Events: The FIERCE Woman 1yr Anniversary Celebration

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Something beautiful happens when you have the courage to live out your dreams. When you are doing what you love, life suddenly begins to have meaning. You finally realize what you were put on this earth to do and as I continue to uplift, inspire, and motivate others I find that I am also uplifting, inspiring, and motivating myself. This weekend was so full of love and inspiration for me.

This past Sunday, April 26th, I spent the day celebrating the 1 yr. birthday of my other baby The Fierce Woman™ (TFW). What started off as just a vision/idea has turned into a passionate dream; one that I will continue to nurture and raise and love like one of my offspring. I could not have asked for a more perfect event. Everything and I mean everything went off without a hitch. The weather was perfect. The venue looked beautiful. The attendees showed up in all their fabulousness. The food and desserts were amazing. My honorees and speakers commanded the room and left a piece of themselves on the stage and in our hearts. They reminded us of the beauty, strength, and resilience we all possess. They reminded us that we are not what happens to us, but what we choose to become as a result of what happens. They embodied what being FIERCE truly means.

Throughout the 3 hour event which included a cocktail hour, brunch, and awards ceremony the women mingled, networked and got to know each other. It felt like a family reunion. There was nothing but great energy in that room. When our honorees and keynote speakers took the stage each of them blessed us with pearls of wisdom. Latina techie and self-taught software engineer Raygrid Calderon reminded us that “You find yourself when you’re doing what you love.” Discovering your own passion and power is what our mission is. One will never truly be happy until you are doing what you love. Stop making excuses for why you can’t and start creating reasons for why you must.  Maribel Rivera said it best “There’s no way you can have successes without failure.” In order to succeed you have to be willing to fail. But you also must know that even in failure there is a lesson. Figure out what went wrong. Create a better plan. Then put that plan into motion. Continuously repeat the cycle until you have reached your expected outcome. None of the great entrepreneurs became great overnight. It took commitment, dedication, persistence, and a relentless desire to succeed. Be relentless in the pursuit of your dreams. You’re worth it.

-NAR-
What the attendees had to say about the event:
“I am honored to have been selected to coordinate such a phenomenal brunch event for The Fierce Woman at Mott Haven Bar to be surround by such great woman. Thank you, I walked away feeling uplifted, inspired, and motivated. I received more than I expected thank you again.” – Yina Santiago

“An absolutely beautiful loving positive empowering event today.” – Maria Aponte, Founder Latina 50 Plus

“This was such a wonderful event. I walked away inspired and motivated and met amazing women. Women do support each other and when we do great things happen.” – Cynthia Branch, Life Coach

“Super exited to be a part of this wonderful event with so many great women.” – Keyla Vargas, Entrepreneur, Cake Pops by Keyla

“All the speakers are making me cry!!! Love being in a room with such inspirational and successful Fierce women!!!” – Jessica Castillo-Perez, Entrepreneur, Glam with Jess

To see all the photos from the event please follow us on Facebook or click below:
Celebrating our 1 yr. Anniversary
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The FIERCE Woman 1 yr. Anniversary Keynote Speakers & Honorees

raygridRaygrid Calderon

In 2013, Latina techie, Raygrid Calderon launched her mobile application, DreemKaCHer, under her new start up tech company DreemKaCHer ECLECTIC. The app made its debut on Apple’s iOS platform as a business networking tool for entrepreneurs, musicians, students and the creative mind. Those looking to get booked or connected are called ‘Dreemers’, while those looking for products and services are known as ‘Kachers’. The dynamic allows a balance between users on the interface where each person’s profile serves as an interactive resume. The company also provides users with information and tips to help people start their business while helping inspire and motivate those in unconventional working fields.

Maribel Rivera, Marketing ConsultantMaribel Rivera

Maribel Rivera is a Marketing Brand Specialist focused on creating brand stories that influence for clients that include not only global organizations but small businesses and individuals. Maribel develops brand strategies so that a company’s brand touch-points (corporate identity, product design, web site, online marketing, traditional advertising, PR and word of mouth) all work in harmony to create a positive perception in the mind of clients and prospects.

