Amber Galloway-Gallego, I love this GRRRL. Her presence has a powerful and lasting impact.  I will never forget what she said during the panel at GRRRL live “When is the last time you had to think about how you were going to communicate with others?”  That one sentence changed my whole universe.  I have never thought about it, I’ve never had too.  Thank you Amber for educating us and sharing your world with us. I love your beautiful spirit. – Kelly aka Spunky

“One day I was asked to participate in a GRRRL interview. I thought to myself “well what in the world is GRRRL clothing?” I quickly searched, found the website and felt something the moment I heard the first testimony and I quickly texted KO back “it would be an honor to be a part of this in any way I can be.”

Less than a month later I received another text from KO “hey we are swinging by Texas and also there is a song… could you sign it for us?” I respond “ of course I will do whatever you need” the Van of merch arrives and KO, Brit and Tori jump out. Once the Interview is done and after a few tears and smiles KO asks, “what are you doing this up coming weekend? can you come to GRRRL Live and speak?” I think “what’s GRRRl live?” Yet again, that night I went Back to the google search to understand what I might be getting myself into. My heart immediately said yes! I texted KO and responded “ I will be there” I and purchased my ticket.

 

This movement is new for me! This GRRRL stuff is new to me! I headed to Vegas and I knew no one really. I had absolutely no clue what I was about to experience. I do know my heart and mind were excited to educate and try to inspire others about access. Little did I know that I would step into a world of woman power, beauty of all races, sizes, shapes and inspiration. It forever changed me.

I checked in and went to the pool party. I felt alone because I didn’t  know anyone. I am hard of hearing. I have difficulty hearing conversations. I didn’t know if I would be judged because I am not pretty enough, muscular enough, or strong enough. This is what myself and I am sure others have felt so many times before heading into an all woman event.  As I observed and watched  interactions, I truly saw such love and beauty. After a while the DJ asked everyone to surround the 18 and under GRRRls.  I stood and watched as these beautiful women lifted each other up and gave words of “womenisdom” women+wisdom to the younger GRRRLs.

I realized that I have always needed GRRRL in my life and didn’t know I did! Wait no all Grrrls need A #GRRRLARMY. If I had this maybe I would not have tried so hard to find the wrong love, I would have loved myself more, I would have had the tools I needed and I would not have allowed what I have allowed to happen. Maybe my scars would not have been so deep. I know I am damaged. I am broken. I feel so alone on days, I sometimes feel hopeless. I also know I am stronger because of my brokenness. I know I am better because of my awareness of others experiences.

I find hope in others and inspiration. I am a better human because I choose to approach others with equality, and to honor each persons experience and let them know they have value. I feel empowered now and want the whole world to know how killer it is to be a part of the #GRRRLARMY!  What GRRRL did was solidify that we are GRRRLS, we are worthy, we are united, yes we are damaged but yet we are beautifully O.K.”

The stories keep coming in and I can’t get enough of em! This week I continue on my mission to share ALL your GRRRL Live 2018  stories. I never want to forget what happened in Las Vegas that weekend! They say “whatever happens in Vegas stays in Vegas” in our case we left a whole lot of stuff behind and we came home new women with an even stronger sense of sisterhood. Something like that can’t just stay in Vegas. We took it home with us and we’re using our circle of influence collectively to change the world one GRRRL at a time. –Kelly

 

“I wrote this in the closed Facebook group but it’s important to me so, I’m gonna write it again! Being seen and accepted as a woman and sister was my favorite part of GL18. There were no questions about me presenting as a masculine female. No one at GL18 called me “sir” or used the wrong pronouns. I was simply loved as a grrrl and it means the world to me. Thank you for creating an environment where that is possible KO and team!! Aside from that HUGE part of GL, attempting a deadlift for the first time with someone to check my form (I’ve done them at home but never with anyone around) was a big confidence booster. Thank you Karina for your guidance during the Meg Squats workshop! I’m feeling better than ever about picking things up and putting them down! 

 Since getting back to life in Minneapolis, I put up the GRRRL pledge in my bathroom and have been taking good care of my fresh GRRRL tattoo that Cara added to my bad ass lady sleeve. The daily reminder of the pledge and tattoo make me want to push myself to be the best grrrl possible while empowering other grrrls to do the same. GL18 was life changing. I’ll be back next year! :)” @butchtalk

“I don’t even know where to start!  I’ve been proud to be part of the #GRRRLARMY for almost 2 years now, and decided I needed to make time to meet (in person) more of these amazing souls I have been connecting with.  GL18 did not disappoint!  The energy and love in the room, on that first night, was so real and powerful.  Having the opportunity to meet, share stories, and network with so much positivity was beyond any expectation I had.  And yes, while there was lots of laughter, there were some happy tears too (xoxo Kathy Hardman!).  

It costs nothing to share a kind word or act with someone, to lift someone up, to tell someone YOU MATTER, YOU are AMAZING, you CAN get through it, WE can and WILL!  We are here to support each other, and kick some a** in life!  Thank you so much to the MFCEO, K.O. for gathering the army, and thank you to Bridge Raftery for always capturing the best in life through your incredible eyes!  We ARE GRRRLs!”    Amalia Chevalier @fitjourney_southbay

 

 

“GL18 literally changed my life. I can’t express how grateful I am for the GL18 experience. I have never been able to walk into a room of over 350 women and not feel judged. All I felt was pure love and acceptance. They are the sisters I never knew I needed, but now I couldn’t live without.

 The speakers were incredible. I felt on multiple occasions that they were speaking directly to me. When Melodee Meyer had us break the boards with what was holding us back, I felt a huge emotional release. When Inspirational Eve had us share our personal belief about ourselves I immediately panicked but when I spoke, my sisters listened. It was an emotionally rewarding weekend, one that I will never forget. I will definitely be back for GL19!”- Love Kristen 

 

 

 

“Words will never be able to fully express the emotions of what I felt at GL18. When I arrived in Las Vegas I stopped and thought to myself , holy crap Jenn you seriously full out to Vegas alone to meet a group of women you’ve never met before in person and your rooming with complete strangers!  Then I thought, well hell you’ve seriously done worse.  I didn’t realize at the time that it was going to be one of the best experiences in my life. To be in a room with over 200+ women you’ve never meet in your entire life and to feel their energy, the love , the passion and the support. It was definitely the most amazing experience I have ever felt. I went to Vegas alone but came home with 200+ sisters. GRRRL LIVE 18  lit a fire under my ass! I want every women in my family to experience next year. My mom, my grandmas ,aunts ,cousins, nieces the whole neighborhood and the world! If you ask why , I’ll say it’s because they need the education and to understand times are definitely changing. We are women of all shapes, sizes, ethnicity but we all share common things. We all have stories. We all just want to love ourselves and be comfortable in our own skin.  It’s time for a change. We are an army of women who empower each other! “Jennifer Cantu

 

I caught up with Gretchen Hoffer and i’m really excited to share  her point of view on GRRRL Live.  Before attending GRRRL Live I was completely ignorant to the needs of the deaf community and I have to say, I still have so much to learn. I appreciate Gretchen for being patient with my questions and truly educating me. I’m so thankful that topics like these were addressed during the panel and that we GRRRLS have been given the opportunity to become better humans. – Kelly aka Spunky

“My experience with GRRRL live 2018 was nothing short of amazing.  I also attended GL17 and while it, too, was life changing, this year really brought home the idea of sisterhood as well as bringing us all together in such amazing ways.  The opportunity we had to build connections with each other as well as the work that we were able to do on ourselves really made this year so much better. When I think back to what I took away from that weekend it is always the moments where I was focusing on what I wanted to improve about myself or an experience in connecting with another Grrrl.  I seriously cannot wait for GL19 because I know that it is only going to be bigger and better than each year before it!!

I was brought into GRRRL Live last year and this year as interpreter for one of our fellow Grrrls, who is deaf and uses ASL to communicate.  It was exciting to be part of the movement and also to advocate for the deaf community in this way. My husband is deaf and I work with the deaf as a mental health therapist so being able to connect with others in the community, help bring awareness to the community, and support deaf Grrrls has been so amazing.  

  • Can you please tell me your thoughts on being involved in the panel?

When I first saw this question I immediately clarified to Kelly that I wasn’t actually on the panel and that it was Clara Baldwin and Amber Galloway Gallego who were on the intersectional feminism panel.  I was just one of the interpreters for them. Kelly informed me that she wanted to get my perspective on my experience. It took me a while to think about how to answer this question as well as if I even wanted to answer it.  The reason for that is because my role was as an interpreter and in that role I am not important. I am not to take away from the Deaf individuals who I am interpreting for because I am their voice and that is it. A great example of this is Clara’s friend and fellow interpreter, Brenna, who was at GRRRL Live and worked with me to interpret for the weekend.  When we were given nametags to write our names on and wear she wrote on hers, “The interpreter has no name.” It was the perfect way to symbolize our role as interpreter. In interpreting situations, we are not important and should not be recognized.

Why is it more interesting that the interpreter knows sign than the fact that this is a Deaf person’s language that they use every day?  It is just something to think about and ponder. Often it is the interpreter who gets the attention, praise, and notoriety. That is not our purpose and takes away from the reason we are there and also does not then give the attention to the Deaf individual.  Both Clara and Amber talked about this during the panel and it is important to recognize and be careful who is getting the attention in these situations. Instead of commending the interpreter on their skills maybe we can communicate to the Deaf individual how beautiful ASL is as a language or another way to appreciate their culture.  

  • There is a video floating around social media with you teaching Rose Namajunas some important ASL signs.  What was that like for you? Can you tell us about the signs you were teaching her?

 

I first met Rose and Pat last year at GRRRL Live 2017 during a car ride over to the venue.  I was immediately aware of their genuineness and how humble they are in their lives as well as how easy it was to just chat with them.  Meeting Rose and Pat again this year was such a great experience and in no way did I think that Clara and I would end up teaching Rose and Pat some ASL!

