San Diego News
Do you ever look at the world we’re living in and think about its impact on our children? With reality shows that teach children lessons they shouldn’t be learning, role models who glorify unrealistic futures, school cultures where children strive to fit and are willing to sacrifice everything to do it. It paints a grim picture. I don’t know about you, but my heart breaks for these children, especially the ones who’ve been betrayed or neglected by the ones who should love them most.
I’ve always believed in giving back, and serving others. It’s how I find purpose and meaning in life. I found ways to do that in my church. But after a while it wasn’t enough for me. I started to feel a little lost – like I was just going through motions – that I was supposed to be somewhere else. My heart kept crying for the needs out there – the needs of the children that aren’t being reached – who have nobody. I was being called, I just didn’t know where. Then somebody told me about Chicktime.
It only took one event for me to fall in love with the Chicktime movement – the idea of connecting the gifts and passions of women with the children who need them most. It’s hard to explain, but from the very first event I could feel the energy and the spirit of people who were truly determined to change the next generation through small simple acts of service.
What I love about Chicktime is that it’s not complicated. You can step right in and help. These children don’t need fancy, they just need you. To sit with them. Listen to them. Play with them. To help them find purpose and belonging again. To show them that there will be people who will love them. The children in these group homes need to know that there are women who will love them without being paid for it.
I thought I went into Chicktime to serve, but it was kind of the opposite. Being with those children has changed my life. I have found purpose and meaning – in the eyes of a shy child’s smile of joy because I simply offered to read her a book.
I still worry about the future for our children. That hasn’t changed. But now….I’m doing something about it. If you think bringing hope to just one child doesn’t mean much – then let me show you somebody who doesn’t have any.
If you feel that same urgent need to do something. If you feel that tug on your heart that you need something more. Or if you know exactly what it feels like to have nobody to love you. Then maybe it’s time you join the Chicktime movement. Because you may be the only hope that child sees.
Please email Joann at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to join us and share your gifts with the ones who need it most. I promise, it will change your life.
All my love,
Welcome to the beginning of Summer! This is a great time of year for San Diego. People who live in other parts of the country (or world) save their money all year to vacation here. We are so spoiled because we get to live here year round! I feel so blessed when I think of that. Summertime in San Diego also means beach and swimsuit season. With that, people are thinking of ways to shed that “winter weight” (remember that yummy comfort food from rainy days). You may be in a similar place, wanting to lose weight or just increase your energy level. Whatever the case, be intentional about doing it healthfully; learn your body, exercise and reduce your stress level.
A few years ago I tried a cleanse for the first time where I eliminated dairy, wheat, processed sugars and caffeine for one full week. It was really hard- the first three days I was irritable and hungry with cravings almost all day. After the third day everything seemed to shift; my natural energy level increased, I didn’t feel bloated and the cravings were going away. By the end of the week I felt so much better, and I didn’t even want to eat some of the unhealthy foods I used to enjoy daily, like my Starbucks habit. I reintroduced each of the eliminated food groups one per day. The day I re-introduced dairy I felt something like a rock in my stomach; I never realized it had always been there, but when it came back I realized it is because of that food! I have never been tested for lactose intolerance but I am now a firm believer that most people have at least a mild intolerance to dairy. I did some research with this new knowledge and learned our bodies aren’t designed to have milk and cheese and yogurt as adults, but our society loves dairy so it is in almost everything. I’m not perfect and I definitely love pizza and ice cream every once in a while. BUT if I have a big day ahead I know not to start my day with a big bowl of cereal with milk and a yogurt. Learn your body!
Another key to losing weight is exercise, of course. I enjoy exercise to a slightly crazy level but that doesn’t mean I am exercising effectively. Last month at Chicktime one of the other volunteers reminded me of something critical; you can’t just run at a constant pace for a long time, it makes you hungry and tired but doesn’t necessarily burn calories. Instead, you have to really push yourself by increasing your heart rate and trying to get better or faster. It was a great reminder for me because I often give myself credit just for “showing up” to the gym and going through the motions. That may be good if you are just getting into the gym to start healthy habits, but if you have goals you need to push it! If you are lifting weights try heavier, if you enjoy classes try new ones, or if you are in a rut try a new kind of exercise! There are so many options where you can work different kinds of muscle groups. The whole point of exercise is to try your best and work your muscles effectively.
The last way I’ll mention to get ready for summer is to reduce your stress level. You may need to sleep more. Do you wake up exhausted? Make it a priority to give yourself the rest you need! Do you get stressed out in traffic or at work? How can you change your attitude or eliminate some of that stress? Try podcasts or happy music or finding an alternative route home from work. You can also plan to have “me” time on the weekends to regroup and mentally prepare for whatever is next. Focus your energy on the right things and you’ll be ready to calmly work through whatever comes your way. Reducing your stress level can also increase your energy level, reduce your weight and improve your overall health.
Once your energy level is back in check and your stress is low, summertime is sure to be a blast as it’s meant to be! Another way to enjoy your summer is to join us at Chicktime! In June we will be taking photographs of (or with) the girls at Casa, and decorating picture frames to accompany them. We will also have lunch, as usual. Please RSVP to Lisa at email@example.com by 6/3 if you are going to join. It should be a great event!
In order to be the best version of yourself, you need to be purposeful of who you choose to surround yourself with. Be conscientious of your spouse, friends and co-workers. You see them all the time and they have a huge impact on you and how you see the world.
Your spouse will be the most impactful single person in your life. Ruben Navarrette had a great quote in a commencement speech in 2013 (when I graduated college). He said
“For those of you who choose, or are able, to get married — and hopefully, one day, all of you will be — who you decide to marry will go a long way toward determining your success. It’s more important than degrees from fancy schools. People can either lift you up, or bring you down. Choose well.”
This is not to say your spouse needs to be the person to make you happy- you are the only person that can truly make you happy. You have to be happy on your own. But your spouse should make you happiER, or at least comfortable in your happiness. If they drag you down, don’t think it will go away if you try to bring them up. You don’t want that constant pushing up while they are pulling down. The pushing and pulling is a balance and you take turns. You should get at least a little bit interested in the activities your spouse likes. You “lift them up” in your activities, and they will “lift you up” in theirs. For example, I really value helping others and volunteering with kids, and my partner can only handle so much. But when he joins me, he knows he made an impact during his time even though it took a lot of effort. He also feels happy knowing that he made me happy. Conversely, my partner really likes gardening and eating healthy, natural fruits and vegetables. Although I see it as work and would rather simply buy organic and be done with it, I know he values the time spent weeding and planting in his garden, so I make it a priority in my life as well.
Your friends will shape your world as you go through puberty and help you become the person you are. As an adult, your friends continue to impact you and help you think of the world through different lenses. Find friends that help you see things differently, but still in a positive way. Your differences will help you try new activities, or foods, you may not otherwise think twice about. My girlfriend got married in Baltimore last year. She is a really close friend, so I couldn’t imagine not being a part of her special day. I really had no interest in visiting Baltimore, but I decided to save the money and make the trip for her. I was (jokingly) told that I wouldn’t be allowed back on the plane home if I didn’t try crab cakes while in the city. They were incredible! My mouth starts watering just thinking about the fresh crab and old bay seasoning. Now when I go to restaurants I actually order crab cakes! Now I understand and appreciate when people say east coast crab cakes are better. I would have no idea to try these things without the influence of my friends!
Your co-workers are definitely another area where you need to know the best version of yourself. Sometimes co-workers challenge you and your ways of thinking. This isn’t always a bad thing. You need to frame your mindset to understand you are both trying to do what you think is best for the company. One co-worker of mine comes off a little rough around the edges. He always questions my decisions and makes me explain my rationale. He may have another opinion, he may play devils’ advocate, but if I want someone to agree with me he is definitely not the person I turn to. However, his argumentative stance helps me really think through my ideas, which helps build a stronger case. He also shows me different perspectives so I can take that into account. If I have to work an idea and get his approval, I am very thoughtful and thorough with my work. Now even when I am not working with him, I know how to use a more thoughtful and thorough approach when needed.
There are also co-workers that turn into friends. Sometimes it’s refreshing to vent and complain and get something off your chest. That is a healthy way of dealing with stress from a work environment- but don’t complain too much in a negative way. Understand that work is stressful, and stress can be a motivator to get things done. I completely understand, sometimes it’s nice to just get that complaining out and then you just feel refreshed and ready to tackle another day! Just don’t dwell on the negative.
Even as an adult you should consider the people you surround yourself with if you want to be the best version of yourself. Your spouse, friends, and co-workers should all be somewhat scrutinized to make sure you keep a positive mindset. There is a saying I heard a long time ago- “if you stand around garbage long enough, you’re bound to step in it.” I’m sure you can think of someone who has negative people around that get dragged down and become negative like them. Don’t be that person. Surround yourself with people that stretch you and make you want to be just a little bit better. You have long life ahead of you, and if you are a little better every day, think of the person you will be and the impact you have made on others after all of those little things. At some point, all the little things add up and you’ll find they are actually the big things.