A person of action, Maribel has developed strategies to attain her goals including learning to listen instead of speak. She is considered a social connector constantly networking, meeting new people and seeing what she could do for others. While being a single mom raising two sons of her own and taking in six other boys, Maribel climbed the corporate jungle gym moving through the ranks from secretary at 19 to VP of Marketing & Events prior to starting her own company in 2013. Maribel sits on the board of three associations – Women in eDiscovery, which is focused on developing women both professionally and personally and ARMA Metro NYC, an association for records and information management professionals and ACEDS NY Metro, an association which promotes e-discovery competence and professional development. She is currently working with a group to create mentoring programs in technology for young adults. In her spare time, Maribel can be found at the gym or shoe shopping.

“In the end, it is important to remember that we cannot become what we need to be, by remaining what we are.” ― Max DePree

EVENTS: The FIERCE Woman 1 Yr. Anniversary

On April 13th, The FIERCE Woman™ (TFW) officially turned one. To celebrate this milestone we will be hosting our 1 yr. anniversary celebration and awards ceremony this Sunday, April 26th at an undisclosed location in the Bronx. The invite only event was personally planned by TFW founder & Executive Director, Nancy Arroyo Ruffin who was very selective about who would attend. When asked how the attendees were selected she told us “I wanted to share this milestone with women who have supported The FIERCE Woman this past year by attending one of our past events. These are the women who have made The FIERCE Woman such a success and this was my way of saying thank you.” 

This year’s keynote speakers and honorees are Raygrid Calderon and Maribel Rivera, two women who exemplify everything a F.I.E.R.C.E. woman should be. Raygrid is a Latina applications developer and Maribel is a marketing brand guru. These women will be honored for their contributions in business & technology and will also be sharing their success stories with the attendees. Check back with The FIERCE Woman next week for all the highlights of the event.  

 

This event is being sponsored by the following:

 

Arts by Mia

Beauty, Brains, & Blogging

Cake Pops by Keyla

Nails by Jassy

LatinosNYC

Wendy Angulo Productions

SP72

To learn more about our sponsors please visit their websites by clicking on the links above.

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Ode to the FIERCE Woman

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There are those who will try and break you
shatter spirits shrouded in their own insecurities
Inflict wounds with splintered tongues
They will call you every name except your own
make you doubt your greatness.

They will compare you to Nina, Jessica, and Marie.
Make you question your beauty, as if your glory
could ever be contained in mere flesh and bone.

Why do you entertain such vernacular?

When yours is the back where aspirations are born
the roadmap to creativity and ambition
the house of the holy and divine.

Your hips will give life to the future.
Your lips will inspire revolution.

You are Hera, Athena, and Isis.
Goddess is your birthright.

Make them kneel to you in prayer.
Plant roots on soil coveted by Gods.
Establish your foundation in this life and the next.

Remind them that you were born from star dust
so the next time they forget your name
tell them you are royalty
and make them bow their heads
in respect.

©2014 Nancy Arroyo Ruffin

Effectively Working With Affirmations: How to speak into existence the life of your dreams

 

“All that we are is the result of what we have thought. The mind is everything. What we think we become.” ~Buddha

I am a huge advocate of affirmations and a firm believer of speaking into existence that which we want. People are often curious about how to make affirmations work and how to use affirmations effectively.

What is an affirmation?

Affirmations are, well, affirming statements that you say out loud to yourself on a regular basis. The goal is to re-program your subconscious mind with positive thoughts so that you can remove any negative thoughts preventing you from pursuing your goals and dreams. Affirmations are a powerful personal development tool that I’ve used over the past few years to help me stay present to the possibility of living my ideal life.

