Today is International Women’s Day and if you’re on social media, no doubt you’ll see a constant flow of quotes by prominent women.
Personally, I am normally more inspired by every day women, than by most of the celebrities who are worshiped by the masses. Take the beloved Oprah, she is an inspiration to so many, but Oprah does not make me want to jump out of bed and take on life. She is so successful that I find it difficult to relate to her.
Don’t get me wrong, I totally admire and respect Oprah, her journey and what she has accomplished and she deserves all the recognition in the world, and then some, I just don’t see my story in hers.
With the power of the media, the growth of social media and the accessibility of the internet, many more women are looking to celebrities for inspiration. I think it is important however, not to overlook the every day people in your life who inspire you. I believe they deserve just as much, if not more, recognition as the globally known women.
So this International Women’s Day, I would like to acknowledge 8 every day women who inspire me.
1. My Mum
Firstly, as cliché as it is, I want to acknowledge my mum. She is one of the strongest women I know, and although we have very different views and opinions on many areas in life, I owe 50% of who I am to my mum (the other 50% to my pops). My drive, my independence, my financial education and my strength.
Despite growing up on a council estate and having me aged 17, my mum went on to build a successful career at an investment bank. She is the reason I love reading, travelling and the arts. She exposed me to a variety of experiences from a very young age and always encouraged me to strive for success.
My mum wanted to study languages at college but was told to go into full time work by her parents. Today, in her fifties she has not given up on her dream and is learning to speak Spanish.
2. My Sister
Next up is my little sister. Actually she will be 21 next month, but she’ll always be my little sister, Ness. I have another name that I call her, but I don’t think she’d forgive me if I shared that with the world!
Ness went through some rocky years during her mid-teens which resulted in her leaving school and college mid way through her A Levels, twice. She did not use her setbacks as an excuse to give up on life, instead she got her life back on track and is now training to become an accountant. I am extremely proud of the beautiful, funny, vibrant and independent young woman she has become and continues to grow into.
3. My Friend
Aisha is one of my oldest and closest friends. Over the past few years she has experienced a steady flow of personal challenges and tragedies, yet today she is still optimistic and looking forward to the future. She is grateful for all that she has and refuses to be a victim feeling sorry for herself. On days when I feel like life is not going my way, I think of Aisha and I am reminded that no matter how tough life gets, there is always something to be grateful for.
4. My Cousin
“Try not to let negative feedback or criticism deflate your confidence. Instead, use that criticism to motivate you to experiment, develop and improve.” – Nikki Farquharson
I’ve left Nikki until last in this section as she also crosses over into Online Inspiration. Nikki is an amazing illustrator who also happens to be my first cousin. Growing up Nikki and I were always together. As there are five years between us, I went off to secondary school while she was still “little” and we drifted apart. As adults our relationship has been rekindled and we are just as close as we were as children.
Nikki inspires me because of commitment to her personal truth. She has worked with huge brands but rather than focus on producing work that meets commercial expectation, and that conflicts with her vision for her work, she stays true to producing work that is authentic to her. She is so modest, often too modest and sometimes I wish I was her agent so more people could discover her talents.
She is beautiful, intelligent, funny and obviously uber creative. You should check her out and find out for yourself in the following places:
Website: www.nikkifarquharson.com | Instagram: @nikkifark | Twitter: @nikkifark
She currently has a couple of promotions on her Mixed Media Maiden prints – www.shop.nikkifarquharson.com
Now to my online peeps. These are women who I do not know personally but who I follow online for regular inspiration and who are a constant source of support, positive energy, empowerment and motivation.
5. GG Renee | www.allthemanylayers.com
“I believe in awkward honesty, making mistakes and trusting your journey.” – GG Renee
The first time I read one of GG’s blog posts it was as though she was reading my mind and relaying my feelings. I connect so deeply with everything she writes and I am always inspired by how authentic her writing is.
GG allows herself to be vulnerable and shares her thoughts, feelings and experiences with such warmth and honesty. She also shares the stories of other every day women that she calls “Soulful Beauty”, just to add to the inspiration overflowing from her own words.
I am now lucky enough to be working with GG on my own writing, which I am very excited about!