It really all started with some of the other GRRRLs at the VIG lunch asking me questions about ASL in an effort to try to understand the language better.  Pat overheard the conversation and had some questions himself about the language, how the hands were used, and it led to me showing him a few signs to help him understand those parts of ASL, specifically the difference between one handed signs and two handed signs because he wanted to understand what you did with your other hand that you weren’t using to fingerspell/sign.  I showed then taught him the signs “work” and “mountain.” After the VIG lunch was over Pat was going around showing every how to sign “mountain” and that included coming up to Rose and showing her. That prompted the explanation as to why Pat was running around the room signing “Mountain” to everyone. So I also showed Rose how to sign “work” and “mountain.” Since they are from Colorado I showed them how to sign their home state.  Clara saw us signing and taught them how to sign Denver and then I showed them how to say “I live in Denver, Colorado.”

Clara then came over to see Rose and Pat sign and told them that she was going to test them on their ability to remember the signs that they were taught.  She tested them on work, mountain, Denver, Colorado, and then added in some new signs that they hadn’t yet been taught. This is where the video started and it shows Clara asking them to sign “Champ,” which they didn’t know, and then “Rose.”  The time we had together was so much fun. Both Rose and Pat were so awesome to take the time to learn more about the language and communicate with Clara, who is a huge MMA fan.

While this experience was really cool and amazing, what was also amazing was all the times that different Grrrls came up to me throughout the weekend to ask questions about ASL, Deaf culture, the Deaf community, and how they can be more respectful and understanding of the needs of a Deaf person.  Especially after the panel on intersectional feminism, which really opened the eyes to many Grrrls about the struggles that individuals who are Deaf or hard of hearing struggle with on a daily basis. It has been such an amazing experience to see so much growth happen not only in myself but from all the Grrrls around me and how much GRRRL Live created a place for us to do this kind of exploration and development.”

It was an amazing thing to be in the room watching all the GRRRLS  unite in freedom, movement and power.  The atmosphere changes when power like that is released. We explored our inner sexy without reservation during the chair dancing portion of the body confidence workshop. It seriously was a great time. Here is what Irys had to say about her experience as she led her portion of the class – Spunky 

 

Attending GRRRL Live was an opportunity that has most definitely changed my outlook on life as a whole. It changed how I see others but more than anything else, it changed how I see MYSELF!

                My nerves were a wreck because I had never been so excited to be part of something so great.  A revolution  among women that are changing the world, starting with themselves.  The keynote speakers  were there to wake us up and it worked! I have never been around so many women that welcome strangers with open arms, without judgement. There really aren’t enough words to describe the breakthrough I had emotionally. Kortney warned me that this experience would be life changing, but I never imagined HOW life changing it would be! I learned so much about myself and my new friends as well as the friends that accompanied me from home. Jessy De La Vega and Brendalyn Romero. It changed our friendship and made us so much closer. I was able to shed tears that for so long were suppressed deep down inside of me, because I have been through so much alone and I didn’t have time to cry! I was vulnerable but safe and that is why I loved being at GRRRL Live so much. I was safe! I am forever humbled by this experience. I am anew and with so many goals that I am  now about to crush with the support of my new GRRRLfriends.

                When I was asked to teach a workshop at GRRRL Live, I was more than honored and jumped at the chance. I would be crazy if I didn’t! The day my section of the workshop took place, I literally woke up from dreaming about the song I was going to present and doing counts in my head to the rhythm of the song.  As I showered, I played the song over and over and even did the dance in the shower ( so glad I didn’t slip).  I was so nervous! Nothing, I mean NOTHING can compare to the pride and overwhelming emotions I felt when I saw all of the GRRRLs in the workshop class. It was maybe the biggest class I had ever led! It was breathtaking to see all of those gorgeous ladies ready to experience something new. Once that warm up song came on, it was on and seeing the confidence in the ladies working their cat walks and diva turns and “touching their goodies” was a blessing. Everyone was so free. Sexy. Happy and in  ove with their bodies. My experience was sublime and I would do it all over again in a heartbeat. Vegas Stiletto Fitness with Irys, Ladies Night Out Events is all about self-love and confidence.  I try to do that with everyone that comes in and trys a class. One stiletto at a time. This experience turned me into a butterfly on more levels than one!

Melinda Ramirez 

“Dear younger me, 

I’m not going to tell you to smile…to keep your chin up…because life is full of difficulty, struggle, and pain. But what I will say is this:  Keep.  Going. 

You may feel like nothing will ever go right for you.  You’ve been traumatised by your 6th grade crush responding to the question of if he liked you with “No that’s f***ing sick.” You feel like no one will ever love you or want you. Rest assured that this is not so.  You have the love of an incredible man, who against all odds, married you. 

You hate your body, but…let me tell you that health is so important…and while you might hate the pain your body causes you sometimes later in life, you think you’re fat and ugly…it will also provide you with such pleasure, in so many different ways. 

Chase after your dreams.  You can do anything, literally ANYTHING you want to do in life. 
There will be snags.  Hangups.  Loss of friends.  Pain.  Heartbreak.  But there will also be love.  Love from your husband, from your family, from your friends, and from your sisters that you will come to know over time.  Love, acceptance, joy, passion, laughter, dancing, reading, knitting, movement… As much as you love music, you’ve found your passion in dance! You are exceptional at it. Enjoy falling in love with it.

I know it seems hard right now.  But trust me.  Even the hard times are worth it.  Keep going.  Push through the pain.  You’re more beautiful and more powerful than you realize right now.  You’ll come to know it at the right time.  When you do, have no regrets for the path or the length of time it took you to find your power…but rather, revel in the gloriousness that you found it, and have it…and go out there and change the world. “

@yasminadlv

 

“Dear baby Kar,

what a little pistol you are. There will be times when the world will try to dull your smile, but keep powering through. There will be some really tough times right ahead, like your parents divorce, your brother’s freak accident, high school in general and college.. but you’ll be okay.

Stay true to yourself always. If something doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t. If you’re doing something that doesn’t make you happy, stop doing it. Quit the job you hate, end the toxic friendship that’s providing you nothing but heartache, quit trying to make things work with people that don’t put in any effort.

So go out of your way to visit your loved ones, especially your Grandparents, they won’t be here forever. Don’t ever lose your drive or determination, it will carry you further than you know.

Always remember, if you ever feel like you’re living a life you’re not proud of, you have the courage to start over.. I promise you that”

@brokentobarbell

 

 

 

“Dear Michaela, 
You’ve had a rough time growing up. Kids were not kind to someone so different from them. You were bullied for simply being who you are and how you looked- for being tall, for having red hair, for being smart, and for being overweight. I wish I could tell you that it won’t have lasting effects on you, but it will. You will struggle with the damage that did to you into your adult life but it will not break you. You will one day learn to love and embrace being different, I promise you this.

But, with being torn down so much in life by others, you don’t see your self worth. I wish I could shelter you from all the pain this will cause you by letting others take advantage of you- mainly men in the “relationships” you find. They will use you for money, abuse you physically and mentally, and treat you like just a piece of meat- and you’ll start to believe that’s all you are. These men will make you feel bad about your body more than you already do to manipulate you for their own personal gain. It’ll bring on some really dark times in your life but you will find the light. 

I want you to realize most of all, that even though there were awful things done to you, it all happened for a reason. Every time you were bullied or every man that treated you horribly, there was a lesson to be learned and girl, you will always learn from them and be a stronger woman for it. These are the things that make you the bad ass woman you are. There’s light at the end of the tunnel, baby, don’t give up hope.

Finally, you will make the decision to change your unhealthy lifestyle and get out of that 314 pound body you find yourself in. I want you to know it will be a damn struggle but it gets easier every day. But sweetie, let me tell you about how much joy you will find when you step foot into that gym. For the first time in your life, you will finally feel like you belong somewhere

So be patient, know your worth, and LOVE your body because it’s the only one you get. And most importantly, don’t be afraid to just be yourself because she’s amazing 💛”

Love,
Michaela💋

 

 

“Dear Younger Ashley – 
Your life will be hard. You will be faced with many hardships and you will struggle, but you’ll come out on top. I promise. Your struggles will make you strong. Your struggles will keep you kind and humble. You’ve always had a good heart, but you will sometimes make STOOOOPID decisions. Don’t fret.

Stupid decisions leads to great changes and those changes will make you a better person. Experience is the greatest teacher and you’ll experience a lot.

Remember who you are and try hard not to lose yourself. It’s easily done. Remember what daddy always told you, “The world meets nobody halfway.” & you’ll be good to go. Be strong. Don’t take anybody’s shit and what shit you’re handed, you throw right back. “

Love – Future Ashley 

 

 

I love hearing stories about women finding themselves after feeling lost for a while. It motivates me to keep pushing.  Aixa Owens’s recount of freedom is inspiring!

“My experience at Grrrl live, wow, where do I begin? I walked into the Golden Nugget to not knowing what to expect and I came out of there with my mind blown away. Not only was the insane energy so powerful, every GRRRL there was just like me, needing to be surrounded by other GRRRLS who understood them. 

I was meant to be there, share my story and listen to everyone else’s as well. As we cried, hugged and cheered each other on all weekend, I grew stronger. What ailed me no longer held me back, my self greif  and most powerful of them all, the hatred I carried inside. For so long I carried this burden written all over my face and as I broke my board I felt that demon leave me. 
Now like Bruce Lee, I crouch down, whip my arm forward and with the palm of my hand I invite any other doubt to try and get me, cuz it will go down! 

GRRRL Live  saved a part of me I knew I was losing. Thanks to KO for giving me the opportunity to be surrounded by so much love and acceptance. For my GRRRL Heather and Annie, for sticking with me knowing I was panicking being submerged by so many people. As I type these words, tears are flowing down my face but, these are tears of joy and acceptance. I am a free GRRRL.