One “little” way to start is to surround yourself with positive people and join Chicktime this month! We will be painting small totes to hold beach items for the summer. We’ll have a BBQ lunch the afternoon of 5/6. I hope to see you there!
A few months ago I decided to expand my volunteering activity at Casa and help as a “Fairy Godmother.” This is where a group of ladies host a baby shower for one of the pregnant teens at the home. They really put on quite a production- they have adorable decorations, gifts for the mama-to-be and delicious food based on what the mom likes. I wasn’t sure what to expect. I knew some of the girls from volunteering through Chicktime, but had never attended one of these events. I hadn’t volunteered at these types of events in the past for a few reasons. They are in the evening after work and that is quite inconvenient to my normal routine. Also, it is a different volunteer group, so I wouldn’t be with my Chicktime ladies who I’m comfortable with. I’m not a big fan of attending baby showers even for my close friends and family. Lastly, I don’t have a lot of money to spend to help with bringing decorations, gifts or food. But at some point, I rationalized I had to at least try it out- I’ve seen how the Casa girls really appreciate when we come in, and maybe I could learn something at these events that could help us with Chicktime events. Also, I was throwing a baby shower for my sister the following month so I thought I would get some ideas.
The baby shower was such a beautiful and touching experience, it taught me things about these girls, the women that volunteer, and myself, which I continue to appreciate and truly feel blessed in my heart.
The decorations were astounding. The ladies really have a knack for artistic and creative ways to throw a party. The food was delicious- similar to the Chicktime events, I try to tell myself to take it easy on the food but it is so yummy and has that heartfelt homemade aspect I just can’t resist. When I think of that day, I still feel in my heart the future mom’s gratitude for all we did. As with many of the girls in the home, they don’t have someone to throw them this special party. She was so appreciative with every detail of the party- the games, the food, each individual gift she received. A few of her family members attended the event- I believe it was her aunt and grandmother. Other members of her family did not appreciate or approve of her decisions. So we volunteers were her family and friends for that time in her life. She was moving forward with decisions she had made and needed just a little help, a few smiles, and a lot of love. I am proud to say I was part of filling those needs for her that day.
On my drive home I started to reflect on the blessings in my life and couldn’t help but get emotional. I called my sister and had to tell her how blessed we are to have a close relationship and that we come from such a loving, nurturing family. I had previously been stressed about throwing her shower, but on that drive home I realized the most important part of having a baby shower is starting to create that “village to raise a child,” complete with love, support, friends and family. The Fairy Godmothers helped provide that to one future mom, and Chicktime helps provide the sustaining nurturing to that new family. Together, we make the community better.
I’m not sure if the mom-to-be got more out of that event or me. It really touched me, and helped in my continual journey to be a better person. Volunteering benefits more than just those being helped. When you volunteer, the “feel-good” part of your brain is triggered. It raises your self-esteem. You make friends with like-minded people. You create a sense of purpose and community, which reduces loneliness and isolation. It gives you perspective on your own situation. And who knows, your act of kindness may leave an impression on someone else to follow your lead and also give back. Let’s try to start that chain reaction; it’s certainly one way to make our world a better place.
How can you get involved?
If baby showers are more your style, you can contact Micaelea at firstname.lastname@example.org to get in touch with the Fairy Godmothers and learn about their upcoming events.
Or please join us at the next Chicktime event on 4/8! We will have members of Wounded Warriors join us with Next Steps service dogs to share their inspirational stories. We will help the girls, help the wounded warriors by giving treats to their dogs, and help ourselves just by volunteering. Please RSVP to Joann at email@example.com by 4/1. I hope to see you there!
One of our goals as volunteers at Casa is to help the girls feel loved and cared for by the community. In order to help others feel good, you have to feel good yourself – mentally, spiritually, and physically. What have you done to help yourself feel good?
Feel good mentally.
Springtime is coming, and a lot of people will “spring-clean” their homes, to purge some of the junk they have sitting around that isn’t being used. That can help lower stress and generally make you feel better- less “stuff” gives peace of mind. Think about all the things you want to clean out, and try to tackle one thing per week. Don’t do it all at once, but instead, set aside an hour over the weekend to sort out your bathroom medicine cabinet, a certain section of your closet, or that junk drawer in the kitchen. If you do one of these things each weekend in March, they will all be done and it won’t be overwhelming! I like to start with my desk where I work and make it as clean as it was my first day on the job- with less distractions in every corner, I can really focus on the task at hand! What do YOU do to feel good mentally?
Feel good spiritually.
A relationship with God (or whatever you believe in) has peaks and valleys. When things in life are going really well, do you pray a lot? Do you lean on your higher power more when you are in a low point? If you keep your spiritual connection strong consistently, the blessings that accompany spirituality will also be consistent. I have found that I incorporate prayer into a routine in my life- when I wake up so I start the day off in the right mindset, and before bed so I can recap all I am thankful for that day and sleep well through the night. I have found this consistency helps me keep things in perspective as I go through the day and maintain a more positive attitude. The day inevitably gets rushed and chaotic, but starting and ending on the right track can keep you on the right path. Do you have any tricks to feel good spiritually?
Feel good physically.
As I’ve written in previous blog posts- I like to run, which is what I do to get relief from a physical standpoint. Unfortunately, sometimes I overdo it and get aches or pains and have to take it easy on the running. Then I turn to yoga, which helps stretch out those muscles and it just feels… so… good. There is more than exercise to feel good physically- like a nice warm bath with some scented scrubs or bath scents. Can you just imagine a welcoming bath right now- doesn’t that sound great? What do you do to feel good physically?
This month Chicktime is going to help the girls at Casa de Amparo with that last one- feeling good physically! We’ll be making bath scrubs for the girls. We want to promote healthy lifestyles which can be different for every person! What do you want to look like? Is there a celebrity or someone that you strive to be like? Is that really a good model for you, knowing everyone is different? How do you want to feel? We are going to talk about these things and more while making the body scrubs at the March 11 event- I hope to see you there!
Be good to yourself,
About a year ago I read a book called “The Five Love Languages” by Gary Chapman. Believe it or not, I read this book for work and to be a better manager. The idea behind the book is that people are motivated differently and everybody has a “tank” they need to have filled to feel satisfied. The author explains there are five general “languages” to have your tank filled. Most people need a little of each of the 5 love languages, but there can be a dominant one. Usually people read this book to better understand their spouse or boyfriend/girlfriend’s perspective, which I certainly can appreciate why that is helpful in stressful times and circumstances. Imagine if you were in an uncomfortable situation and you knew all you had to do to make the other person calm down is to gently touch their shoulder? Or maybe that would do nothing, and instead you should give a word of encouragement. It would be helpful to know how to fulfill someone you care about and what triggers them. You can also use these ideas at work or in the community, to understand what drives and motivates someone with whom you are working on a project, in a group activity, or just working side by side every day.
The first love language is gift giving. Some people love a thing, anything, to represent that they are being thought of. It doesn’t have to be expensive; it just has to be a physical item. For example, if you went on a hike, you could bring back a pretty rock you saw along the way to show them you thought of them on the journey and you wanted to share the beauty.
Another love language is quality time. A meaningful act for someone with this dominant love language would be to engage in conversation, put the cell phone and other distractions away, and be present. It doesn’t have to be all the time, but when you do make an effort to give your full attention it is very special to that person.
The next is words of affirmation. Being told they are strong, courageous, smart, or kind can really make someone with this dominant language feel uplifted. It needs to be sincere, but any words that can help build you up take this person to the next level and they truly appreciate it.
The fourth language is physical touch. Having a pat on the shoulder with a job well done could be really impactful for someone. In a new relationship, holding hands may be critical. In a long-term relationship, holding hands is still important; or maybe just sitting close enough on the couch to lightly touch will be enough. To be fair, this language is hard to put into play in the workplace, so maybe go to their second dominant love language.
The last love language is acts of service. Giving a helping hand can make this person feel like they are really doing their part. Having someone offer to bring in the groceries, or do a little extra on a team project can really make a significant impact on this person. If you do something kind for them, they may do something kind back because you helped fill their “tank.”
I think a lot of volunteers at Chicktime have a dominant “Acts of Service” love language. I can see it based on the time they give to serve the community and the girls at Casa. I can see it by the time they put into events, getting to know one another and helping each other. I think they fill each other up with kindness by helping each other and the Casa community, and in turn they get filled themselves. I know that’s how it is for me.
What is your love language? No matter what your love language is, we could use your gift to help the girls at Casa, who each have love languages of their own and ways to have their tanks filled. We need to help these girls by filling their tanks the ways we also need to be filled; with kind words, with focused attention, and with small gifts. All of the love languages play a part when we help at Casa.
This month we will be making valentines and sugar cookies when we combine the cottages. There will also be a chocolate fountain with dipping sauces! We may talk about these love languages, or we may focus on the quote of making yourself happy instead of depending on someone else for happiness. There are so many ways to love these girls, and we can always use more help. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you plan to attend, I hope to see you there!
Love love love,
Happy New Year! 2017 seems weird to say and write- it came so quickly. It seems like every year the time passes faster. The New Year is a time of reflection, and to set goals for the next year. I would like to do a little of that in this month’s update.