We all have that little pesky inner voice that completely takes over our mind at times. How we have trained that voice to speak can either help us achieve the life of our dreams or it can derail us and completely throw us off track. What we constantly tell ourselves either consciously or subconsciously is what we become, whether we realize it or not.  We all have some type of negative mental chatter  that often prevents us from truly following our dreams.This chatter can be caused by fear, doubt, low self-esteem, lack of confidence or simply limiting beliefs that you probably developed during childhood. This self-criticism tends to reinforce the general theories we’ve come to believe about ourselves or our circumstances.

The good news is you can begin to override these destructive messages using the power of positive affirmations. Affirmations can reinforce productive behaviors and change ones that need changing. Here’s how to create affirmations you can identify with so they can help you improve your life!

I found this great article by Katheryn Hoban and thought it would be helpful. Enjoy!

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In my years of teaching and counseling I have come to the conclusion that many people are unsure of what affirmations are, how to use them, what great tools they can be, or what good benefits can be manifested by working with affirmations in both children and adults. In the simplest form an affirmation is a statement of a positive effect, result, or of a future event that you would like to achieve. Usually an affirmation is stated in the present moment and in positive verbiage and wordage. For an example “ I can do this” as opposed to “I’d like to do this” or “I’m going to do this.” The sentence “ I can do this” is set in the present moment and it implies confidence in one’s ability to accomplish the task and an immediacy to take action. The statement “ I’d like to do this.” Implies that it is not quite possible but you are yearning to do it but (something out of your control) is preventing that. “I’m going to do this” implies sometime in the future when all the conditions are right. In that case we can make an assumption that the conditions will never be right.

To effectively work and create affirmations for yourself  it is better to create patterns of repetition in saying the phrase out loud many times per day if need be, or weekly and using a creative visualization technique to anchor the effects of the affirmation in your mind and your body. For an example if you wish to give up smoking. The best way to phrase the affirmation would be “I’m smoke free.” “I enjoy being smoke free.” “ I enjoy being a non-smoker.”
In these examples you would repeat the affirmations and design a creative visualization (of events in the future but seen in present moment time) of you being a fulfilled non-smoker. You could imagine yourself doing an activity and feeling free and joyful that you are without a cigarette. You could imagine that you are visiting with children who previously were reluctant to spend time with you because of your smoking and how much you enjoy that visit. You could imagine that you feel the breath in your lungs very different and that you can actually breathe freely.

On repeating the affirmations, a new pattern of hope, expectancy and action would be created for future moments to unfold. If you can picture in your mind the thing that you want to achieve, as if it is already done, and you are feeling wonderful about receiving it, that combined with the affirmation is a very effective tool of change.

Let’s look at some affirmations. “I’m easily and effortlessly attracting the right business contacts to promote my work.” If you imagined in your mind; the smiles, the handshakes and the business meeting going very well and the ultimate picture of you receiving the benefits of new business and the achieving the results that you want and need every time that you said that affirmation, you begin to attract what you are confirming to the universe.

“I am fearless.” If you said this out loud it would be very effective to raise your voice and emphasis the word fearless. If you raised your hand in a strong gesture it further anchors the strength and courage that you feel in your body. The visual image that may go along with “I am fearless,” could be seeing yourself confronting a strong adversary and you looking right into his or her eyes and feeling in your heart that you are too strong to cower, and that you are planted firmly to the Earth.

“I can do this easily and effortlessly.” Imagine yourself in the zone so to speak where you barely make any effort at all and everything falls into place. Feel in your body and heart, how joyful, casual and confident you are about everything coming quickly together for you. Use an example in your past successes when something came together just as easily and remember how happy and light you felt when it did.

“I am the perfect weight for me.” Instead of focusing on how much weight you wish to lose, which implies that you are not perfect as you are, focus on how it would feel to fit into the size jeans that you always wanted to fit into. Also focus on how good it would feel in your slim clothing and seeing yourself in the mirror at the weight that your body looks absolutely fabulous in. See yourself very energized with your newly trim fit body, and how then you would act, walk, run, play and enjoy yourself.