 

I am certainly excited for GL19 as I sit here and read all of your stories

Changing the game one GRRRL at a time

Spunky

“Grrrl Live 2018 was monumental for me.  When I went to GL17, I was trying to find my way in life and trying to build more confidence. I walked away from that conference not only realizing that I was on the right path but that many of my dreams were achievable and I shouldn’t let my insecurities get in the way.  Fast forward to GL18 and my life is different. On the plane to Las Vegas I realized just how I’ve come so far in my life. My insecurities have diminished, my confidence has increased and my life is great.  
 
GL18 was just as impactful in so many ways.  For one, I got to see a lot of the Grrrls that I met last year. Grrrls that I’ve made friends with through the private group or on Instagram. There were also so many that I had not yet known.  The hugs and the love just overflowed my heart and soul. Now I miss my #grrrlarmy sisters so much.
 
The presentations during GL18 were epic and there was so much that I took away from each one.  However, the most impactful was the Intersectional Feminism panel.  To listen to my sisters talk about this topic was deeply moving and I walked away more informed than I ever. I look forward to doing a self-check again for GL19 reuniting with my Grrrl Army sisters and meeting so many more next year. It’s going to be an epic year! I just know it.”
Adele George @adele_grrrlarmy

“Dear Jenn,
You were in some of the darkest days of your life here. You were so good at putting your head down and putting on that fake smile. So much so that now you refuse to smile unless it’s really from your heart. You binge on food to the point of purging when you feel guilt and shame realizing you couldn’t really control those feelings or fill that hollow spot. Your past sexual abuse from your chilhood affected all your relationships. You made poor choices in partners because You wanted all the control. You wanted to die period end of story. No One Would Notice Right? WRONG! You were so wrong on so many levels. Your depression felt suffocating to the point that you sought help and your village came forward because you are loved. You were 21….a baby really….You had so much to live for. Those were your darkest days. You still struggle with all of the above but you cope you are so STRONG! You fall down but you get back up. Remember to give yourself the kindness you have always so readily given to others. You deserve love…..do you hear that young one! You are Beautiful Outside and Inside…your body is a fucking powerhouse. You have built it to carry yourself and fight through this life. You still struggle with eating and how you feel and think about food but you work through it every day. You have a little boy watching you….thats right you gave life to an amazing kind hearted child that loves you even when your not at your best. You found a partner in every sense of the word that lifts you up and tells you that you deserve the world and more…..sometimes you even believe him…. Forgive yourself. Love yourself. Stop treading water young one….start fighting. You Are Worth It. You have made it…..and still you have so much more to learn and that is ok. You are OK. Keep your eyes up you got this.”

Sincerely 36 year old
Jenn

 

“Oh my darling girl,
If you could see the way the stars will shine you would never doubt your reason for being here. You’re family loves you. You are worth more than you could ever believe. You will be a Mama one day, to an amazing little man who sees you with no faults. “You’re my Mama,” he will say, “you are beautiful every day and I love you.” You will survive the emotional and physical abuse of your peers. You will survive the rape. You will survive the death of your Father, your first love and you will grow beyond measure. You will be someone people look to for comfort and counseling, sometimes even for inspiration. 
You will NEVER be defined by society because you make your own music and march to the beat of your own drummer. 
You will find love, when you least expect it. Someone who treasures your heart and weird mind. 
You cannot allow your past to ever dictate who you are.
Be brave. Be kind. Be responsible. Never take any shit. Know your limits. Be open to possibilities. Take a chance on the guy. Go to school. Ride rollercoasters. 
Love hard. 💜 M”

 

 

“Dear Younger Kristen,
Your body is starting to change. Some things you will like, some things you won’t. Embrace both. Love both, because the body is powerful and beautiful. I know it’s difficult to love your body when you see all the beautiful women in movies, magazines, and social media. But they don’t actually look like that in real life. They have been digitally altered and photoshopped into creating a fake image. They too have stretch marks, cellulite, and body fat just like everyone else. Seeing these images will make you think that your body isn’t perfect. Making you feel like you’re fat. But don’t compare yourself to anyone. Other women are not your competition. It will only make you think you’re not skinny enough or pretty enough but you are enough. You are beautiful and just the right size. Remember you are smart, funny, caring, brave, stronger than you will ever know, special, loved, and worthy of everything. So instead of focusing on being “fat” or “skinny”, focus on being healthy. Focus on being happy. Real beauty comes from within.  It comes from talking positively about yourself and others. It comes from standing up for yourself and others. From being kind and caring but not lettings others push you around. So stop talking to yourself with hate and disgust but talk with love and compassion.

Because you grrrl, are perfect. Love, future Kristen “

 

 

“Dear Jenn, where do I begin baby grrrl. 20Years ago this month you were getting ready to walk across the stage for one of the most proud days of your life and start your own journey. It was your turn to shine and walk away from all the heartache , bullying, trauma, violence,insecurities you had encountered by this age. But I wish I could of told you then it wasn’t gonna be that easy. I wish I could have told you to be prepared for even harder times and that you were gonna abuse yourself with drugs, attempt suicide multiple times that you where gonna have experience more trauma of your pops being shot and killed, you where gonna lose yourself looking for love in all the wrong places, you where be diagnosed with depression and ptsd. Oh baby grrrl there’s so much more, but I will tell you this. It never got easier but got so much better. Eventually you start to find yourself and started giving yourself the love you needed that you longed for. That you started to love what you thought where flaws. That you started given zero fucks about what society thought you. That you let god lead your way. That you become a powerlifter and eventually will become a barber when schools over and be your own boss. That your learned that you still make bad decisions but learning from the and keep going and growing. That your learning to be proud of yourself. That you’ve been off drugs now for 8Years and have become the healthiest and strongest you’ve been this far and are getting even stronger. No you haven’t met prince Charming yet but the love you long for from him your giving your self. That you turned your Ls into lessons. Baby grrrl you’ve always been a fighter and your winning. It took a while but that’s OK. You got this. And one more important thing your part of a world wide #Grrrlarmy who’s goal is to be the inspiration you long for and making a difference in others lives. Your absolutely amazing,beautiful, loved and doing the damn thing baby grrrl. You still have faults but that OK..just continue to grow from them and love yourself and you’ll get there”

#DearGrrrl  from @butchtalk

 

“Dear lil’ Whitney,
What a rad tomboy you are! I know you don’t see it now because you’ve been struggling with self-esteem issues since 1st grade, but you are truly one-of-a-kind. Despite all the family struggles, harmful cult-like church camps and retreats, depression, anxiety, physical and verbal assault for being gay you have already dealt with and will face in the future, you are strong and a fighter. You learn that asking for help isn’t weakness, it’s strength, and you learn to hold your head up high and walk your truth.


You’ll try to dress more feminine and put on makeup to fit societies expectations of girls and women, but you’ll eventually fully embrace your female masculinity and stop dressing in drag. Sidenote: you’re fucking smokin’ in your butchness. Own it grrrl!
As much as your brain tells you that you’re the worst, you’re not. No one beats you up more and harder than you do, but you know what? It lessens with time, lots of therapy, medication, and retraining your brain. It’s a shitton of work, but so worth it.
You are absolutely, 100%, exactly who you’re supposed to be, lil’ Whitney. A gem of a human.


In time you’ll believe it.
Be kind to yourself.
As much as you love others, give that love to yourself. You deserve it.
Love,
Whitney”

Welcome to our #deargrrrl project inspired by Dr Carolyn Becker. We’re asking you to write a letter to a younger you. It’s a process to promote self love, self esteem and forgiveness. To share your knowledge, help heal the scars of childhood, and help others that need encouragement right now. PLEASE join us & #deargrrrl 


Dear Kort
Wow. I’m not even sure where to start. I hate to tell you, but you’re about to experience the most challenging years of your life. You grew up with family who were sick from alcoholism. You need to know that they aren’t bad people who need to get good, but sick people who need to get well. Be mindful that you’ll walk straight into their shoes if you don’t watch your behaviours.

Everything that you are about to experience is an opportunity to grow stronger. You’re exactly where you’re meant to be in your journey, of every second that you are experiencing life.

You simply cannot fail – you are merely learning. Know that you are fully responsible for your life. You are not a victim.

You’ll make bad decisions from time to time, but as long as you take responsibility for your part, make amends, and do the next right thing, you can never truly do any wrong. Also, if you have to lie about something, you shouldn’t be doing it in the first place.

You have spent your life hating your body, but I want to tell you that you are a masterpiece. I commend you for continuing to get up every time you felt like dying. While you fumble through these awkward years of your life trying to “figure it all out”, just know that you don’t have to know what your purpose is, ever. It may be big, it may be small. But trust the process.

Know that there is a God, and you aren’t it my dear. Ask for guidance from The Universe, our ego-centric minds will never be able to navigate this world on our own.

Know there are 1000 ways to do something, and the only one that is factually ‘right’ is the one that works for you. Trust your intuition.

Slow down.
Forgive yourself.
Remember that the present moment is all we truly have.
Finally, we operate from either 1 of 2 places: Fear or Love.

Your stories keep rolling in and I couldn’t be happier to share them. This one from Gretchen has me in tears. I can relate to this feeling and I admire her courage and transparency in sharing this :

Chuckie Welch, Gretchen and Meg Squats!

“GRRRL Live was not at all like I anticipated it would be. It was better and harder. It kicked my ass more mentally than physically. I was walking to the event Saturday morning when I got the call that my 5 year old son was sick. As a mom I instantly felt guilt for not being home. I walked into the room and the #GRRRLARMY was already in formation. I made myself feel like an outsider. With each passing empowering moment I shrunk a bit more. The old voices in my head were gaining strength. “You’re not one of them. They won’t like you. You’re not enough. Women like them aren’t friends with girls like you.” And you know what? The voice won for most of the weekend. I sat alone in a room with the #GRRRLARMY and silently struggled. I cried when I couldn’t will myself to participate and I debated attending Sunday. I worked up the nerve to chase two of my IG (s)heroes down and emotionally explained to them how following them has helped me. 