You can check out GG online in the following places:
Instagram: @ggreneewrites | Twitter: @GGReneeWrites
6. Courtney Sanders | www.thinkandgrowchick.com
“I’m just a girl with some big dreams toting a suitcase full of crazy experiences behind her on the way there.” – Courtney Sanders
I was initially drawn to Courtney’s blog because of the title. I’m a fan of the book Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill and I had recently finished re-reading it when I stumbled across Courtney’s website.
I instantly I felt a connection with her. She wrote about topics that I was also interested in and she writes in a way that makes you feel as though you’re having a chat with a friend. In fact, reading Courtney’s blog posts is like having a chat with a really positive and motivated friend; a friend who is just that bit more ambitious than you and as a result makes you want to step up your game.
Over the year or so that I have been following Courtney, it is clear to see her personal and professional growth and she continues to inspire me. With live events, podcasts, a live chat with Myleik Teele, founder of Curlbox and a workbook, Courtney is clearly on her way to big things. The best part is, she wants to take her followers along with her!
Check out Courtney online in the following places:
Instagram: @thinkngrowchick | Twitter: @thinkngrowchick
Courtney also has two Facebook groups that you can join where she offers support and inspiration to like-minded women. You can find more details on her website.
7. Lisa Lister | www.sassyology.com
“For years, women’s stories, truth + wisdom has been distorted, censored, burned and unheard.” – Lisa Lister
I came across Lisa a while ago but rediscovered her a few months ago. It’s funny how the universe works. I wanted to learn more about menstrual cycles and if and how they were linked to the lunar cycles. Literally a few weeks after following her more consciously, she launched a writing programme called Write Your Freaking Heart Out (WYFHO). It was exactly what I had been looking for, writing-wise and was an incredible experience that gave me access parts of myself that had been so deeply buried by other people’s thoughts, judgments and opinions.
Lisa is not for the faint-hearted. She swears and talks openly about menstrual bleeding. However that is what is I love about her. In 2015, it is still taboo for women to talk about our periods, monthlies, aunty ruby’s visits or whatever you call them, even though it’s something every woman experiences for a large part of their life.
Listening to Lisa is both refreshing and liberating, as she talks about the power of our menstrual cycles in a such a positive and empowering way.
Since discovering Lisa and taking part in WYFHO, I no longer feel that being affected by my period pains makes me weak and that it’s absolutely fine that sometimes I just want to stay in bed during the first few days of my bleed.
I am learning to embrace my monthly cycle rather than see it as an inconvenience and understanding how to work with my cycle, rather than against it.
Check Lisa out online in these places:
Instagram: @sassylisalister | Twitter: @lisaclark
8. Kimberly Luxe | www.fromawildflower.com
“From A Wildflower aims to challenge us as women and as writers to be transparent in our troubles, to be confident in our curiosities, to be real with our realities, and to be raw about our actualities. #nofilter.” – Kimberly Luxe
I don’t really know that much about Kimberly but almost a year ago, I discovered and instantly fell in love with her website From a Wild Flower.
The website is a space where women share their personal stories. It is a place where you go to be inspired, feel accepted and know that your story and your personal experiences matter. From a Wild Flower lets you know that you are not alone and that there is someone, somewhere sharing your thoughts, feelings and struggles.
I am inspired by Kimberly because not only did she have an idea that positively contributes to the lives of women across the globe, she made it happen! She created a unique space for women online that I had not discovered before.
You can follow From a Wildflower online in these places:
Instagram: @fromawildflower | Twitter: @fromawildflower
And Kimberly here:
Website: www.kimberlyluxe.com | Twitter: @KimberlyLuxe
Although it’s unlikely that you’ll ever meet my mum, sister and friend, I hope that you will be inspired by my cousin Nikki and the other ladies I have introduced you to in this post.
Whilst writing this, there were so many other women who came to mind that I wanted to include, so I will definitely follow up with a second, and maybe third or fourth post in the future.
Be sure to check out these lovely ladies and if you like what they’re sharing, let all the women in your life know about them too.
If you want to find out what events are happening where you are to celebrate International Women’s Day, check out the website www.internationalwomensday.com
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Who are the every day ladies offline or online who inspire you? How have they had an impact on you and your life? Let us know in the comments section below.