2016 had a lot of fun times with the Casa girls and Chicktime volunteers. I joined in February and was able to attend many events which showcased different skills we all have! I personally got to make greeting cards, play laser tag and paint a masterpiece.
I saw some of the girls at Casa learn and grow in their time at the home- they have some real artistic skills with the craft activities. When they participate in the group activities you can tell they are really living in the moment with us. They made Halloween headbands, enjoyed a Mexican fiesta and created a giant slip and slide which ended in a silly water balloon fight!
The volunteers are so kind, loving and generous. They love those girls in the ways they know how- through their many talents, praises, and time. Many volunteers have stepped into leadership roles to help our founder, Phoenix, manage her time and schedule better. These ladies have blessed me and helped me see the world through a different lens- I see so much kindness, generosity and helpfulness in our community now. It was always there, but their positivity and dependability gives me faith that we all can truly make this world a better place. One person at a time. I’ve seen it- through the Chicktime volunteers.
2017 is now here- it will have ups and downs, just like the other years. But if we go into it with a positive attitude, things will continue to get better. I think now more than ever we have to have empathy for others. So many people want to voice their discontent, and they may feel very differently about certain issues. It can be frustrating for everyone! But we must practice empathy- put yourself in their shoes. Can you try to understand their life experiences, where they are coming from, and why they have such a different opinion than you? Just step back and see the big picture, don’t be the person causing any frustration or hardship for others.
If you want change, don’t just wish and hope for it, but BE the change. Be kind to others. Make time for other people. Say yes to adventures. Put time and effort in becoming better at that skill or talent that you’ve wanted to develop. Be the example for others. When the day comes and they ask you how you’ve gotten so far, you’ll tell them “it was nothing.” It’s not true of course, it takes work to make the world better. But we can do it, one person at a time. I’ve seen it.
You can start by joining Chicktime this month! We are starting 30 minutes early because we don’t want to eat brunch food in the afternoon! We will have brunch and be creating inspirational dreamboards. These boards will help the girls think about what they want to do or accomplish in the next year, and it will be a reminder to them all year of the path they are on and what they can accomplish. I hope you can make it to this fun event!
It is officially in the midst of holiday time! For some, this is the best time of year. For others, this can be a very difficult time of year. What does it mean for you? Maybe a little of both?
One of the other Chicktime volunteers shared this beautiful quote with me and I love it for this time of year. This time of year can be sensitive for some people, including me- I am thinking of what has happened (or not) in the last year, and all that I hope to accomplish in the next year. Some of these things are in my control, like how much I volunteer and how much time I spend at work. Some of these things I start to reflect on are not in my control and I just have to keep hoping for the best. This reminder to focus on the present with a thankful heart is just what I needed, so I hope it helps you too.
No amount of regret changes the past. It can be so easy to dwell on difficult or painful things, and it is easy to be overcome by them. If there is something you wish you could change in your past- think about what you learned from it, how it made you stronger, and don’t make the same mistake twice.
No amount of anxiety changes the future. There is a saying that worry is like a rocking chair- it gives you something to do, but doesn’t get you anywhere. Know that if you do what is right, and you do your best, you will get to where you need to go. Stay productive, and keep moving forward!
Any amount of grateful joy changes the present. Focus on what is in front of you- that is what you have influence over. Staying present with today’s resources (internet, television, video games) is really tough. But if you actively make an effort to BE PRESENT, the people around you will feel more understood and appreciated. And if you are present with a grateful heart, it will give a positive spin to any situation and it can make all the difference.
What does this quote mean to you? Is there anything you need to change your perspective on to change your present?
One way to incorporate grateful joy in your present is to get out and do something positive. What can you do? What have you been putting off? If you’ve wanted to give back to your community, please join Chicktime at Casa de Amparo for our December event. This will be a comfy event- a pajama party! We would love if volunteers bring cookies to share in a cookie exchange with the girls, and we will have a light lunch. The girls actually gave us suggestions- they asked to make their own stockings, which we are happy to set up for them! We also plan to build gingerbread houses and enjoy the holiday time together. Please RSVP to Joann at email@example.com by 12/3 if you would like to join. I would love to see you there.
Wishing you a wonderful holiday season,
We are back to the month November; the month where we have a holiday to be thankful. Thanksgiving is a symbol of the European Colonists and the original American Indians sharing a feast together at Plymouth Plantation in 1621. It became an annual tradition for many years, and in 1863 during the American Civil War Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a national holiday of Thanksgiving. Today, we celebrate with parades, food drives and charity events, football games and giving thanks around the dinner table.
Why do we only think of our blessings and give thanks in November? Doesn’t it make you feel good when you realize what you have? Doesn’t it make others feel good, when you say thank you and show appreciation for what they have done? If we intentionally surround ourselves with thankfulness and positivity, those attributes will come back to us. That’s why I chose the quote for this month- we don’t want to just give thanks once a year, but we want to live in a spirit of thankfulness all year. We could have that love and kindness in our spirit all the time and November would just be a month where everyone else joins you!
But how can you live in thankfulness all year? I believe it must be intentional- you have to make a conscious choice to count your blessings. Here are some suggestions that have worked for me:
- Say a structured daily prayer to focus the small things. Be grateful for waking up in the morning, having friends or family to spend time with, being able to walk and read and speak. We don’t realize how important and critical these simple things are until we lose them. If you don’t pray- try meditation!
- Appreciate others. See the small things they do right, and let them know! It is much easier to be critical than positive, and it takes many more compliments to outweigh a criticism. If you must criticize- do so constructively in an effort to help them.
- Stay humble. You aren’t perfect, and neither is anyone else. People will open up more if they feel like they can relate to you, and it is hard to relate to someone who thinks they are better than everyone.
- Choose your friends wisely. Your friends (and partner) go a long way to affect your attitude. People will either lift you up, or bring you down. Choose well.
- For many people who are going through a rough time, they only want one thing from you; your time. They may want you to listen, or help, or just be there. If you are present and showing you care, it can change their rough time to manageable. Or better. Treat our fellow human beings with kindness and respect, and the world will be sure that is what will be returned to you.
Thankfulness can come in many ways; it is certainly not words alone. Make it part of your lifestyle, your attitude, your community. You will likely end up with even more to be thankful for, and it will spill into others’ lives.
You can start by joining us for the next Chicktime event at Casa! We are having a gratitude workshop and Thanksgiving feast. The very talented Kristel will be joining us again to paint beautiful works of art on canvas; come and let your creativity out! Please RSVP to Joann at firstname.lastname@example.org if you will be able to join. I sincerely hope to see you there- tell me how you live intentionally, and what you are grateful for! I can’t wait.
The grass is always greener. How many times have you heard that expression before? We are truly some of the luckiest people in the world, living in America during this time (political jokes aside). Even when it seems like our problems are more challenging then everyone we know in our network, if we only step back and see the big picture we see how we take so many things for granted.
780 million people in the world don’t have clean water to drink.
795 million people go to bed hungry because they can’t afford enough food to eat.
It is easy to get caught up in our own self-involved world and get frustrated when it seems things aren’t going our way. It happens to everyone, even the people who seem they have it all.
I was recently on a flight coming home from recruiting at a career fair in Virginia. The man in the seat next to me explained he had two kids and he always wanted to be home with them. I was jealous of him because he seemed to have it “all;” a wife, a few kids, and likely a very lovely place to call home. He asked about my traveling, and any recent vacations I had. I explained a trip I was able to take with some friends overseas and he kept asking me for more details. You can imagine my surprise when he enthusiastically told me that I “seemed to have it all because I could go on adventures on a whim.” It’s true; I have a lot of free time because my love life is stalled and I have a great job. However; I would give anything to have something to go home to at the end of a trip (or come with me during a trip). But sitting next to someone who has exactly that, I see that he wants just what I have. How interesting.
The moral is to live in the moment and be happy with whatever you have. Everyone has their own circumstances that include highs and lows. EVERYONE is going through something. Maybe they are having a great month, where everything seems to be great. Life isn’t always like that, and trust me, there will also be lows. How you deal with these highs and lows build your character and if you do it right, make you better.
One way to try and have more highs than lows is to help others. Help others you know, and help even those you do not know. When others are down, lift them up! When they are doing well, celebrate with them! Being a part of someone else’s life helps you experience your own life through a different lens. Maybe you’ll better appreciate the blessings in your own life. Maybe you’ll be able to celebrate good times with just one more person. That’s part of why I love Chicktime so much- we get to be a part of our community that we would never otherwise interact with. There are great kids at Casa who are getting their feet off the ground and going through their own highs and lows. And there are amazing volunteers who also have a story, if only you ask.
As you can see, we had a BLAST playing laser tag with the kids this week through Equinox. What a great organization and what a fun time with the kids and volunteers. The food was excellent, the kids were so excited to participate and the volunteers really made an impact. I already can’t wait for next week- it’s October, so we’ll have a Halloween party! Hope to see you there.
Count your blessings, always.
What do you do to clear your mind and find balance when you are stressed out? Do you watch TV? Listen to music? Talk with a friend? Everyone unwinds in a different way and it is part of what makes us unique. Stress leads to many health problems, including heart disease, weight gain, depression, and much more. There are so many ways to take it a step further if you feel like that one deep breath (or counting to 10) didn’t do the trick. As for me, I like to run.