Affirmations are best spoken out loud; the vibrations of the spoken positive expression are impactful to your psyche or a child’s. They are also best repeated until a new pattern is created. Create your own affirmations, or read from a book of affirmations, or listen to affirmations on tapes or CD’s. Keep revisiting these affirmations daily. Affirmations build confidence, help you to overcome low self-esteem, create balance, and space, helps you to get past feelings of guilt, and condemnation, clears obstacles, or limitations, create new patterns of health and well-being, and may produce feelings of prosperity and abundance. Of course Affirmations are not a cure-all, but they are very powerful and effective tools for you and your child to transform a challenging area in life. Every time that you say an affirmation with conviction you are creating a new unfolding moment to engage in a new fulfilled, balance, healthy, or abundant way of being.
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Katheryn Hoban is a certified yoga teacher and Reiki Master teacher with 10 years of experience. She has created two CD on affirmations. (Affirmations for Children and Teens and Affirmations for Adults.)
She can be reached at PO Box 7564 North Bergen, NJ 07047 or e-mail katscoolcorner@yahoo.com. You can purchase each CD for $10 + 2.00 shipping and handling or with paypal.
Wholesale prices are also available for a minimum purchase of 10 CD’s @$4.00 per CD plus $1.00 shipping ($50.00). Paypal is also an acceptable form of payment.

Breakup to Makeup: When Should You Stay, When Should You Go?

I’ve gone through this many, many times. I’ve been with my husband since I was 20 and I can’t even begin to tell you how many times we broke up. Break ups can sometimes be positive because it allows both parties to take a step back and really look at the relationship with open eyes. It allows you to see if your life would be better if the two of you parted or it can make you realize how much you really want to be together.

However, I don’t think that most of us really take the time to look at the relationship with a clear head. We are blinded by factors such as missing the other person, reflecting only on the good times while forgetting all the bad times and making excuses for all of the things that caused the breakup. If we learned to really look at the relationship for what it is there wouldn’t be the constant break up and making up.

As I got older and really learned about myself and what it takes to make a relationship work I started analyzing my relationship. Not only analyzing his faults, but  looking at myself too.  Being able to be objective and clear about who we are and who we aren’t  can really help us decide what we want. Two questions that need to be considered are:

  1. Is the relationship really worth fighting for?
  2. Are we constantly progressing or are we steadily digressing? 

The answers to these questions can really help you in deciding whether you should fight for the relationship or if you should let it go. If you’re not sure where the relationship is going and you want to know if your life would improve if you were apart then a break up may be the answer.

Break ups are never easy especially when time, love, hopes, and dreams have been invested. There comes a point in most of our lives (usually around our mid to late 20’s) where we are unsure of what we want. We’re still trying to figure out what’s best for us. If we’re in a relationship we wonder if we want to progress to the next level with our partner and really commit to the relationship or do we want to move on because maybe there’s something better for us.

I’ve learned that for any relationship to work we have to first look at ourselves and improve those things within ourselves that may be a hindrance in our personal growth. You need to work on the things that prevent you from having successful romantic relationships. We all have faults, but let’s not let our baggage from our past relationships affect our future relationships. Look at yourself in the mirror. If you break up with your partner without really looking at yourself in the mirror, you could be on your way to duplicating your love problems in your future relationships.

Remember: You are the common denominator in all your relationship problems. Wherever you go, your pesky repeated issues go until you shed a blazing light of insight upon them.

I recently read an article on cnn.com that  made some very valid points. It said that a healthy relationship can become an individual’s greatest asset when it comes to succeeding in almost all aspects of life. It can provide security, trust, support and many other positive things that are needed for maturity on a mental, emotional even physical scale. However, when we’re in unhealthy relationships it can also negatively effect on our lives. We can’t eat, focus, work, or do any of our normal day to day activities because we’re either sad, depressed or both. Many people find themselves lost in a world of utter confusion and chaos when they remain in unproductive relationships.