Day 2 came and I slowly I got that inner voice to shut up. When it came time for board breaking I couldn’t break my board in the room with everyone else but I worked up the courage to do it in my hotel room alone. I introduced myself to another Gretchen, and then another Gretchen. There’s some magic to the fact that a name unused for 1000 years belongs to 3 women in the same movement. I gained strength at GRRRL Live by being my weakest, by realizing I still struggle to accept who I am becoming, by still being intimidated by the strength of other women because I’m scared to find my own. I can’t wait to go back next year!”

We all struggle at times. Getting out of our comfort zones and into the right environment is key. There is no better place or time to do that than at  GRRRL Live with the #GRRRLARMY standing with you. I am so excited for you Gretchen. You are stronger than you give yourself credit for. It takes TONS of grown ass woman strength to step out and fight the fear that is in your head.  That was no small thing! I cant wait to see you next year! Be prepared for one of my patented Spunky Hugs. We love you GRRRL xo

Spunky

That feeling when you go away but it’s just like coming home. That’s what reading Lydia Valentine’s story about what GRRRL Live meant to her reminds me of.

“Ever since I became aware of GRRRL Live and it’s inception in 2017, I knew I needed to go.  I had already followed GRRRLS from all over and I wanted to meet them all. Rarely do I stay interested and passionate about things in the “fitness” industry. But, I have only grown more involved and intense about this brand and what it’s about.

I work a full-time job on a college campus that prevents me from leaving town during the school year. But when the opportunity came up for me to attend GRRRL Live 2018, I did everything in my power to make it happen.

I had had a long few weeks before the weekend of GL and found out last minute that I could get coverage at my job, so I made a decision and did it. I was so tired from the week when Friday rolled around (my flight was at 10pm) I almost wasn’t excited about it; I just wanted to sleep. But I’m so happy I made it happen.

Through the GRRRL Facebook page I was able to find one of my GRRRLS who was landing around the same time as I was. We took an Uber to the Golden Nugget together.  She ended up being my closest friend for the weekend and we always knew we had someone to hangout with. Shout-out to Krystal Schmidt for being my airport buddy! We finally got to the hotel. But, sadly it was after the pool party had finished and we hadn’t seen any GRRRLS until we went to the lobby to check in. Who was the first person we saw? None other than Kortney Olson herself!! There may or may not have been some crying. I was exhausted but, I’ve never felt more comfortable around a group of women.

For 2 days I forgot about my other worries. I let myself feel completely free and comfortable in the company of these amazing women. They were nothing but welcoming, friendly and loving. All things good. I tend to get caught up with how I look. I’m afraid of doing things that I want to do in fear of looking stupid and I worry about what others might think.  At GRRRL Live I was entirely free from that feeling. I learned about myself, and how to be a better person for the people in my life

You know when you get so accustomed to something and you figure that’s just how it is? But, then you try this other thing and it’s so much better? and you’re like, “this is how it’s SUPPOSED to be.” That’s how I felt when I was surrounded by these women. I was accepted for me exactly as I am. I normally surround myself with supportive people but this was a whole new level!

GRRRL will always be a part of me and I couldn’t be more thankful that I had the chance to attend GRRRL Live 2018.”

Changing the game one GRRRL at a time

Spunky

 

I had a lot of fun in the body confidence break away session at GRRRL Live and I know all of you GRRRL’s did too! There was so much energy and freedom in the room that day.  Here is what Yassmin Diab  had to share on her experience with teaching us all about the beautiful art of belly dancing:

 

“What an absolutely incredible opportunity this was, not only to be present for GRRRL Live 2018, but to be a part of teaching a workshop with 2 other bad ass women.

When I approached Kortney after GL17 about teaching a belly dance workshop, I was really doing so on a whim.  Kortney didn’t know very much about me outside of being a part of the GRRRL Facebook group, and that I live in Vegas.  But she was all for it!  How thrilled was I?!  A few months later, she emailed me about combining dance workshops to create one MEGA workshop, and that sounded like WAY too much fun to pass up!!

I’ve been a student of Arab Dance for 15 ½ years.  I’ve taught various classes and workshops over the past 10.  This was by far the most challenging, and the most rewarding.

I say challenging, because I’m used to teaching for an hour to an hour and a half.  The structure of this workshop allotted myself and the other two GRRRLS about 35 minutes each.   Who doesn’t love a challenge?

Preparing was hard.  There is SO much material that I wanted to cover, I overwhelmed myself a bit.  I’d go off on crazy tangents, I had well over 3 hours of music to sort through and select.  However, with the help of my amazing GRRRL Supporting husband, I got the structure, the material, and the music laid out and ready.

I loved the concept of the workshop, too:  Body confidence through movement!  Leslie and Iryss both brought incredible classes!  Leslie’s twerkshop was super high energy, and had GRRRLS dancing on the walls!!  Iryss brought the super sexy chair dancing, strutting, and hair tossing!  It was amazing to share time with them.

GL18 was incredible.  There were so many important topics discussed over the weekend, I can’t possibly describe all of them with the attention and accolades they deserve. One that did have a profound impact on me was the Intersectional Feminism talk and the Panel. This tied directly into my portion of the workshops the next day:  as a white woman who studies, performs, and teaches Arab dance, I am always conscious about cultural appropriation.  I don’t want to pick and choose bits and pieces of the dance, leave the rest, and claim it as my own.  I have the utmost respect and love for Arab culture.  I study with Arab musicians, dancers, and teachers. This dance is someone’s culture. I have a responsibility to educate my students about it. Even if it’s something as brief as making a statement about where the dance originates from before diving into movement, or using as many of the Arabic terms for movements as possible. 

Having the opportunity to not only educate the incredible GRRRLS who took the class about the origins of one of the oldest dance forms in the world. And also sharing my passion, and hopefully help impart a bit of the confidence that studying dance has granted me, has been an incredible experience.   Every single GRRRL present did an amazing job picking up the minute and a half routine I presented.  I couldn’t be more proud and more humbled to have been a part of this incredible event.  I hope there will be opportunities in the future for me to do this again, and again, and again!! ”

 

Changing the game one GRRRL at a time

Spunky 

I Used To Be The Pretty Girl 

I used to be the pretty girl that guys would talk to with ease,
I used to know how to use my smile and my body to tease.
I’m not talking about the girl before a punch took my smile,
I’m talking about the girl who stood tall and who wore the latest style.
She would never let someone knock her down.

I used to be the pretty girl that everyone knew in town,
The girl who would refuse to give in,
Knowing that what the dickhead asked of her was a crime and a sin.
Her lips wouldn’t be afraid to say no,yes,maybe, whatever he didn’t want to hear.
I used to be the pretty girl who would never let someone keep her prisoner for years,
Always begging for the anger and nasty words to stop,
I was that pretty girl who wasn’t listened to by the cops.
I’m trying to be that pretty girl again,

The broken smile I will wear proudly because I took off his ring and began.
I can be that pretty girl because I made the risky and dangerous dive,
But there are so many pretty girls who never make it out alive.
This pretty girl will hold her head high with its missing whites,
Because I’m remembering what exactly are my personal rights.
And I will be that pretty girl again someday,
You beautiful people are helping me find my way!

Kathy Hardman 

 

Your stories from GRRRL Live 2018 are starting to roll in and I’ve made it my mission to share as many as I possibly can! That weekend meant so many things to so many of us. I find myself wiping away tears while reading all of the beautiful recaps of sisterhood, new friendships and strength. My inbox is flooded and I’m loving it!

I caught up with Clinay Cameron  and here is what she had to say about her experience in Las Vegas last week:

“I want to first start off by saying thank you for reaching out. I’m honored to share my experience with you. I wrote a lot because I had a lot to say. Words can’t describe how great my experience was.

I came to Grrrl Live 2018 with my friend and teammate Inky from Northern California. We both had no idea of what to expect but we were ready for anything. On Day 1, I was excited to have seen and/or met surprise guests such as Chuckie Welch and  Amber Galloway. With them having roles in events like this (big or small) just makes the experience much more impactful, because you have that true form of representation in the conference. To be able to physically speak with or hear from a person you resonate with on a more personal level, is both refreshing and empowering.

I was also greatly appreciative of the themes we went over for each day, which included public and interpersonal issues we as women deal with on a day to day basis. It was awesome to see Kortney and her team of speakers addressing topics such as intersectional feminism, and the public issue of immense lack of diversity and inclusion in society as a whole.

Lastly, I was hesitant to participate in either of the Strongwoman or deadlifting competitions because I didn’t want to intimidate any of the GRRRLS from trying because of my size (and I have bad stage fright when it comes to competitions). So, I definitely did not dress or prepare for the occasion. But, what hit home for me, was seeing many of these GRRRLS go out of their way to support and cheer on one another during these two workshops. The positive energy was AUTHENTICALLY INSANE! I attempted to stay off to the side to support, but Inky and several other GRRRLS were not having it and encouraged me to deadlift and do the Strongman medley. Had I not listened, I wouldn’t have had the experience of hitting a 400 pound deadlifting PR with the #GRRRLARMY rooting for me! That was one hell of an experience I’ll never forget. I’m one who encourages people to step out of their comfort zones for a living and my hand was dealt to do do the same.

I want to give a special thanks and congratulations to Kortney Olson for doing it again! We could not have made this visit possible if it weren’t for your love, encouragement, and support. I’ll be seeing you, and thank you for all you do.”

 

Thank you Clinay for sharing your awesome #GRRRLLIVE2018 story!  Congrats on that badass deadlift PR!

Peace, Love and Lollipops GRRRL’s

Spunky

 

 

Hey GRRRL’s Hey, it’s Spunky. I’ve made it my mission to catch up with as many of you ladies who attended GRRRL Live as possible over the next few weeks! GRRRL Live meant many different things to each of us. We loved, we hugged, we cried but most of all we GREW. We grew so much we came home different. I know I did. That’s sisterhood. That’s what happens when you create a space for women to step out in freedom. It’s a beautiful thing.