When I was in school, I never joined the track team. I could have, but I watched when my older sister joined the swim team. She soon started to detest her favorite sport because it became a chore instead of fun. So I always kept running to myself. I can run through almost any problem; the monotonous pounding of my shoes on the asphalt are white noise to help me sift through my thoughts. In high school, I was able to get away from confusion and frustration with my family, friends and classwork. In college in Illinois I ran around a boring track in the winters and was able to think through the complex theory they were teaching in lecture halls. At the workplace I have been able to skirt away at lunch time and feel like my workday is split into two pieces; a morning and afternoon, which makes long days much easier to get through. It’s something I’ve been able to turn to throughout my life to make sense of this sometimes crazy and chaotic world.
Running is a piece of me, and I could talk about it for a long time. I’ve run in short and long races, learned about the immense benefits of insoles, perfected a technique that suits me if I get a cramp. I’ve made great friends and we take turns telling and listening to long rambling stories because we have so much time to kill on the road.
It’s important to find an activity that suits you to help you de-stress and make sense of everything because the world is so fast paced. If you don’t already have a healthy habit that makes you happy, think of something!! Give it a try.
Next week we will be playing laser tag with the kids at Casa de Amparo- hopefully to help all of us get away for a bit to de-stress from our crazy and busy lives. I hope you can join us!
Hello! As Phoenix mentioned in last month’s post, my name is Melissa and I am so excited to be helping in a leadership role with the Chicktime San Diego chapter. I’d like to use my first post here as an opportunity to tell you a little about myself. I had been looking for ways to get more involved in the community and have found a real blessing through Chicktime and Casa de Amparo. You may be wondering why did I (or why would you) want to volunteer? And why Chicktime?
Let me start at the beginning. When I graduated college in 2008 I became fascinated with the subject of happiness. I found that I remembered being happiest when I accomplished something; when I passed a class, when I completed a project, when I graduated. You needed something to celebrate, what I started calling a “win,” even if it was something like a birthday. I remember thinking that if I could only get to the next big win, I would finally be happy… and hopefully permanently. I kept trying to accomplish big wins and when I started a full time job I realized it’s not practical to have the same kind of big wins in the real world that you have in college. So how could I get big wins to reach the destination of happiness? I talked about this with many people, and finally became convinced of something I heard but could not quite appreciate yet; happiness is in the journey, not the destination. You can find happiness in the small things in your life, like a soft rug between your toes when you step out of the shower. You can find happiness in a laugh with your closest friend; or your new friend. You can find happiness as you go through the walk of the life if only you can stop long enough to appreciate it.
One surefire way to have a constant inflow of “wins” is to build a sense of community in the area you live. If you have even a small network, you will find wins all the time. If you can celebrate someone else’s win with them, not only do they benefit but you do too. I started to realize this and wanted to engage even more than with casual friendships, but by giving back in some way. I was thinking of how others in our San Diego community are in different places in their walk of life and maybe they need to celebrate some wins. Then I found Chicktime.
Chicktime does just that. I was anxious at the first event but realized I had to give something out of my comfort zone a try. I found Chicktime is an organization revolved around building up others and celebrating wins. The San Diego chapter builds a sense of community with the boys and girls at Casa de Amparo, and there is also a sense of community within the Chicktime volunteers themselves. The volunteers at each event truly want to celebrate the big and small wins with the kids and with each other. I always leave the events with a smile-I feel proud for helping with the kids and I feel cheerfulness from being around the positive spirited volunteers. And because of this, as I drive away I can’t help but think of all we accomplished and celebrated that day and feel incredibly… happy!!
I have been leading this chapter for this past three years with my amazing friend, and coleader Joann Van Ort. It has been such a journey living out these events with the kids at Casa and the lovely women who have chosen to partake in our mission of making the next generation a better one. Over this time we have documented the creativity, fun and passion of these events and created the invites and positive words of encouragement to keep us going. With that said I have some exciting news of a new coleader! Melissa Horning is joining our leadership for San Diego’s Chapter. We are so excited to have her on board. From now on she will be creating the beauty you see on our chapter’s page. I just wanted to leave you with a few last thoughts about Chicktime; what it means to me and how it has brought so much light into my life.
What Chicktime has taught me about leadership is that we are all in this together. Every opinion matters and it takes an entire village to make a difference. To be able to bring women together for the purpose of making the next generation better, facilitated by Chicktime, has given me peace and fulfillment in my life like nothing ever has before. I have made the most significant friendships and deepest connections with women who aspire to lift themselves up through sharing their passions, talents, wisdom, and love with these kidos. Through leading this chapter I found there is nothing more important than to give of yourself in order to make a difference in our communities. Whether it’s through a job, vocation, family, or church; your soul matters and exists to perpetuate love, kindness and worth to those around you.
As for the kids. There is nothing like an event that will shed perspective on your yearning to help and the reason why you are there to begin with. Sometimes a Chicktime Saturday came along, and I felt the pressures of life and its problems weighing me down to the point of not wanting to get out of bed. Magically, my commitment of making the kids at Casa a priority, for just three hours, once a month brought me out of my self and allowed me to understand that my issues were myopic compared to the pain and hurt out there. My commitment to inspire the women to give these kids all our love and attention conquers the trials of life that intimidate me to hide in my own pain and misery. It has given me the freedom to step out of that pain and share the beauty and passion emanating from my energy and presence in hope to see a smile of hope and laughter from our Casa kids. You couldn’t ask for anything else more rewarding to know that you are making a huge impact in their lives just by showing up.
From this point forward, I am reaffirming my commitment to lead with presence, value, warmth, and kindness. With Joann and Melissa, we will propel the women in our chapter to fuse together, persevering any challenge that blocks our mission of changing the lives of the kids at Casa de Amparo one event at a time. These events would not be possible without you and we welcome you with open arms to be a part of the San Diego Chicktime community.
With Much Love,
Isn’t it inspiring when a certain idea keeps coming up through different sources in a short period of time? That’s when I feel compelled to listen to the wisdom and apply it to my life. Recently the idea of one foot in front of the other gets you the farthest has been a message I keep seeing everywhere. You can sum this up in one word; Process. Its definition: a series of actions or steps taken in order to achieve a particular end. How many times have you felt caught up in the goal instead of enjoying the process of the moments leading up to the achievement of that goal? One of the places I found this message was in SPIN Selling. Neil Rackham offers his best advice to close business. His researched methods and statistical measurements provide the reader instructions on how to close deals through identifying a potential customer’s problems and showing them how the solutions of their companies product/service will mitigate the pains of those problems. He dedicated a chapter in the end of his book on how to apply the first 6 chapters of theory into a skill set. How difficult it is, to do so if you decide to conquer every step involved at once. You must become a master of the first step without judgment of quality, and with persistence and appropriate places. Otherwise overwhelming anxiety will deplete your energy in creating a foundation for your knowledge to be transcended into tangible action.
I have been the worst critique of myself when it comes to reaching a goal. Constantly I need to remind my self to be kind in my efforts of living in the moment to accomplish what I set forth. Through repetition, hard work, and focusing on the first step at hand, instead of being overwhelmed by the frustration of not having it perfect the first time, you surrender your need for perfection. This will give you freedom to make mistakes, which ultimately delivers you success. Everything builds on top of what you have placed on the bottom, so make sure humility and perseverance is at the basis of what you do. Know that you can achieve what ever you put your mind and action into doing.
This was yet another amazing, fun event for the kids. Thank you for persevering through the challenges that we face to keep giving Casa Kids consistent love through showing up. Its something they are not use to. Until next time, live with courage, beauty and love. <3
Love- Why are we on this planet if it isn’t to exchange most desired currency called love. It’s a powerful energy that invigorates the weakest parts of ourselves to strengthen and delivers the most satisfaction infusing our spirits to rise. To embody love and share that energy with every person you come in presence with, is a reflection of the love and respect you have for yourself. In this lovely life, remember your output of love is directly correlated to your input of love. Through having a steadfast love of yourself you can live a life of love for others.
Invite- I can be surprised walking down the street here in sunny San Diego. Very seldom do I see people acknowledging others with a warm smile or hello. They are with their heads down on their cell phone, or purposefully looking away so they do not have to connect. This lack of invitation can be explained by the lack of confidence and vulnerability we exhibit. Rather than taking a risk of being rejected they lay in the fear of not being validated, leaving them idle in putting themselves out there. We are supposed to invite people, and opportunities in our lives to truly make a difference in this world and be in communion with others. So make it a point today to lift your head up high, with your shoulders straight and a big smile to embrace a stranger. In turn, see how showing up in your life with an open invitation to others feels.
Value- It’s easy to take what we have for granted. We may not have the most ideal career, family, or body, but you should value what you have no matter what isn’t in place. Thanks to our cultural views and media’s influences I struggled to value myself. Cemented in a web of lies that I was not good enough and didn’t measure up to the facade of airbrushed models and flashy lifestyles, in our egocentric marketing consuming world made me live a phony life. Always chasing something that is unreal will not lead you to live authentically. Living a life of value has nothing to do with what our world tells that is of value, but really based in our character and affect it has on the lives we make a difference in.