Do you find yourself asking if your relationship is going to survive because of all the arguing and fighting that never seems to improve? Or are you constantly in pain when your partner hurts you and neglects you even though you’ve spoken to them about your past insecurities?

People stay in bad relationships longer than they should because fear of the pain of dating seems scarier than the pain of a bad relationship. People prefer to cling to the familiar even when it’s painful rather than stretching themselves with the hope of expanding their happiness.

Here are some insights to having a healthy relationship:

Communicate. Communication is the most important factor in any successful relationship. Your partner isn’t a mind reader and can’t tell what’s bothering you unless you talk about it. If something is bothering you, speak up! Your love life is only as strong as your open communication.

Give each other room to breathe. It is perfectly healthy to have time apart. Give each other enough space. The best relationship is one that does not foster too much independence or too much dependence, but exists in the healthy interdependence zone.

Are there deal breakers you’re just realizing you have? Are these true deal breakers, like: “He’s a cheater,” “He’s a liar,” “He hits me,” “He’s a gambler,” “He’s a jobless mooch,” “He doesn’t want to have children and I do” or “He has an addiction he’s not dealing with.” If your partner has a real deal breaker, that is a good reason to leave the relationship. Understand that no matter how much love you put into a person until they are able to love themselves enough to stop these self-destructive behaviors they will never be able to love you the way you deserve to be loved. 

Don’t sweat the small stuff. Don’t put energy into arguing or complaining about things that really have no significance. This causes unnecessary conflict. Remember nobody is perfect.

Lastly, Aristotle believed there are 3 kinds of relationships and only one brings true happiness.  There’s a relationship of pleasure quickly summed up as sex-mates not fulfilling in the long run. Then, the relationship of utility where partners use one another for beauty, money or status, which are also not fulfilling for the long haul. The final type is the relationship of shared virtue. You understood each other and you want to help each other grow into your best possible selves. Aristotle deemed these partners soul mates or “soul-nurturing mates.” He believed being with someone who helped you grow into your best possible self was not only what long-term happily-ever-after love was all about, but also what a long-term happily-ever-after life was all about.

For this reason, you must recognize that it’s appropriate for a love relationship to have some challenges within it to help you to grow.  American Author Leo Buscaglia once said “A great deterrent to love is found in anyone who fears change, for growing, learning, experiencing is change. Change is inevitable.” Are you and your partner in a relationship of shared virtue where the challenges can be wonderful growth opportunities? Not every challenge or obstacle is a bad one. They may be roadblocks put in your path to help you learn a lesson. The task is making sure you heed the lesson it is designed to teach you so that you can hopefully grow from the experience and come out tougher and stronger.

What are your thoughts on breaking up and making up?

Revolutionary Women: We are not our mother’s daughters

women_against_veil

As many of you may know I am a writer. For those of you that don’t know I have written 3 books all of which are heavily influenced by my experiences as a Puerto Rican woman born and raised in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Last night I had the opportunity to talk to a phenomenal woman who read my book Letters to My Daughter and one of her favorite lines is “You preferred me voiceless” from a piece I wrote entitled Skin. That particular line comes from what I saw as child growing up in a traditional Puerto Rican family.

I grew up in a family where the men made all the decisions. Generational conditioning had acclimatized the women in my family to do as their husbands, fathers, brothers said and to never question them about anything. To me, these women were voiceless; powerless. They were nothing more than trophies, porcelain dolls, or expensive pieces of art to be hung on display. They were to be seen and not heard.

My paternal grandmother played her role well, always mindful of my grandfather’s needs and desires. If she was the trophy he was the conquistador equipped with charm that comes only from experience. A big spender, he knew exactly how to court a woman. His wandering eye often impelled him to send over a round of drinks to any woman who happened to gain his attention at the night club. Other times, if he was feeling particularly cocky he’d invite the woman over to his table to join him. If she agreed, she’d be on one side of him and my grandmother would be sitting on the other. For a poor man who migrated to the US from Puerto Rico without much, he knew that as long as he had money there was nothing he could not attain.