I had the pleasure of catching up with Leslie Parker who opened up the first part of our Body Confidence workshop on day 2. Leslie Parker is the creator of the TWERKXING PROGRAMM she is also a fitness and boxing instructor. This woman possesses such incredible soul and energy. She’s next level in the BADASS department! It was hard not to feel comfortable while attempting to shake my own ass! That says a lot because twerking and I were not friends before this workshop. Here’s what Leslie had to say about her experience:

 

I had an incredible time in Vegas last weekend with all those amazing GRRRLS.

I discovered a spirit where it’s more about how can I use my difference as a strength. Where one doesn’t judge the other because she doesn’t answer to the society code about how a female body has to be to be great.

During our workshop, I really enjoyed seeing freedom in all those women who had suffered with their appearance or body-weight.  

They really played the game. They were shameless and had a lot of fun. I love seeing happiness when I teach a class and I could feel a huge positive energy in the room during my workshop.

Some of the girls came over to me at the end of my twerk & fitness class to tell me thanks!

The energy with Yasmine and Iris was super cool. We motivated and supported each other. Our goal was to give our best to make the group feel comfortable. I could feel what we call “sisterhood”

As a badass as I am, I’ve had a hard time with people in the past. But with these GRRRL’s, I could really feel a support and a validation of our deep talent.  We are all different. We all have a talent and this spirit helps highlight our greatness.

I hope you will understand my text I’m French and I have to improve my English!!

Big thanks to Kortney and her super team. Long life to GRRRL”

Leslie Parker.

 

Hey GRRRL’s Hey, it’s Spunky!  I just got home from GRRRL Live 2018 and I’m still trying to absorb it all. What an amazing, life changing event!  I came home a different woman and I’m certain any woman who made it out to Las Vegas this year feels the same.

Here’s what some of you GRRRL’s had  to say about #GRRRLLIVE2018

Yet again GRRRL Live delivers. A weekend of fun, friendship and badass bitches. Sharing, supporting and shaping the future. The workshops, speakers and the OG event were out of this world! I will be back (and bringing my friends) thanks K.O and team GRRRL‘ – Mish x

” I’m almost certain that I’ve never been in such an encouraging, supportive group of WOMEN like this. Without judgement or competition. The vibrancy made my soul say ” This is what it is. This is truth”  Thank you! Can’t wait for next year! – Severina – Felicia’s assistant.

“My favorite thing about GL18 other than seeing my sisters was one of the speakers. Her message about freedom from food really spoke to me.  So much so, that I linked up to talk with her in a week or so. It’s a start in the right direction. As an OG, I really enjoyed the boudoir shoot more than I realized.  It touched a part of me that I didn’t even know existed.  Thank you!  – Kanoe

“GRRRL Live 2018- what an experience! Absolutely life changing, revolutionary and therapeutic. Thank you #Grrrlarmy for providing a place for growth, fun and connectivity.” -Kayla Hamilton. 

GL17 gave me the beginning tools, planted the seeds and ignited me on my mission to grow. GL18 empowered those tools, gave me new tools and more perspective. It has me leaving stronger, more educated, more aware and so much more driven. I’m excited for my growth, journey and change between now and GL19! – Cassandra Cuskelly.

“OG is the best part of GRRRL Live for me. It gives me extra time to know the amazing GRRRL’s in my sisterhood on a much deeper level.  The photoshoot gave me such anxiety but, once I got into my outfit and started having my pictures taken it really boosted my confidence. It was so much fun!

“What an amazing experience at GL2018! i met a lot of strong empowered women.  I’m happy to be part of our GRRRL family and already looking forward to next year!

 

 

 

 

Sisters. 

As we’re rolling into GL18- I thought I’d share some thoughts with you. 

This screenshot of my personal accounts are all negative balances except my checking account with $184.07 in it. 

The $25,000 loan and my credit card just bridging $7,000 are all expenses from GL17. 

I’m not financially irresponsible, just uneducated.

My dad got me my first pretend checkbook when I was 14?  But when I started using drugs and drinking at 17, needless to say I wasn’t the most financially responsible person. I remember the first time I learned I owed my bank $1200 from the mysterious “reserve line” I wasn’t even aware I had.  Apparently when you deposit a check, only $100 of it is available for the first 24 hours until it clears.  #whoops. I also remember when I bought my first house, and after the first year, I looked at the actual statement, and noticed that I had basically paid zero off the principal of the loan, and that my mortgage of $2300 was going towards interest.  I was gutted.  I hate owing people money, I hate being late on payments, and I always do my best to keep my credit score in at least the Low 700’s.

Anyway, I digress…..

Financial insecurity has always been a ‘thing’ for me.  I grew up in a hard working middle class family.  I never went without anything, but I was always feelings like we never had enough.  Could potentially be alcoholism, but I don’t have the mental capacity to go into that right now.

This picture was yesterday, 12 hours at a desk working on the event, but I’m actually writing this blog from the back of a van, with bags of inventory piled around me in trash bags as myself and my two wing grrrls, drive towards Vegas for 2018.  I still have a lot to do leading up to this event which is only FIVE DAYS away from happening now.  But at least unlike last year (our first year), I wasn’t just diagnosed with Hyperthyroidism and sleep deprived for 2 weeks!

But as we roll into GL18, I look at the debts I took on from my personal account, to pull this event off.  We took out several loans, and have spent the majority of 2017 paying them off, but have yet to touch my personal debts.  The credit card was used for AV costs, and the cash flow manager loan was used to pay The Artisan hotel, to take over the hotel.

Clearly, we had to learn that lesson the hard way.  After GL17, there were SEVERAL times we nearly rolled up our doors due to the inability to get ahead.  But of course, we’ve always found a way, and looking back on our recent IGG campaign, YOU all found a way……

So now, with GL18 just days away, I noticed that I’m starting to get on edge, and had to question why.  Of course there is a lack of preparation.  We spent 10 days from April 8-18th packing up our warehouse and shipping out 700 orders.  Not great timing in retrospect to be doing that RIGHT before your second annual event.

But I realised that a big part of this edginess comes from that rooted fear of financial insecurity.

But the reality is, financial security is an illusion.  And this is why I’m writing this blog.  If you’re like me, you can easily look at numbers in your account, and let that dictate your mood, or feeling of success.  I can quickly look in my personal account and become overwhelmed and think “what the actual fuck are we doing?”.

Then I think back to the 8 year old who came and met me yesterday after talking to her on the phone a little over a month ago about why she should love her body, and not feel like she is anything less than perfect.  I think about the tears that rolled down her face as we finished saying The Pledge together, and I know that financial insecurity is an illusion.  I think back to the day prior to that, and look at the footage we captured of Amber Gallegos interpreting (signing) a video for us, and explaining the importance of bringing awareness to the deaf community and how we need to do better as a society.

I also think of every member of the grrrlarmy who has had her life changed by this brand.  And whilst my Grandmother might not see the value in what we’re doing because all she ever hears about is how tight money is, and my partner and I are fighting, and my health is declining.  But what a lot of people don’t understand, is that entrepreneurship is rewarding beyond not having to wake up to an alarm clock, being told what to do by someone else, and getting to set your own schedule.  It’s about having the opportunity for creating real, substantial change.

So if you’re reading this, and you’re a business owner, or contemplating starting your own business, do not let financial insecurity deter you from chasing your passion.  These numbers in my personal account are temporary.  And even if they kept getting bigger, who the fuck cares?  We’ve created an army of women ready to FIGHT for any one of us.  GL18 is doubled in size from GL17, and we learned by making A LOT of mistakes the first time around.  If we let that keep us back from doing it again, there wouldn’t be any magic.

When I die, I’m not taking any of these numbers with me, positive or negative.  Interest rates and the ‘Federal Reserve’, have a fascinating history if you ever get time, look up how the institution got started, and who’s behind it. “The Thrive Movement” is a good place to start on youtube.

Once again, I digress….

So much is about to go down next weekend.  I can’t even articulate.  But had I let fear creep in, and financial insecurity hold me back, a lot of lives wouldn’t be evolving next weekend.  Which of course will have a ripple effect on many more.

So to all of you who have made the sacrifices to get out here, I thank you from the bottom of my heart, and know that GL19 will be even more untouchable.  With that many more lives impacted.

Love

MFCEO

Hey Kortney,
I just got my first ever item from Grrrl. I visited the mailbox, tried on my bomb as FUCK new jacket, and read the tags pinned to it at just the right moment !
I have spent the last year doing wonderful things with my body (trail running, rock climbing, playing Division 1 rugby with a team of killer ladies in Denver, and skiing). I have also spent the last year fighting an eating disorder fueled by PTSD and a lifetime of a shitty body image. Today was especially hard,like sit-in-the-grocery-store-parking-lot-for-20-minutes-before-I-got-up-the-courage-to-go-the-fuck-inside hard.
It sounds ridiculous. It was. Walking to the mailbox, my logic was bargaining with the destructive side of my mind, trying to keep my dinner in my body. Putting on a piece of clothing that fit me perfectly was a good first step to turning the evening around. Then I read the pledge on mtge tag. There was a part that made the bitch who lives in my head (the one who is never pleased, the one who said “15 lbs gone? Now 10 more? More.”) sit down and shut the fuck up for a few blessed moments. “I am having a POSITIVE IMPACT ON THE WORLD”.
My worth is not tied to a meal, a number, a size. Every time I step on the rugby pitch, or run, ski, and climb, I am building my body and giving my mind the fucking break it deserves. If my mind and body are taken care of, I can take care of those around me and leave the earth better than it was before I arrived. I can’t do any of those things if if I’m actively working against my body and constantly degrading myself. I read the pledge again.
Then I got up and made my lunches for the week. And you know what? I’m going to eat them too. Its just food. It’s not something to control – it’s fuel, plain and simple. I will put this pledge on my bathroom mirror. I will continue to move on and up. I will learn to love myself. I am going to achieve my goals. I’ve always known all of this, but it has been buried deep.
Thank you for what you’ve done with all that is Grrrl and GrrrlArmy.
Reporting for duty

 

Hey everyone it’s Kelly AKA The SpunkyCanuck checking in with the scoop on an awesome GRRRL fairy tale.