Expand- Going outside your comfort zone can be the most terrifying exercise that has the most impact, delivering you the life you always dreamed of living and the person you believed yourself to being. The risk of engaging in your fear stopping you to expand past the point of safety builds your tenacity and infuses grit to accomplishing your wildest dreams. Go and explore outside yourself and into the unknown.
Ladies thank you for a wonderful April Event. It came together nicely despite the weather. Love you all and hope to see you at the next event!
Spring is in Bloom! Have you pulled out the weeds covering your garden for new buds to open and thrive in? All of us have certain people, frame of thoughts, and habits that discourage us from cultivating a beautiful garden free of stifle and digression. The uprooting of those limiting negative emotions, and thoughts is an earnest, strenuous exercise accompanied by pain and discomfort that redirects you to living the life you always desired. It’s uncomfortable to say good bye to the routine ideology, activity and people that have always been there, but the pain is worth it. How do you accomplish shedding off the old for the new? Starts with honesty, knowing your worth, trusting in the uncertainty and having the courage to break free from familiarity.
Honesty– You can go on with your life and pretend that what you are doing isn’t effecting you negatively. Making all kinds of rational arguments supporting your inaction of pulling the weeds out of the garden. Reaching enlightenment of truth transcends you past those reasons into solutions in fixing the root of the problems that are symptomatic of the small doses of poisonous lies contributing to your anxiety against change. In order to be transparent and walk the line you draw out you have to admit shameful and heart racing honest feelings to yourself and those around you who help you in your personal growth for accountability and guidance. Delivering yourself from the bondage of lies that were once helpful mechanisms guarding your heart in the past will let you shed light on your darkness and free you to grow up into the light.
Worth– So many of us can relate to a sense of shame and hurt from our past, which keep us in a circle of actions limiting the expressions of how we feel about ourselves. It’s easier to relive the redundant pain than examine that pain and draw out a new sense of worth unconfined by the limitations of an old mindset. You want to accomplish the things in life driven by our purpose and passion, and become the person you are meant to be from experiencing a life with reverence of love and respect for yourself. Heartbreak is inevitable in redefining your value. As tight as you are holding on, letting go builds character, presetting you to rise to your true worth and not settle for what you were conditioned to be or tolerated before. Lori Rhodes wrote, “You can only do something of value, if you feel of value.” We have to set our standard higher than ever before and know that your worth is determined by your own definition and exemplified by what you allow into your garden.
Trust– Sheesh uncertainty is fluxed in times of self-growth. Tendency of doubt creeps in asking did I really do the right thing, do I have what it takes etc. In times of experiencing a lack of faith you just have to initiate a strong sense of trust that your intuition of moving forward and your capabilities of doing so are intended to be put in fruition. No matter what your fears are. They are dismissed in the present time of taking action to do what aligns with your heart and spirit.
Courage– Knowing that this world is difficult to navigate, but having the tenacity to go after what you want regardless of the pain is where you find the courage to make change and persevere through the struggles of landscaping your garden into a haven of beauty and peace. Having the bravery of getting to your destination, no matter the circumstances, you will do whatever it takes to get there. It’s not knowing the how, but having the strength to go through any obstacle that stands in your way to living a life that you truly deserve.
Thank you ladies for an awesome event. It was a blast expressing the importance of internal beauty to the Casa girls!
The pricks of the fake grass blades ran a scratchy sensation under my legs as I sat down. It triggered my racing thoughts into submission, transcending me into the present of just being. So much of the time life can be a race to getting to the next best thing. Never stopping to realize what we are experiencing and have in the moment is just as important as what we are working for in the future. Those challenging moments and uncomfortable trials that we wish to be delivered from is the foundation of which we build our dreams on. If we fully enjoy those moments and put them into perspective; they are the catalyst to everything that we will achieve, maybe we can enjoy life just that much more.
I can sometimes get ahead of myself. Thinking so much in the future of the worldly desires I want to achieve. Driving a black IS250 Lexus, being a successful content creator, and having the financial freedom to serve people and travel with all my time can keep my imagination active for hours. Putting me on auto pilot throughout the day it can cause me to lose purpose and meaning in what I am doing in that moment. The people we engage with, the moments of love we have to share with one another isn’t that what life is about? Even if your time spent in the day takes your focus onto a computer screen answering emails and corresponding over a telephone with others do you have the drive to be in the present and enjoy the task at hand? Or are you thinking about the end result? Being attached to an outcome we fixate on can be harmful when we are not mindful in the steps of creating that vision. There’s nothing wrong with setting a plan, its best that you do, but don’t forget the means to the end are the most meaningful. For me I remember when my plans don’t happen as I worked them to be I can always focus on God for acceptance and peace because he is always constant and brings me up in where I fall short. I discovered he is found in the present moment.
Ladies thank you for the love and presence that you served the girls at Casa with at this event. It means so much to me that you have gracious hearts. You make such a huge impact on these girls who need it the most.
We had an amazing January Event. A big thank you to Vicki Murphy who came and enlightened the girls and women about the power of putting thoughts into images and words to enfold our wildest desires in our lives. There are many times in life where hopelessness ingrains itself in the patterns of your thoughts, defeating your every move to making your life everything you imagine it to be. I have had my fair share of depressing thoughts of not becoming the woman I want to be and achieve the accomplishments I desire through perpetuating old habits, processing negative feelings, and disbelieving the magnitude of what God can do in my life. Even through those debilitating forces, to believe in yourself and your aptitude to create your ideal life transcends you to taking action to mold your visions into reality. Fear from circumstances, failure, or unworthiness can be broken through by your faith. Everything is meant to make you stronger, build you up to that vision of life that you will create for yourself.
To see the girls flip through the pages and of magazines and cut out images and words that empowered them to feel strong and aspire to become what they put on the boards was moving and a great representation of what we do at Chicktime. Show the girls that they are valuable! They are cared for and loved. Lifting them up and providing them the experiences and tools to achieve their best self. It is not easy to find that value and for them to create boundaries to protect their worth. I pray for every girl to know how special she is and to know the significance of her importance in this world. I know this because I struggle with upholding my value in a culture that says you are only as good how you look or how much money you make. We all have our vices, we are human, but the most important thing we have is one another, community, and the gift of service we give each other.
Thank you ladies for sharing these few hours of heartfelt service. You are all amazing and wonderful women. I love you all. See you at the next event!
We all need connection. It’s why women come to Chicktime and people join anything to begin with. Everything is based in a foundation of relationship. As women, I think Many of us can agree upon the importance of relation and connection to others in our lives. Leading this Chapter so far, has bestowed me the most beautiful connections with wonderful women and amazing girls with so much potential for a full, vibrant, life. It takes a community to help the girls achieve that. I pray that everyone who is a part of Chicktime knows that they have a place in making a difference in them achieving their best selves through all of your unique talents, interests, passions, love, dreams, and generosity. Who you are and what you choose to give is so valuable for a Chicktime Chapter’s sustainability. Without this we would not be able to continue to touch the hearts and souls of these girls facilitating the next generation to have a better life.
The passion inside me for connection in pursuit of building others up and lifting them to their success in life has created so much prosperity and peace in my life. I hope it has done the same in yours. Coming into 2016 I come with so much gratitude for you ladies. My Goal this year to build a larger community so the impact grows for these girls and other girls who do not know Chicktime yet. As the sun rises in winter’s early morning lets be the light of hope and courage, and faith to conquer the unfairness of their circumstances and ARISE to become the women that God intends them to be. Let’s lead each Chicktime with presence, style, gratitude, and grace so we can be the women who gather and unite in peace, faith, love, compassion to keep making difference in our communities.
Ladies you are Lovely and I could not do this without you. Thank you for everything you do. Excited for 2016. I Love you all.
Community is one of the most important things that we can cultivate in our lives. The web of people that we are originally connected to though can be sometimes the farthest people away from us. For me, I always felt broken from disconnection in my familial ties. Now much time has passed, and grace has healed me and my family, but I still can feel the scars from the the deep agony of being a teenage girl without the love and connection she needed to be centered in peace and security of stability. God has his plan though. He uses the broken to show his love through fulfilling his promises. My mom asked me over Thanksgiving, “Why would God want your anxiety and worries?” I answered, “Because through him we are shown what it truly is to love, and we can’t follow through with that expression if we carry all the burden of sin on our shoulders. Through him and submission to him, by putting aside our idolizations, we are free to love as we were intended to. ” I know some of you don’t know God, some have turned away, and some have committed your life to him for years. Wherever you are, I just want you to know how much you are loved. That is exactly what community provides; a sense of love, and belonging. We are here on this earth to uplift each other, because who we invest in not only reaps rewards from our guidance, and our acknowledgment of their significance in this world, but giving of ourselves only brings us to a higher understanding of love and meaning in our own life. Chicktime represents this exactly and promotes building strong families, communities, and cities so that we can connect, collaborate, celebrate and create a better future for women around the world. I know it starts with an event held on a Saturday a month in about 32 cities, but I have faith that our impact is much greater than you can imagine.