My father was like him in that sense. He also knew that with money came respect, status, and power, though not always in that order. And while my father was the younger version of my grandfather mirroring everything about him from his name, to his flashiness, to how he pursued and treated women they both wanted more for their own daughters. They never wanted their daughters to be one of those women.

My mother admits that it was my father’s nice car and flashy style that she was initially attracted to and although my father wasn’t as brazen as my grandfather with his infidelity there were always rumors. As I got older and started to get a better understanding of gender roles (both traditional and non-traditional) I began to wonder why both my mother and grandmother allowed themselves to be disrespected and in a sense de-valued. For a very long time it affected how I viewed relationships and marriage. By the time I was 17 I’d decided that I didn’t want any of it. I didn’t want a relationship nor did I want to get married. My fear was that I’d lose myself in a relationship; I equated being in a relationship and more specifically being married with loss of freedom and power.

For years I had seen my mother ask my father for permission for everything as if she were a child. If she wanted to go out with her friends or sisters she needed permission. When she wanted to go back to school (an endeavor that my father supported) she needed permission. When she finally started working (after being a stay-at-home mom for 10 years) she’d hand her paycheck over to my father and then have to ask him for money when she needed it. To this day she has never paid a bill, lived on her own, or made any major decisions on her own. If my sister and I wanted to do something or go anywhere it was my father who we needed to get permission from. My mom had no power as a woman, wife, even mother.

After years of successfully avoiding a serious relationship I eventually met and fell in love with the man who would become my husband. When I got married I started doing the very things that I’d sworn I would never do or put up with. Little by little I saw myself metamorphosing into my mother and while my husband didn’t cheat (not that I’m aware of) there were other similarities. I found myself asking for permission to do basic things like go out with my sister and girlfriends. As a married woman I thought it was what I was supposed to do. That was due in part to my naiveté as a young bride and what I saw between my parents growing up. Subconsciously it had been embedded in my psyche.

My desire to be a good wife (whatever that meant) as well as be an independent and progressive woman, clashed. I did not know how to reconcile the two, resulting in my husband and me separating many times. I was continuing the cycle. I was repeating everything I had witnessed in my parents’ and grandparents’ marriages. My grandmother eventually divorced my grandfather and although she re-married a couple of times she died alone with no spouse or partner.

My parents since then have come a long way. They now have a healthy and loving marriage where they each are equal partners. Still, it did not come without hard work and sacrifice from both of them. They realized that in order to make it work they would both have to give up some of the things they had conditioned themselves to do. This was true for my marriage too. After many separations my husband and I realized that if we wanted our marriage to survive and thrive we had to be willing to break free of the cultural conditioning we had been taught –either directly, or indirectly on gender roles. We needed to decide if our marriage was worth it or if we were going our separate ways. In the end we decided it was worth it.

A while ago in a writing workshop I was asked what my origin story is. Initially, I didn’t have an answer. After giving it some thought, I realized everything I witnessed as a child has influenced who I am, but more specifically my writing. I realized that my desire to write comes from the things I wished my grandmother, my mother, even I would have said all those times we conceded to our husbands. I realized that I write so that I never lose my voice or power. I write so that my daughter does not repeat the cycle. I write so that I can tell the stories of women who are not brave enough to tell their own. I write because I refuse to be anyone’s trophy, porcelain doll, or piece of art. Am I a feminist? Maybe. All I know is that I want my voice to be the voice of the voiceless. My writing is my revolution. I write so that we can be heard. I write because I refuse to be voiceless.