Recently, I had the pleasure of catching up with Lizzie and Suzy two GRRRLS who have an amazing story to share. I was familiar with part of their story catching bits and pieces of it here and there in our closed FB group and on Instagram. But, after spending some time with these ladies, I experienced first hand the love that they share for each other.  It’s evident that this couldn’t have happened to two more deserving women. After our talk, I was left feeling inspired and hopeful that real life whirlwind, butterflies in the stomach type of romances actually do exist and still happen.

Lizzie, 26 a sweet fun loving pastry chef from Christchurch New Zealand and Suzy, 37 a passionate children’s daycare worker in Chicago IL, had no idea that their lives were going to be completely transformed in EPIC proportions when they became a part of our closed Grrrl Facebook group. I must  say that I did get a little emotional putting together this interview. It’s just really nice to see genuine beautiful people fall head over heels in love and come out on top.

Kelly: Tell me the story about how you each found GRRRL Clothing.

Lizzie: I came across Grrrl while I was looking for some new gym wear. I had just started going to the gym with an Olympic lifting friend who was slowly getting me addicted to lifting heavy shit! I loved the clothes so much and through them, I found the Facebook page. I fell in love with the vibe  in the group and all the amazing Grrrls. I started talking and interacting with Grrrls and made some really cool friends around the world. Jumping on the Grrrl page felt like coming home.

Suzy: I found Grrrl through a close friend whom I used to Crossfit with. I was down dark path and at the end of bad relationship. I was Literally starting my life over again after a 5 year relationship. One day my friend says to me  “Have you heard of Kortney Olson?” and I’m like “who?” and she was like “ what you have never heard of Grrrl?” I hadn’t so I quickly checked them out on Instagram and was added to the FB group shortly after. I was in awe!! I was amazed at all the strong females. And even though I was in the group, I didn’t feel quite up to par. There were so many lovely Grrrls commenting and building me up. Slowly, I was finding my way and.making a couple Grrrl purchases at a time. Even at my heaviest, I was sporting around in shirts that exposed my sports bra and all my jelly rolls. I didn’t care because I represented a brand that was about something. I even attempted to get a Grrrl tattoo  however it was spelt accidently with and “ I” in it. I didn’t care, I was invested in this movement. I was a Grrrl!

Kelly: How did you guys meet?

Lizzie: One day I was just cruising around the group seeing what everyone was up to and this Grrrl posted about her donut shorts. She shared about how she wore them to the gym and felt self conscious and awkward. So, I commented about how I have the same shorts and I understood the feeling. She looked amazing in them and I wanted to offer her some support. A little while later I saw she had posted again and I won’t lie, in my head I was like. “she is freakin hot!” After a while seeing her posts and commenting back and forth, I added her as a Facebook friend.

Suzy: I began friending girls slowly and getting to know them a little better. I friended a cute girl named Lizzie who was full of energy and life. I noticed that I could always relate to her quotes about life and relationships. We were literally FB friends for 6 months before we actually spoke to each other!

Kelly:  Can you tell me a little bit about how your relationship developed?

Lizzie: We continued commenting on each others posts but, we barely talked at all for several months. Then one day Suzy posted about a dinner voucher she had and that she needed someone to go with her to this dinner. So, I cheekily commented that she should take me on a date! The comments went back and forth about this imaginary date we were going to have. I decided to send her a private message to continue the conversation. I didn’t go to sleep till about 4am that night. I just wanted to keep talking to her. She was so interesting and funny. I was worried if we stopped talking that day, we wouldn’t talk again! How wrong I was!

The next day we just kept talking and to this day the talking hasn’t stopped. We slowly got to know each other. We got good at the time differences and at remembering each others schedules to maximize our talk time. We got up early and stayed up stupid late just so we could talk longer. We started sending each other music to listen to. All of our favorite songs and bands. The music became love songs and the conversation changed from our friendship to something more.

I remember one day I was wondering what her voice sounded like. I sent her a little video just saying “hi”. This is me and my kiwi accent, i’m wondering what you sound like.”  This poor little sausage was so nervous about sending one back. It took some encouragement, but she did it for me and a little while later she was comfortable enough to video chat in real time. We started having little dates on video chat. We talked about life and what we both wanted and cared about. It felt crazy to be falling for someone on the other side of the world, who I have never met. It happened so naturally and so easily. I never imagined that it would actually become something. When I realised I had fallen for her, I knew that I had to do something!

Suzy: In June of last year I posted about a birthday voucher and how I needed someone to come with me for dinner. I had no idea that my whole world was about to change. After chatting through a private message with Lizzy I knew I had found a solid friend. I honestly had no intention of finding love at this point. I had been talking to someone for a few months who lived states away. That relationship was pretty much at its end when Lizzie and I started chatting. I was very upfront about my situation. I had been in a dishonest relationship previously and didn’t want to hurt this dear person that I had just met. But, as we continued to talk everyday. I found myself not being able to get through my day without finding out what she had been up to, or what funny things she’d say. She was so very funny and so very charming. Our conversations consisted of real things. Hopes and dreams. She was also encouraging me to go back to school. This girl was amazing and I couldn’t get enough.

Kelly: Can you guys tell me the story about how you first met in person?

Lizzie: A friend of mine sat me down and basically told me that I needed to just go for it! I needed to go and meet her for real and find out if this woman is going to be my forever. My friend set up a crowdfunding campaign to help pay for my flights and my parents helped out a bunch. I have never traveled further than Australia (3 Hour plane ride). Traveling to America by myself was huge!! I was so scared but also crazy excited!  The trip was amazing and I never once felt alone. I knew the Grrrl Army was behind me and commenting on my journey as I was sharing it with them. It felt like all the Grrrls were there with me.

Suzy: I never wanted a moment to happen more in my life. To have this girl with me whom I barely knew, but was so quickly was falling for.

After months of talking, I knew I wanted to spend my life with this girl. Me!  The person who has been so scared of the whole marriage thing. I wanted nothing more than to make this girl my wife. I wanted her to help me raise my children. She is definitely one of the most selfless people I’ve ever met. I wanted a house and the whole nine yards. I wanted it all. Many would consider us crazy because there is 17 hrs between us. But, to be honest there was never a question of will this work or How will this work? Those questions never crossed my mind. All I knew is that she was mine and I was hers. I was going to make this work. I would do whatever it takes.

When I met this girl at the airport and I held her in my arms for the first time and kissed her lips. It confirmed everything I had been feeling for the previous three months. If I had a ring at that moment, I would’ve proposed  to her right then and there. Having her in my space was the best reality I have ever experienced. She was there with me. It was everything. She is my everything. Later on, when I made my journey over to her it was just as exciting! Her world is so awesome and so are her friends and family. I can just tell they helped shape her into the beautiful person she is today.

Kelly:  I’m getting all the warm fuzzies just hearing you guys share from the heart. What a beautiful story. Lizzie you mentioned a crowdfunding campaign and the #GRRRLARMY being  behind you during that first trip. Can you tell me a little more about how that evolved?

Lizzie: The friend I mentioned earlier secretly messaged the MFCEO and asked her if it would be okay to get the Grrrl Army involved in a crowdfunding campaign to help raise the funds for my trip. Kortney set it all up and started sharing it everywhere. All these GRRRLS who we’ve only known online, sent money and left messages of encouragement. It was so incredibly humbling. I couldn’t believe how much people cared about us.

Kelly: That’s extremely heart warming and amazing. It’s so cool to know that this trip lead to your eventual engagement! Congratulations! Who proposed? And how ?

Lizzie:  Suz and I are super romantic, so I wanted her to have the big heartfelt romantic moment. When she booked her flights to come out here to New Zealand and meet my family, I planned this wee picnic in the garden for us. I had a ring made by this amazing kiwi jeweler, it’s one of a kind. When I proposed, about 5 seconds later Suz pulls this frickin ring out of her pocket ! She had the same idea!!!!

Suzy: Yes absolutely!!  She beat me to it!

Kelly: How incredibly special! And now in less than two weeks you will be getting married at GRRRL Live in Las Vegas! That’s insane! How are you guys feeling, are you nervous?

Lizzie:  I am crazy excited! My dress is just having a few final touches this week and everyone at my work is counting down the days with me!

Suzie: I’m super excited! However i’m a worrier. I worry about traveling and making sure everything will go alright.

Lizzie:  I know like we were planning on meeting for the first time and going on a date in Vegas and now we’re getting married!

Suzy: Oh how things have changed. It’s like they say when you know -you know and with Lizzie, I have always known.

Lizzie: I read this thing a while ago about how there are 2 types of people. Jumpers and toe dippers. I have never found another jumper before until I met Suz. Like we just went for it!

Yep, they sure did go for it. It’s amazing what a group of determined women can accomplish when they want to get something done. We’ve seen it with our even more recent crowdfunding campaign, The Self Love Rebellion Project. Grrrls are changing the world. I am very much looking forward to watching these two get married and sharing in that moment. It will no doubt be memorable. I am honored to be involved in sharing their story. I am honored to be a part of  an amazing group of women who are making shit happen every day! Stay tuned, I will be writing a follow up on these love birds after the wedding!

 

Peace love and Lolipops

Kelly

 

Hey grrrl heyyyyyyyy!!