Ladies this Thanksgiving Event was absolutely heartfelt and touching. As we set around the table reflecting on all the things we were thankful for, I was moved by the sentiment and love around the table. I am so grateful for you and your giving hearts holding the desire to uplift these girls through our community. I love you all. Thank you. See you next month!
My heart has been aching lately. Up until going to service Sunday night I thought that I was going to drown in the depths of loneliness and confusion. In moments such as this, I try not to lean on my own understanding for it sinks me lower in desperation of braking free from the weighted human limitations of making sense of voids meant only for God to fill. I do my best to entrust my life with him and do what makes my heart beat. Yet, with so much undecided things I cling to know the answers to, I seem to walk away from that will and force outcomes that are suited to satisfy my own self. When really we are on this earth to serve, love, and show mercy and grace as it was done for us. This is why I choose to keep faithful because a life of servitude is where I find purpose and meaning.
I look back at that teenage girl I once was. I never thought I would become the woman I am today. I made a lot of stupid decisions and some really great ones, but I believe the whole time I believed in a better life than the one that was modeled for me. With that and shedding the victim mentality, I became unstuck on myself, my perception of myself grew more defined and clear. My life gained momentum toward purpose and making a difference in this world. I have come to see that the more of myself I give, the more I am built up. I am not talking about burning out and not fulfilling your basic physical, mental and emotional needs at the expense of helping others, but to choose every day to serve people that you live with, work with and are in community with a smile and kindness may be just enough.
Chicks of Chicktime thank you for being the great givers you are. Your spirits and love for our girls uplifts me and motivates me to keep leading this chapter. I know sometimes it can be discouraging if things do not exceed or meet our expectations of our service. But that is the wrong focus perhaps to have. Of course we are all touched by the events and connections we build with the girls, but maybe the right focus is how are we building God’s Kingdom through our giving? I know I can get stuck on myself and my anticipation of an event going a particular way. Let’s be free in our serving and just love and give what we can. I love you all and could not be more grateful for all of you in my life. See you at the next event.
What is your passion? What are your innate gifts that God has granted you with from the experiences that have grown you in the direction of what your heart yearns for? For me the passions that I have found emanates from the areas of growth that fear resides in, telling me that I am not good enough or worthy enough of delivering my purpose in this world. My past fear of being seen and heard has crippled my self-esteem so much that rising above the negative clatter in my head seems impossible of climbing into a safe zone of self-love and belief. Am I pretty enough? Am I smart enough? Am I confident enough? Am I perceived in a good light? Does anyone care what I have to say? I remember standing in front of my eighth grade class giving a presentation about myself, where I broke down talking about how my dad was never in my life. As the pain rushed me into tears, I uncomfortably stood there unable to go on. My perception of my identity was wrecked because the father that was given to me in this world could care less about me and more about his own agenda. It was right there where my fear of public speaking ensued a curse that followed me throughout college. I think it’s those most vulnerable areas where healing needs to overlap the hurt and where forgiveness needs to push out the anger that proceeds us to fulfilling our destinies. The Lord knows those areas of weakness and he gives you this beautiful messy life to devote yourself in Trusting him and Standing in faith no matter what comes your way.
So what is stopping you from truly lifting everything up to God, and trusting that you are a woman of value and deeply loved and anointed with favor, good fortune and blessings? Once surrendered to the bringer of truth, we open our eyes to see who we truly are despite the critics of this world and what their perception colors us to be. With a culture consumed with worldly affairs it is easy to measure ourselves according to success in merit of standards that are unbelievable and insignificant. I pray that you ladies have enough faith in living authentically instead of living a facade of what society tells you to be. It is our mission to show the girls we serve how to reach that place of love and value against everything that tries to minimize us to what we should be. I feel so blessed to have you apart of my journey in making the world a better place for the next generation. I appreciate every woman’s individuality and unique talents and passions that they bring to our Chapter in making this dream a reality. I love you all and can not wait to see you at the next event!
A special thank you Kristel Boe from ArtBeat San Diego from the grace filled instruction and materials you provided to make this event possible. You are a sweetheart! We had an amazing time painting and were blessed by your presence. Looking to the next event you lead.
Every year Chicktime has an annual retreat. Last year it was based around Brene Brown’s work of vulnerability. In her book, The Gifts of Imperfection, backed up by years of research and her own self-reflection, she dives into the shame bleeding from the perceptions of our imperfections. Enlightening the path to worthiness, love and belonging, Brown links living wholeheartedly and the ability to connect with having the courage to be imperfect, and the ability let go of what you ought to be and embrace who you are. By embracing your flaws you open up and become vulnerable, compassionate and authentic. Thus delivering joy, creativity, and worthiness into your life.
Facing this information at the retreat, I recall sitting in my corner of pride unable to move in the search of my worthiness. In the past I would dilute the pain by escaping through numbing agents to sooth the blistering self-doubt emanating from shame of not being enough. The funny thing about numbing the negative emotions, is that you also sedate the positive ones too. Right then and there, the areas where I needed to step up and become a better person, the ones I rather not face, were alive, activated and present. At the end of our last workshop we had an opportunity to dance. As I sat there with my hands in my lap, fixated gaze on the openness around me, I stuck to my chair glued by my stubbornness of not allowing myself to be free in who I was.
A year later I reflect on that moment because our event this month was about sharing the passion of music, dancing and singing. It brought out those same fears of being vulnerable, but this time, I knew that I needed to step up and be seen in purpose of showing these girls the beauty of self-expression. I am in no way a fabulous singer or dancer, but instead of being frozen in fear I moved with courage. Ladies we all have imperfections. Hiding them may be our first inclination, but I encourage you to share them with others. Yes you will experience rejection, and negative emotions alongside of showing your true self. At the same time the amount of happiness and wholeness seeping through the way you live will be vibrant and worth every heartache, amounting to loving yourself for you. You are worthy of love and belonging.
The biggest thing I have taken away from this is that God shows us our arenas of where we need to step up through experiences, people and wisdom. No matter what those hindering imperfections are that stops us from feeling worthy of growing, he gives us grace to help us see our identities through him, so we can be renewed with a different perception of love and compassion for ourselves and others. The human condition is to be flawed. In the end what matters is just being honest with who you are.
Chicks of Chicktime. Thank you for showing me how to be honest. You are all wonderfully imperfect and I cherish this time I have to share my imperfect self with you. I love you all.
A special thanks to DJ GraiiKJ. Your enthusiasm, and passion for music and sharing your kind heart and spirit filled us up with love. Thank you so much for spending the time and donating your talents for the girls at Casa! We are so grateful. Hope to see you soon again.
Do you believe in fate? BF Skinner, a world famous psychologist and theorist of behavioral science believed that there is no fate or free will, but rather that human behavior is conditioned by the environment and perpetuated by favorable outcomes. It’s easy to say that our past environment and experiences have created us to be bitter, angry, upset, or apathetic people. This is where I disagree with Skinner. I believe regardless of our conditioning we can deliver ourselves from the enslavement of our own negative experiences and choose to respond with truth to who we are and what we have learned to be right. The lack of nurture we have received in the past provokes emotional walls, fencing us away from childhood pain. Whether it was from rejection of not being the best handball player on the playground, the least wanted date to the dance, or never meeting the expectations of being the perfect child, we all relive these pains. Instead of letting these insecurities rooted in fear that we are not enough be the defining factors of who we are, we can redirect our energy to embrace these hurts only to become stronger, confident, and wiser individuals through knowing we are LOVED and WHOLE. Coming from this place we can evaluate a situation that jets us back into the belittling environments with a new perspective of knowing our worth. Reconciling that our worth is not tied to these shortcomings of our lives, but it has birthed an understanding of the depths of pain, in purpose of relating to others with empathy, we are free to help them overcome and empower them to realize their own truth, beauty and goodness. So when the next time life gives you the chance to experience past suffering, go through it with courage to defeat the cycle of your negative conditioning knowing that it is a blessing to go through the hurt in order to help others and heal and blossom in who you are meant to become.
Thank you ladies for providing such a wonderful Game Day for the girls. You are living examples of courageous, brave women and I am proud to serve next to you! I love you all<3 Can not wait for the next event.
In meeting our natural desire of feeling wanted, needed and loved we must feel we belong somewhere . Whether it is in a family, community, group, or an idea, this connection comprises who we are. There are times when we may feel isolated or that no one understands us. Sometimes we pretend who we are just to “fit in” and mold into what others think we should be just so we do not feel a disconnection. According to Erik Erikson, a huge player in the theory of human development, there is a conflicting psychological state of intimacy vs. isolation that a person goes through. Is it necessary that we go through this isolation, or more so introspection of who we are to truly understand where we belong?