Event: The FIERCE Woman 1 Yr. Anniversary Brunch & Awards Ceremony


In April of last year what started out as a small idea while sitting in my downtown Manhattan office to host an event where I could connect and unite women to celebrate everything that makes us FIERCE evolved into The FIERCE Woman Foundation. Last year we produced 3 events each of which sold out. This month we will be celebrating our 1 year anniversary and I could not be a prouder of what we have created. Though still in her infancy, The FIERCE Woman Foundation is committed to change the way women perceive themselves and each other. We are an unstoppable force. We are mothers, wives, daughters, sisters, aunts, friends. We are business women, entrepreneurs, leaders, coaches. For a very long time women have been taught to believe that it is almost impossible to have both successful personal lives as well as professional lives. I am here to tell you that it is possible to have both and to also live the life that you’ve always dreamed of because I am living proof.

Please join me  April 26, 2015 at the Mott Haven Bar & Grill as I celebrate the The FIERCE Woman One Year Anniversary Brunch & Awards Ceremony. This year’s theme is “I Am Every Woman: Celebrating the FIERCE Woman in All of Us” because women no longer have to choose between roles. We can do it all if we choose to.

We will be honoring two phenomenal women who are making great strides in business and technology. These women are FIERCE women determined to make their dreams come true and are doing just that. In addition to being honorees they will also share their personal stories of success. They will wow you with their sheer will to get things done by any means possible. Where most people find an excuse they find a solution. They will share with you their pearls of wisdom on how to make it in business and succeed as a woman.

This is a very intimate event and only a limited amount of tickets are being made available to the general public. Once all tickets have been sold there will be no additional tickets and absolutely no tickets will be available for sale at the door. To purchase tickets please visit: www.tfwturnsone.eventbrite.com

Your ticket includes a pre-fixed brunch and your choice of unlimited mimosas, sangria, or non-alcoholic drink (for the duration of the event), complimentary manicures by Nails by Jassy, sweet treats provided by Cake Pops by Keyla, and unlimited access to some of today’s most influential women in business. Bring your business cards and charm and be prepared to mingle with some very successful women. Please note that this is a FEMALE ONLY event.

Thank you to all who have supported us this past year. I look forward to seeing you all and celebrating this milestone with you.

With love

Nancy A. Ruffin, Founder, The FIERCE Woman

On love and finding the person who completes you

“i found god in myself and i loved her. i loved her fiercely.”  – Ntozake Shange

Most of us spend a great deal of our lives looking for love, chasing love, recuperating from love or complaining about love. Never realizing that in our quest for love we are neglecting the person that matters most.  Ourselves.

I believe that as women we often disregard our own needs as a result of always taking care of other people. We spend so much time seeking out and working on developing external relationships that often times we forget to work on the relationship within.  We give so much of ourselves emotionally, physically, and spiritually that  eventually we end up depleted seeking fulfillment from someone else.

However, we can not look to another to fulfill us, “to complete us”, as eloquently stated in Jerry Maguire. We can only seek to fulfill ourselves, to give to ourselves that which we freely give to others; others, who often times don’t deserve it and that is LOVE.  Learn to fall in love with YOU!

Love yourself! Deeply and profoundly! Know that the most important relationship that you could ever have is the relationship that you have with yourself. When that relationship is strong you will see that you will be happier, healthier, and that you will no longer put up with or accept mediocrity from anyone.

Walk in your divine self. You are love, made from love and made to be loved. By loving yourself you teach others how to love you.  Love is not something that comes from someone else; it is an extension of our own minds, reverberating back to us in what seems to be another person’s smile (Williamson, 1993).

When you learn to truly fall in love with you, your entire life begins to change. It changes because when you are in love your main priority is making the person you’re in love with happy. Imagine applying that concept to yourself. Imagine putting your own happiness first. Only you have the power to do this. When you take back your power you take back control of your happiness because you now realize that happiness comes from within. Any happiness that you find with someone else is in addition to the happiness that you already have.

