment and the richness of her story. Like I said before, Jessica’s story is not mine to tell, but I will leave you with a few words she shared with us that night:

“If it is my dear friend Lisa’s intention to bring a community together to tell stories for their own healing as she has most masterfully done here tonight, then it is my intention to let you know how to hear those stories with grace. HEAL YOUR OWN HEART FIRST. I am giving you permission to go out there and throw your own sand around for any of the reasons that I have mentioned . . . I have learned that the most gracious thing you could do for yourself, is to learn how to sit with your own desire to throw sand into the wind. Give yourself the space to be imperfect, sad, tired, hurt, ornery, abandoned, or any other feeling that breaks your heart and spills your guts on the floor. Cry a million tears. Give yourself permission to sit with that pain.

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PERMISSION TO THROW SAND: 
LIVING WITH GRIEF

Grief is not a four-letter word, not literally or figuratively. Although, anyone trapped in its desolated walls, will tell you it is living H-E-L-L. Jessica knows… because her sweet Elliot is no longer here. Experiencing the heartbreaking loss of her baby boy and raising her three beautiful children, Jessica has spent countless hours in a state of both grief and joy. While the world expected her to grieve in the moment, smile and move on, Jessica realized feeling the pain and anger was the best thing she could do for her own happiness. How can being sad lead to our happiness? Repressing our emotions is dangerous and sitting with grief is actually the ONLY way we can become one with our souls and find peace. In this moving talk, Jessica will share her emotional journey of loss and love and remind us that it is certainly ok to occasionally throw sand. At times it is even necessary.

Jessica embraces the richness of life’s journey. For Jess, most days are filled with the adventures of mothering four children and working alongside her husband, as co-owner of General Property Solutions, a building contracting business. With two bachelor’s degrees in business and English from the University of Wisconsin and a master’s certificate in teaching, Jess worked as a high school English teacher at a magnet art school before devoting herself to motherhood. With faith and hope, Jessica continues to persevere after losing her son. Today, Jessica believes that giving lightness to our dark sides is when darkness losses control over who we are and who we are to become.

 

Video courtesy of The Producers, Kirstie House & Ellie Dress
Photos courtesy of Andrew Schroyer and Amy Jeanchaiyaphum