MFCEO here to give you a play by play of what to expect for GL18 for those of you who’ve dug deep and found a way to get to THE absolute life-changing female empowerment event of the year.  For those of you reading this who are unaware of what the hell GL18 means, let me break it down for you.  GL = GRRRL LIVE 18= 2018.  Last year (our very first event), GL17 was (in my eyes) “meh”.  However, ask anyone who attended and they’ll tell you otherwise.  Take Cassandra Cuskelly for example.  She was so inspired after the event, she hauled off and got GRRRL tattooed above her eyebrow, along with several other grrrlarmy members who also got the brand tattooed.  Shit brings a tear to my eye just thinking about it now!  I look back at the event, and as a perfectionist, saw it as just “meh” because:

A) Everytime you do something for the first time, it isn’t going to be up to your standard,
B) I was just diagnosed with Graves’ disease right before departing Singapore and legit hadn’t slept for TWO WEEKS prior to the event (lol).  Not to mention on the flight over from Singapore to USA, I read an email that all of our leggings that had just finished completion to sell at the event were one size out, and I needed to somehow magically pull thousands of dollars out of thin air in less than 12 hours.  So there was that….. #startuplife

But in true GRRRL spirit, we ALWAYS find a way.

Now onto the excitement that is GL18:

Before I get into the event details, lets talk about ‘what to pack’.

Everyone needs to pack a ‘fancy dress’ if you plan on attending our red carpet event, which is the premier of our amazing documentary GRRRL: Beauty Is The Beast.  VIG and OG ticket holders will have access automatically.  For our general admission ticket holders, we’ll be announcing how to gain access during the general session Saturday morning.

Aside from a fancy dress, you really don’t need to pack anything except your favourite GRRRL gear!  Dress code for the general session is GRRRL clothing or functional and comfortable clothing, if you don’t own any gear (yet, lol). Don’t forget, you will be participating in an activity based workshop on either Saturday or Sunday, or both days.

For our OG ticket holders, be sure to pack something “sultry” (whatever that may mean by your own personal definition) to wear in your ‘boudoir photoshoot experience’ Monday morning.  You’ll need to arrive Monday morning with hair and makeup done if you want to glam it up for your shot.

Now – event details:

First off, unlike last year, everything is under one roof: The Golden Nugget.  For those of you who’ve not yet booked a room, the Nugget is damn close to sold out, but there are plenty of surrounding hotels around that have availability.

We recommend getting in Friday afternoon, and get yourself an Uber.  Unless you plan on driving out to the dessert at midnight over the weekend and watching shooting stars, there is absolutely zero reason to get a rental.  The Golden Nugget is in Downtown Las Vegas, the OG part of where Vegas was born.  Outside the Nugget, there are plenty of places to eat within walking distance with a ton of variety.  Also, the Nugget itself has a ton of places inside, including a dope buffet for $13USD.  Everyone from carnivore to vegan  can make the buffet work.

Depending on where you are staying, get yourself checked in, then head to our registration desk which will be located in Pebble Beach 3, which is in the conference space at the Carson Tower. You will see signs at checkin in the Carson Tower, or just ask when you check in. Be sure to register on Friday, because that’s where you will get your entry pass for the Pool Party.

At registration, our team will get you registered, get you your swag bag (make sure you bring your bag with you Saturday morning to the general session!), check you in for the pool party (which you can purchase tickets on site, or prepay here.) confirm your workshop elective, and double check your status for whether you want to compete in the deadlift/stronggrrrl competition Saturday late afternoon immediately proceeding the workshops.

After you get registered, you’ve got to check out the retail store!  Not to be a tease, but we have some of the raddest gear in the herstory of our GRRRL life hitting the event this year.  Please believe there will be no emails the week before the event informing me anything is mis-sized lol.  Believe that!

After you’ve shopped, grab your new GRRRL suit and head over to the Hideaway Pool at 7p for our takeover pool party!  From 7p – 10p we have the entire pool area taken over for just our grrrls.  One of the biggest pieces of feedback from last year, was that everyone had a little wish to have the opportunity to mingle and bond beforehand. So ask and you shall receive!  With your entry to the pool party, you’ll have a whole hour of free flow alcohol for 21+ and an array of different foods to nibble from while you chop it up with each other!  Three of our Ambassadors, Stephanie Brown, Stephanie Polluck and Isah Mazing will be there waiting to welcome you with lots of hugs and excitement! Anyone who bought their admission ticket before the end of October last year, will have the pool party included in your admission. If you bought your ticket after November 1st 2017 there is a cover charge of $30 to cover F&B. You can grab a ticket here…..

For those of you traveling alone, please don’t trip!  Everyone gets anxious going into new social settings.  But as soon as you meet the registration desk, you’ll feel right at home, and even more so once you get in and amongst your sisters.

After you’ve had your full share of chilling by the pool eating, drinking and laughing, get your ass to bed and ready for an early start.

Now, here’s a breakdown of the agenda in a real basic flow:

Saturday and Sunday morning both have an optional, full body workout in the grand ball room from 7am – 7:30am with Stephanie Polluck and Chantel Glesman.  Doors will open 6:50a so you can come in and occupy some space!  The workout is suitable to all levels, and if you have any injuries or concerns, be sure to let the one of the coaches know.

Then get back to your room and shower if need be, grab a bite, and get ready to come in when doors open at 8:00am with your swag bag.

Let the show begin!

Saturday’s theme is “finding self love through the eyes of our sisters” and Sunday’s theme is “inner reflection; learning tools to empower yourself from within”.

On both days, from 9am until roughly 1pm, we’ll have mainstage speakers interspersed with activities and opportunities to learn and grow. After lunch Saturday, we’ll have a fun section of movement called Wrestle Mania which will include a series of stations for you to experience some laughs and learning, whilst getting your body warmed up, along with your goddamn smiles!

After that, the workshops will commence.  We have Rose Namajumas teaching MMA on one side of the room, and the Deadlift & Stronggrrrl workshop on the either, with Meg Squats (along with her Bodybuilding.com squad) doing the technicalalities of the deadlift and Britteny Raynor and her squad doing the stronggrrrl workshop.

Following the workshops after a short break, we’ll get straight into the competition series of the deadlift and stronggrrrl events!  These competitions, along with the workshops, are designed for all levels, and provide an excellent opportunity for those of you who’ve always wanted to “check out” strength sports, but never felt comfortable enough to just rock up to a facility or step foot into a “gym”.  Whether you’ve never touched a barbell or sandbag before, or even walked onto the mats at an academy, all workshops are suited for the freshest of newbies, or the most vintage of pros.

After the competition series is over, we’ll roll into a dinner break.

For our VIG ticket holders, dinner will commence upstairs in one of the conference rooms at the Golden Nugget.  You’ll be advised upon arrival where that will take place, and dress attire is come as you are.

Take some time to eat, chill, and process your learnings from the day, then get ready to glam it up and walk the red carpet for our documentary premier!

From 9p, we’ll have the red carpet and media set up for the documentary cast, crew, celebrity guests, VIG and OG ticket holders will have access included in their ticket. Following the documentary, the night is yours to either crack on or get to sleep.  But be advised that Sunday is even more powerful than Saturday, so highly recommend you get a good night sleep. 

Sunday’s workshops will be a choice of:

-KO: teen time (for 11 year olds up to 19, join me in the Penthouse for 1.5 hour life changing talk and activity!)
-self defense with the Ramos sisters
-body confidence (a triad of dance: belly dancing, sexy chair dance, and twerking!)
-plant based living with Jacq from Get Planty
-NHA intensive with Andrea Parker (following her mainstage keynote on NHA. Highly recommended for mothers or Administrators working with high functioning children.  However, this valuable information is applicable to all relationships)

Following our workshops, we’ll again have a dinner break and then reconvene for our final closing keynotes, and event: Our grrrl + grrrl wedding!!!!  

Following Lizzie and Suz’s wedding, there’ll be an optional celebratory event on site, with us wrapping up the event with an ETA of 7:30pm Sunday night.

Now, for our OG ticket holders:

Monday morning, you will report to my Penthouse and join me along with Felicia Searcy, for a life changing series of experiences.

Upon checking in, you’ll find out the details of what Penthouse to report to onsite, with hair and makeup ready for your mini boudoir shoot with Bridget Raftery which will happen upstairs, while the rest of us drink mimosa’s, eat fruit, and get to know each other’s story on a deeper level.

After our morning session, we’ll have a beautiful catered lunch, then  spend the afternoon with Felicia diving deep into a 3 hour workshop on exploring and understanding how to create your ultimate dream life, followed by our final activity of axe throwing at Axehole (which is a few blocks down from the Golden Nugget) from 3-4:00pm, with the facitility rented out to us grrrls!  After the exhilarating axe extravaganza, we’ll head back for hugs, pictures and farewells, until we meet again.

So that is it my sisters.  Prepare to have one of the best weekends of your life, and we’ll see you soon.  Let the countdown BEGIN!

XO MFCEO

Most of you probably caught my IG story about visiting Julie . I initially put the call out because I was looking for a photography studio to simply borrow someone’s white seamless canvas and shoot some leggings. Bridget was going to be traveling with me. But plans changed, and all of a sudden I was asking Julie if she could shoot the leggings. It also happened to be my husband’s birthday and I wanted to do something ‘special’ for him since I have been away. His favorite color happens to be red. I just so happened to have red heels and a red thong body suit. Hahahahahaha!

Long story short we shot the leggings and got straight into a mock boudoir shoot. It was the first time I’ve ever done a shoot like this and I can’t tell you how amazing of an experience it was. When I arrived at Julie’s studio I was blown away by her level of detail. I can only describe it as a “woman’s touch”. For example, she had a sign that said ‘welcome Kortney’ sitting on the table. She had sultry R&B playing at the right volume. The lighting was amazing and she offered me a drink straight away.

We quickly started talking and she told me about how she got into doing boudoir. A lot of her clients are rape survivors or escorts. She explained how the photo shoots are empowering experiences for both herself and her clients. She struggles with body image on a daily basis and experiences healing through other women. She can still remember back in junior high and high school how her dad used to say “God you have the body of a linebacker” and her mom saying ” you’ll never get a husband if you eat like that”

Of course by time I was ready to leave I had her hooked in with some local Virginia GA members. Like K.P. to help her get started with Powerlifting! I mean Julie has THE PERFECT body type to lift some MASSIVE numbers. Thighs to DIE for. She’s just adorable, So personable and easy going. We both had a lot of fun.