There is no other person on the Universe that can complete you. You were born a “whole” individual, you were not born in pieces. Movies and music will have you believe that in order to be completely happy you need someone else. This is a fallacy. When you allow yourself to believe this you are saying to the other person “I can only be happy if I am with you”…This sort of thinking is the thinking that allows many to stay in hurtful, dysfunctional, abusive relationships because the individual believes that they can only be happy with this abuser. Here’s a reality check if it hurts chances are you aren’t happy. Therefore, why stay in a hurtful situation? Love isn’t supposed to hurt. It’s supposed to encourage, uplift, inspire, motivate, empower. Love is supposed to feel good. When you love yourself you don’t hurt yourself. Therefore, you should never allow someone who says they love you to hurt you either. If they do then it’s time to kick them to curb.

I am aware that until we get to the point where  we’ve had enough of things that hurt and long more than anything for a peaceful love, we are bound to take painful roads. We are destined to play out frivolous disasters until we declare ourselves finished and done with them (Williamson, 1993). This is the nature of life, but when you truly love yourself you will put up with far less nonsense and get out of that unhealthy relationship much sooner.

The following passage I read somewhere and post here for all of you. It reminds me of the power that I have when I choose to take control of my thoughts and feelings.

You can completely transform any relationship, no matter what it’s like right now.  Every single relationship you have is a reflection of how you feel inside about you. You are a magnet attracting to you all things, via the signal you are emitting through your thoughts and feelings. Every relationship you have and every interaction with every person, is a reflection of your own thoughts and feelings in that very moment. To transform every single relationship you have in your life:

Fall in love with YOU!

Make lists of the hundreds and hundreds of wonderful things about you. Keep adding to it every day. Know that you are perfect. Do not think any negative thoughts about you. Know that you are worthy and deserving of anything and everything you could possibly want in your life. Focus on the wonderful things in every person. Look for only those things. Do not blame or criticize anybody, ever. Set an intention that you are going to see the best in everything and everyone. Make your happiness the number one thing in your life. Happiness is an inside job. Free yourself of the responsibility of trying to make other people happy. Respect and love them enough to allow them to take care of their own happiness. Get your attention off those things in others that don’t make you feel good. Appreciate and love yourself in every moment you can. Do not expect others to behave in a way you want, so you will be happy. Release yourself forevermore and know that you alone control your happiness and it is a choice, no matter what anyone else is doing. Love and respect yourself completely. Know that you are perfect right now.- Unknown

Because you are.

The FIERCE Woman™

On gratitude: Setting our minds for success and victory

Today I am reflecting on all of the new connections that I have made the past couple of years. Building relationships with encouraging and supportive women is so important. It’s one of the reasons I started The FIERCE Woman™. I have been blessed with an amazing network of sisters that ranges from my fellow FIERCE Women to my childhood friends to those who share my love for creativity and the written word. In short, today I am feeling grateful. Grateful for all of the women in my life and for all of the blessings that have been bestowed upon me. Sometimes we get so caught up in life and in our daily routines that we forget to step back and just appreciate ourselves, our lives, and the people in it. We often lose focus on what we have because we are too busy worrying about what we don’t have. We have to quit looking at what’s wrong in our lives and start being grateful for what’s right without losing sight of self-improvement. I would like to share the following passage with you:

Everything may not be perfect in your life, but if you don’t learn to be happy where you are, you will never get to where you want to be. Do you get up every morning passionate about your dreams? Are you grateful for the home in which you live? We must learn to be happy right where we are. Sometimes we lose our enthusiasm because we let what was once a miracle become too common for us. We get used to it and it becomes routine. We need to go back and remember how God, spirit, and our higher being have brought us to where we are. We need to fan our flame. We need to set our minds and keep it set to higher things. -Joel Osteen

I believe the higher things are the positive things, so first thing every day, we must set our minds in the right direction. Set our minds for success and victory. Set in our minds that we are going to enjoy this day. Then rise higher and just do it. Remember, that you have seeds of greatness in you. You weren’t made to be stagnant; rise out of complacency; keep growing, keep reaching for new heights. Your best days are still out in front of you. As you keep stretching to the next level, improving your life, and reaching for your highest potential, you will not only give birth to your dreams, but you will become a better you, better than you ever dreamed possible.