No matter what origin one comes from, all of us are missing something that makes up what we are yet to become. There are lessons to be learned, and people to meet that evolve us coming through our revolving door. You can’t say we are not changed by those who come in and even out of our lives. God puts a purpose into play with the players on the board. I guess it is your choice in what move to make, but the most important thing I have learned is to know that love is where we belong. You can never lose sight of your true identity with that mentality. I know that it can be difficult, living in a secular world and deciding your worth based upon your appearance, how much money you bring in, or how high your status is. This human condition is such a wavering state of mind that can determine who we are and where we feel we belong. The only thing that is unconditional and stable is God’s love. Bringing that into my daily life has transformed me into who I am. More importantly it puts serving others into perspective . We have one life to live. And not that acts or doing things paves the path to Gold, because the price has already been paid, but it delivers one to a higher state of gratitude and grants a sense of belonging to something bigger than ourselves. Those who can serve with love without expectation of receiving are living with purpose. Living for others is what it’s all about, right? Otherwise why do we feel we need to belong to something? Let’s continue to build each other up and choose kindness and love and share it with each other.
Ladies of Chicktime you are a model of this. Thank you so much for being the amazing women that you are. You give me a sense of belonging to a community I am proud to be a part of.
A big thanks to Equinox Laser Tag. Brad, Chris and Joseph thank you so much for giving your time, and facilities to make an extravagant event. You men are amazing and this event was so memorable!
Also thank you Dudetime for coming together and joining us in such a fun day!
I will see you at the next event. I love you all.
In starting this chapter I was not free to be transparent and truly who I was. I did not know how to open up. There was always an abundance of love in my heart but I did not have the key to open the lock and release that love. For me the experience of Chicktime has bestowed this key; vulnerability. What is the recipe for having this key? Surrender. Surrendering yourself from the image you permeate as success. Instead of living up to the ideals of success that society perpetuates, look in the mirror to see the honest reflection of your beauty. By doing this you can free yourself from any expectations and be just as you are. There is something so liberating in recognizing that you alone have the power to have the life you desire. You just have to be authentic and live with integrity and purpose in that you are worthy of everything good.
I feel as Women of Chicktime. We live like this on a daily basis. I feel so grateful to have woman who come together despite our differences and see the grace and kindness through a community who supports the girls that need this love so much.
The event was such a reflection of this. The first months coming to Chicktime it was a struggle for the girls at Casa to know that these women were committed to making one Saturday of the month about them.
Thanks for making a difference in these girls lives. As it fills our souls and fuels our passions, it lifts these girls up and empowers them to open up too.
I love you all!
I Cannot wait to see you next month.
Being open is not an easy thing. It’s actually one of the most difficult tasks to do, especially when you have been dealt so much pain and dissonance between you and those who are meant to love and care for you. These girls who we care about at Casa delivers me and all of us the opportunity to be open to every situation and person that comes into our lives. It is scary and painful to enlist in the activities that make you see who you truly are and let love in and out. It’s as if each time you have been conditioned to be hurt by those who you let in. I practiced for so long to let nothing in because it was better than being let down again and again. The thing is you attract what you are. What you put out there. If you are not vulnerable you are going to attract that. So the choice you have is now to let love in and be everything you are meant to be without being afraid of being hurt. Let God in your heart and have him dwell there to fill the void of openness and deliver your disappointment with joy, compassion and truth. With him nothing will stand against. We were created to live in his presence and share that with others. This is why we are here at Chicktime to share love, passion, and positivity with these girls who have no support and direction to happiness as they should have had with their original kin.
Thank you ladies for all showing up and being a part of Chicktime this month. The Zumba Sisters- Lisa Patton and Trish Calenzo- and Angie McGliam a special thank you for coming and sharing your passions with us and the girls at Casa. It was an amazing event and would have not been the same without you ladies. We had so much fun.
The day started out interesting, but it was embraced. When I got to Casa an hour early, there was an irate man yelling how a “punk-kid” stole something from the corner store, blaming a resident. Usually such an obscure event would through me emotionally off, but I treated him with grace and thanked him for his services silently gesturing him to go. The reason why I am mentioning this, is because God works in the most relevant ways. Showing us things through experiences, giving us a chance to grow in grace and vulnerability. When we are living in the moment and delivering grace to other people no matter their response, it guards you emotionally. Grace is an armor of your heart. Your heart is where vulnerability is fostered. All the women who choose to spend your time and heart on Chicktime are the most graceful women I know. Thank you for all your soul- present living with these girls.
This Madi Gras event was amazing. It always works out how it needs to. The girls were happy there was a delicious Cajun inspired meal. We sat around the table and ate, and chatted. Then experienced some crafting picture frames.
Chicktime is meant to bring you out of your comfort zones. As it has for me. I hope you all keep coming gracefully undone. Let all your imperfections on the table. Becoming who you are in the process is a beautiful mess and lets people do the same.
I love and respect each one of you thank you so much!
Excited for next month’s event.
Wow another event put into play and it was fabulous! Thank you Jr. League and Jen Steiger for coordinating, all the food, wonderful body scrub, face masks and nail painting materials. It was such a blast to have some quality Chicktime! Life is beautiful and all of you women who came to experience Valentines day with the girls at Casa thank you for your open hearts and generosity of sharing your beautiful life with them. I am trying to think of a specific moment to reflect on, but the day was filled with so much laughter, kindness, grace, and love. My favorite memory of the day that we captured, was when one of the girls we suggested to belt out Whitney Houston’s “I will Always” song for a photo opt. It just reminded me to always have fun, spontaneous and be lighthearted in the moment. It is amazing what we learn from the girls too. They are so wonderful and special! I pray for all of their happiness and well being.
At the very end of the event you could tell that the girls were lifted up with warmth and love. I am so grateful to lead such a fantastic community of women who have the purpose of healing brokenness of our female youth and building them up to be women who are happy, whole, confident, and self esteemed individuals.
I love you all and I hope that you keep on enfolding your own passions, and looking into yourself for your authenticity and power as a woman!
“Everything you want is on the other side of fear”-Jack Canfield
You are all dear to my heart. “Looking forward to seeing you at the next event.
Please contact Phoenix Valdez to save your spot at email@example.com
We had such an memorable Chinese New Year Celebration! Thank you ladies for all your contributions…everything came together to make a lasting cultural experience for the girls at Casa. We all enjoyed the spring rolls and oranges-Molly, fried rice-Marcia, Chips and soda- Dawn,egg rolls-Veronica and Crystal, coconut cake-Joann, , Asian Salad- Jannelle and Pam, and other sweets. The Lantern decorating was a great new experience where some of us learned the benefits of modge podge and tissue paper.Thank you Joann and Molly! They all turned out fabulous and thanks to Kelly who brought fortune cookies so we could paint them with milk mixed with food coloring. So much fun.
Life can be sometimes challenging sometimes especially for the girls who we serve. For us to gather around and rally for the purpose of making one Saturday a month a time for them, is healing so many wounds. As more and more time goes on the girls really appreciate Chicktime and look forward to the passion, fun and empowerment we bring to them. You all are such precious souls that make Chicktime what it is! Thank you for being you and putting all of your effort into each event. I love you and I hope that this new year you are ignited with purpose of making your dreams come true.
“Faith is taking the first step even when you do not see the whole staircase.”- Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Have the courage to take those steps faithfully knowing that you will reach the top.
See you next Event!
Please contact Phoenix at firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve your spot!
Wow this was such a beautiful December Event! The more time passes and each event happens, it becomes more clear of what our Chapter, what Chicktime is all about. Our mission to encourage our next generation of girls to love themselves and find the power within themselves to uncover passion, and courage to make the best of what they have. The girls were provided, thanks to Molly, with mini Christmas tree’s and decorations to inspire their creativity and holiday spirit. Joann brought stockings to decorate and all the women pulled together to arrange a White Elephant gift exchange and all the amazing food; Thank you Joann for the delicious cheesecake Santa hats, Molly’s adorable Olive, cheese, tomato penguins and hot mulled apple cider, Lisa’s cute doughnut reindeer and snowman with her veggies and fruit, Veronica’s chocoFlan, Jannelle’s and Pam’s amazing cheese and cracker spread, Ekaterina’s yummy truffles, and Dana’s and Kelly’s cookies, along with my chicken crouton potato casserole and assortment of holiday cookie favorites. In addition to all this we all broke out in a holiday Rudolph the red nose reindeer song mash mob that went great. Everyone sang along, there was sure the spirit of joy and peace among us. Thank you Lisa for taking one for the team and wearing the red nose. Santa even (Molly) came to visit and give each girl a Chicktime gift !
Even with all the gifts, crafts and goodies, we connected and made the girls holiday with warmth, love and a sense of home that was missing for these 3 hours. We are so blessed to have such an amazing group of women to steer the direction of our Chapter in helping these girls see love, and positivity. At the end one of the girls came out with her dozen of roses and graced each of us with a rose. It was so touching and the sentiment only expresses the impact of how our events across the nation affect the girls and boys that we serve.
Thank you so much for giving your heart and time in making the girls at Casa de Amparo’s December a memorable one. I can not wait till the next event. I love you all so much!
Come and join us for Chicktime’s December Event! It will be from 12-3. Please Contact
Phoenix Valdez at email@example.com
November’s Event was so amazing! Thank you Pia and Higgi for putting your heart and soul into making this Event
Spectacular. Pia the Pumpkin Bisque was amazing along with the sandwiches and German lemonade. Thank you for putting all that together!