So here’s the crazy thing. Since I was 21, I’ve been doing some kind of modelling. Back in my younger days I used to do a lot of implied nude and shooting with dudes to build my portfolio before social media had really become a thing. Model mayhem was the end all and be all. Over the years I’ve only worked with maybe 2 female Photographers. Even then it was just to shoot clothing for GRRRL and years back the odd shoot here and there. Like the iconic shoot with Jessica Frint in Humboldt County. But, ultimately it’s always been with male photographers. However over the past 4 years I’ve only shot consistently with one of my best friends who goes by the name “Tchalla Hawk” in the public eye. We’ve been shooting for a decade now and he’s one of the only Photographers who doesn’t see “flaws” as “flaws”. I’ve decided our goal by the end of this year is to release a semi-autobiography pictorial book that showcases our work and growth over the past decade without the use of photoshop or airbrushing.

Today was a radical change in experience. Having a woman direct me on how to pose in a sensual way was like nothing I’ve ever experienced before. Having modeling experience, I’d get into position and she’d tweak it ever so slightly then yell out “oh YES! That’s brilliant! Perfect hold that right there! GORGEOUS!”

Hearing compliments from another woman is life changing. It’s an energy that I cannot really explain. Those of you who’ve utilized the pledge cards and written a compliment to complete stranger which resulted in some kind of experience will know what I’m talking about. In the past I’ve taken A LOT of risque and racy photos in tiny outfits to show off my muscles. I always flexing and showing some kind of definition. But today was very different for me. I felt soft, and overly feminine. I almost felt strange. My entire life I’ve felt like I’m not worthy or sexy if I can’t see actual muscle definition. It’s a long-story as to why.But I’m acutely aware of it.

While traveling here in the United States I’ve worked out 3 times in the past month. So feeling like I’m not ‘ripped up’ and putting myself into poses that didn’t involve me flexing muscles, felt rather odd. However, when we went back and looked at some of the photos I was truly mind blown! It was like seeing myself though another lens. And this is exactly what I believe boudoir photography is designed to do. It’s not vanity, but more of an avenue to self acceptance. You get to see yourself in a powerful position (because lets face it Darryl Hall & Oats were singing ManEater with conviction in the background!) of sex appeal that you can chose to use, or not to use. Finding yourself exotic, enjoyable, desirable, fabulous.

I’m still having a hard time with the concept of where you draw the line between being a “good role model” for the NextGen and showing them that we have a power that needs to be harnessed and used at OUR will. Why do we sexualise women’s nipples but not men’s, when in actuality ours serve a function? They feed tiny humans. And also show them that there is nothing wrong with sexuality. Naturally humans (kids primarily) want to do what they’re told “not to do”. So if you’re exhibiting yourself in a position where you’re making a statement. This is me loving me. I’m not here for your approval. I’m not here for the likes on the pictures. I’m here to say goddamn I’m a stunning goddess and when shot through the eyes of another woman I can get a glimpse of my underlying power! Whether that power is rising up your masculine energy or feminine! Whatever your journey is you can find it whilst doing a boudoir shoot.

So. Much. Love.
Feeling content, accomplished, unafraid, and unstoppable with the GA charging forward.
MFCEO

It’s interesting, this is the first time in my entire life that I’ve gone more than 3 days without working out.  I’ve been in a gym since I was 17.  I’ve been taking some form of a stimulant like ephedra (when it was still legal) or pre workout, since 1999.  For the entire month of March, and the first week of April, in total, I’ve worked out 3 times in a gym.  I’ve had pre-workout once.  Usually, I could go 2 days, 3 at most, without working out before my body image issues would start to raise their nasty heads.  (I say head’s plural because I have a lot of fun voices in my head)

But for whatever reason, I’ve found that I’ve been ok being ok in my skin.  I’m not sure what’s happened, but I can tell you what has definitely helped: Being around a deaf person for the past couple of days.

I’ve been fine in general without working out.  But over the past two days, I’ve really started to notice how self-centered and insignificant my negative self talk is due to the fact that I’m staying in someone’s house who is deaf.  My wing-women is Tori.  She’s married to a gent who lost his hearing completely around the age of 7.  He can read lips and ‘had’ a cochlear until it died a few months back (costs $10,000 to replace since they have a monopoly on it). I didn’t realise how privileged I am, until I see (no pun intended) how much of an impact not being able to hear has on a person’s life.

Tori and I have been talking about how many people have been shot by the police for not responding to commands like “freeze” or hearing sirens, and have been blatantly shot in the head.  Speaking about it gets me all fired up, and my wheels turning, like what could we do to help identify people who are deaf?  But when you do that, it makes deaf people a target.  ….. 

Here is this man in his late 20’s, who walks around smiling, and is so pleasant all the time, not dwelling on his situation.

I’ve decided that when I get to Vegas, Thursday evening April 26th, I’ll be standing on Fremont Street in a bikini holding a sign saying “will flex for a cochlear”.  Stay posted and stay focused on moving forward.  Our body does not dictate our worth.  Be grateful for what we have, and not what the media programs us to feel like we “don’t” have….

It’s 11:35pm, and I’m sitting here in my blOfish jocks, and no shirt on. Hair looking like Kid N’
Play- trying to adjust to 2 days of jet lag before I get back on a plane and head from DC to
Alabama so we can pack up our warehouse and get it over to a 3rd party over in Los Angeles.

After seeing everyone rise to the occasion, and SMASH through our Indiegogo campaign goal, I
seem to be kind of all out of whack. It was such an emotional 50 day period. From getting the
campaign in a position to roll out (two weeks worth of solid work from dusk till dawn), to then
pushing the campaign live, then needing to tweak it because we just have SO much and TOO
much information to share, to then watching it dwindle out a little bit, and feeling like we weren’t
going to hit our goal, to THEN seeing the grrrlarmy MAKE. SHIT. HAPPEN!

It was a remarkable finish. Everyone went to battle, and holy ship did we WIN. Granted, I still had
fleeting moments of “oh shit- now we have to get all these orders sorted, and programs filmed,
and and and and and and’…. oh AND get the rest of GL18 finalized. and and and and and …

I digress.

But you can see how easy it is for myself (and I’m sure you can relate) to only experience fleeting
moments of joy. I bask in the sunlight for about 45 seconds (yes I’ve timed it), then my thoughts
quickly turn to “what’s next”… it’s shocking, really.

But, tonight I had a moment of clarity and joy. And it’s lasted for longer than 45 seconds. When
you’re a goal driven person, the type of person who THRIVES on checking shit off a to-do list, it
can easily become overwhelming to find inner peace. I’m told meditation is the answer. But I
haven’t gotten there yet. It’s only been 7 years that I’ve been working on incorporating a regular
practice, but hey! I’ll get there eventually.

Again, this evening my mom had sent me a video of a lady named Rene Hollis, asking if she was a
relative of another person we know from the town I grew up in. I had already been sent the same
video by another grrrlarmy member from the town I grew up in, and funny enough I had asked her
the same question. Then a week later, my ex Sister in law stopped by my parents house, and she
started talking about how great this Rene person is. She has recently listened to her audiobook of
her reading her journal called “girl wash your face” I believe. As she sat and spoke about her,
after I had just finished talking about our documentary that’s about to roll out, I started to feel a
little jaded. Having thoughts of “clearly I’m not doing enough”… “I’ve had 2 books I’ve semi
finished for 4 years now. Just sitting.. “I never finish anything I
start” *bullshit* *bullshit* *bullshit*

Anyhow, tonight when my Mother sent me the video, I decided to visit this lady’s Facebook page.
I saw she had a blue tick, and she has over 700,000 followers. Now, normally I would think “why
the hell can’t I get this stupid blue tick? Like who did I piss off? I only have 110,000
followers, who are mostly men who want me to flex or speak ESL.” But, tonight I looked at the
overall engagement of her posts, and just sat back and smiled. I finally felt like I didn’t need to
compare myself and my work to someone else who seemed to be doing ‘better’.

The engagement I witnessed yesterday with the amount of footwork by our soldiers in the
grrrlarmy was enough to blast the roof off the interest as far as I’m concerned. We have a life
changing documentary coming out at the end of April, and by Goddess, I JUST SPOKE TO THE
FBI!!!!!!!!!!!!!

My journey is just beginning. I truly feel my place is on a stage. Speaking my truth, in front of
1000’s of women, inspiring and sharing the real ness. Doing what we’re going with this road
show. Doing what I just did. I don’t need a blue tick. Or 700,000 ‘likes’, or an audiobook. I’m
doing epic shit every day. There is absolutely no reason to compare my journey to someone
else’s, just as the same goes to any of you reading this blog.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m so happy for this other woman. Like SLAY GRRRL SLAY! But my point
is, I am not feeling inferior, or as if I’m not doing enough. I feel like I’m manifesting my dream. All
these big visions of rebranding Kamp Konfidence into GRRRL Guides (or whatever we call it) so
our GA members can give back directly and be of service, all of these BIG visions will come to pass. I simply need to be patient, trust that I am EXACTLY where I’m meant to be on my journey,
and remember GoalsNotControls.

GL18 will be perfect so as long as I keep asking for guidance on a daily basis, show up, and do
the next right thing. (And of course show up clean and sober lol. (That ALWAYS helps.)
Goals don’t happen overnight. As you’ll learn in the Self Love Success Academy- there are short
term and long term goals. Today I went to meet with a staff member from Diane FeinStein’s office
to discuss these bigger goals. Nothing tangible happened, but you have to start somewhere.
This leads to that, leads to this, and back around.

As you all repeated after me, “I believe”.

So. Much. Love.
Feeling content, accomplished, unafraid, and unstoppable with the GA charging forward.
MFCEO