Making the Nutella Truffles, Butter “S” Cookies, and
Vanilla kipfler (moons),was so much fun and enjoying them was the best part:)
Decorating the pumpkins brought our creative side out. So much fun!! There was a spread to choose from that came from Higgi’s Garden. All of the decorated
pumpkins turned out gorgeous and will make great Thanksgiving centerpieces.
San Diego Chicktime is so blessed to have such caring women that want to
share their love, passions, and make a difference in the girls lives at Casa de Amparo. Thank you so much for showing up with receptive, warm hearts for
these girls and one another. You are all absolutely amazing and blow me away with your kindness and openness.
” Happiness comes only when we push our brains and hearts to the farthest reaches of which we are capable…The purpose of life is to matter-to count, to
stand for something, to have it make some difference that we lived at all.” – Leo F. Buscaglia
Keep on reaching with no limits Ladies, we will go far in changing ourselves, thus changing the world around us. Live in faith and love so we can keep on
living our purposes out. I love you all. I can’t wait to see you at next months event!
Please contact Phoenix Valdez at firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve your spot!
Casa de Amparo’s Halloween Bash was such a beautiful event! We had Mary Poppins, Snow white, a Witch , a Phantom Woman and a Scarecrow come out to play.Thank you Joann, and Jane for providing creepy crawly delicious treats. Molly brought amazing Dias del los Muertos cookies and frosting for the girls to decorate in celebrating our lost loved ones. She and Shyla, and Jane brought amazing decorations to create a festive environment to craft and play in. Keanna thank you for bringing the drinks too! Jane brought Count Dracula to pin his mustache on. We all had a blast in playing that past time game and wearing the extra mustaches. All of the girls crafted Halloween bags or masks. One girl even made a pipe cleaner spider. So cool! It was evident that the girls were full of sugar, food, joy, love and creativity. At each event the girls anticipate to have Fun at Chicktime, which is such a blessing because their receptivity is the outcome of our selfless giving. I think all the women could agree how magical it was to have fun and bond with the girls. Thank you Ladies so much for being so open and vulnerable to making these girls feel special and loved. It is truly all that matters. I know we all come from stories that keep us closed up sometimes or make us feel unworthy, but please keep on believing in yourself and know that you have meaning and are making a difference in this world by being just as you are. Keep your hearts open and love available. You are all amazing! I love you all!
Hope to see you at the next event:)
Please join us for Casa de Amparo’s Halloween Bash! Please contact Phoenix Valdez at email@example.com to reserve your spot!
September’s Event was so amazing filled with healing through the expression of painting a funky sunflower. The paintings all turned out to be unique and beautiful. Thank you so much Kristel Boe from Art Beat San Diego for sharing your talent, enthusiasm, and passion for art at Chicktime this month. It was such an extraordinary event. For all the rest of you ladies; Jane and Heidi thank you for bringing the cool beverages that quenched our thirsts, Joann thank you for the amazing, creative desserts (they turned out spectacular and were delicious), Pia thank you for bringing the chips, and Jen thank you for bringing the veggies and fruit! Thank you all for gracing the girls with your presence on your Saturday afternoon. Having such giving, lovely ladies like yourselves to share the experience of stopping the cycle of abuse by connecting through passion, love, and fun makes all the difference in the world in leading the San Diego Chapter of Chicktime. I can not express my gratitude enough for an emerging community of amazing women to help those in need. For all of you who seek to find a worthy purpose in life, do not let the road blocks stop your persistence of breaking through to the life you truly deserve.
“Satisfaction lies in the effort, not the attainment, full effort is full victory”.- Mahatma Gandhi.
Keep on going knowing you are doing all that you can to live in love and act out in courage. I love you all! See at the next Chicktime!
We had such a successful August Event. I am so blessed to have such dedicated, giving, beautiful women to share this journey of making the world a better place for the next generation. Ilka and Linda did such a wonderful job of leading and executing a passion of creating beauty through Macrame Bracelets. I know all the girls and ladies really enjoyed learning how to correctly weave them together. We were all intensely concentrated on making sure we did not mess up the pattern of knotting. They turned out beautiful! As always the spread of food was a hit. Joann delivered us with amazing wraps to create with hummus and veggies. Donna cured our sweet tooth with her amazing monkey bread and homemade cookies. Geneva brought an all time favorite of potato salad and Sonia and Annie made sure we were hydrated with H2O. Thank you ladies so much for coming together and creating a extraordinary, heart warming, memory for the girls. ” Love is unselfishly choosing for another’s highest good.” – C.S. Lewis. You all are amazing for going outside of yourself and giving your time and love to those who are in need of it. I can not wait until Septembers Event!!
As many things in life the expectations we paint turn out to be a different picture than we imagined. Chicktime had to postpone last months event, leaving the Macrame Bracelet Beading for this months event. Even though we were unable to have our event a handful of us had a great time eating nachos and conversing in deep meaningful discussions of life and being a woman in this world. Thank you ladies for being so open, real and vulnerable! We are looking forward to this next months event.
Due to some unexpected events we were unable to have June’s event at the Beach. Which was a bummer at first, but bringing the BBQ to the girls at Casa de Amparo was such a great experience. The girls had a good time enjoying the food, playing some games, listening to music, and talking. Although we had some initial trouble with starting the BBQ… Thank you Joann and Brittany for managing to make it work… the food turned out delicious. As I have learned through these events, things may never work out as you see fit, but everything happens for a reason and embracing the bumps that change your direction you realize what is important. The important thing that was recognized is that as long as we are present in making a positive impact without judgment and with an open heart through compassion, we can accomplish whatever comes our way. As always this event expanded us in living in a brighter way. Hope to see you all at next month’s event. We will be making bracelets.
Chicktime wants to thank Vons, Albertsons, Stater Brothers, and Pepsi for donating food and drinks. Thank you for all your support. We could not do it with out you!
Come and join in on the fun at La Jolla Shores. We will be having a BBQ ,plenty of games and laughter to fill the day. Please contact Phoenix at 858-386-9660 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Game day was another wonderful, successful event. I am so astonished how organically and effortlessly these events enfold into a positive, fun loving Chicktime experience. The fruition of the girls and ladies just interacting and being empowered to explore the passion of living a beautiful life embodied the purpose of living with a open, vulnerable heart. This is reflected even more as each event passes. In the moment we all came together playing games, laughing, and bonding. We got down playing Twister, Just Dance, and Headbanz game, which was probably the most entertaining, fun game I have ever played. We were all cracking up trying to guess who or what we were. I think we could have played it for at least four more hours. Of course the Italian cuisine was a highlight of the event. Everyone enjoyed Joann’s bruschetta and garlic bread, Jen’s homemade to die for meatballs, (We missed you Jen and Elisa!) my yummy marinara sauce, Ilka’s soda, and Annie’s sweets she brought. Thank you ladies for making such a positive impact on Casa’s girls and all your love, effort and presence in making Mays event such a great, meaningful time. I am looking forward to next months Beach Party event! Until then Keep living with a yearning for a beautiful, present life. I love you all!
Come join us this month to engage in conversation, delicious food and laughter as we make a difference in each others lives. Please contact Phoenix at 858-386-9660 or email me at email@example.com
Wow this event was so successful and amazing. The girls loved getting dolled up and capturing their beauty. We had home made white chocolate chip, toffee, and chocolate chip cookies, chips and an out of this world 7 layer dip. I am so honored that I had such heartfelt volunteers to do the makeup and hair along with all the other beautiful ladies who make Chicktime what it is. The girls at Casa de Amparo are so appreciative of our time, effort, and love. Chicktime in general represents a positive outlet where everyone can bond and get in tuned with their true feminine self worth. Each event that passes by I can see the change within myself, I can see the impact it has on the girls and I hope it is evolving you all into the women you are meant to become. Thank you for helping facilitate making a difference in this world with Chicktime.
For this month’s event we are going to be having a photo shoot for the girls. If you have a talent in doing make up or hair please contact Phoenix at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This Event was fun and refreshing. Marsha did such a fabulous job being the activity leader leading us in making the masks, Jen delivered a fabulous spread of food, Elisa provided us with delicious apple water, and Amanda decorated the place with beautiful floral arrangements! It could not have been orchestrated any better. Most of the girls were out enjoying San Diego’s finest weather, but we made the best of it making beauty masks and homemade lip balm. Although I was the only brave one to lather my face with the oatmeal cleansing mask, we all decorated jars for the masks and made gifts for the girls to enjoy once they got back. Self Love was sure swimming in the air and we had a fun Chicktime.
Come and get pampered! This month we are Loving ourselves with compassion, homemade beauty remedies, and soul inspiring music. It will be held on March 8th. Please contact Phoenix to reserve a spot email@example.com.
Wow what another amazing Chicktime Event. We had so much fun baking, decorating sugar cookies and making valentines bags. Expression was mastered through frosting and smothering delicious sprinkles on sweet, mouth melting cookies, along with gluing fabrics, gems, buttons, flowers, and painting beautiful designs on canvas tote bags. Love of creation was sure in the air. It was such a wonderful time creating to inspiring beats and in the presence of beautiful souls!
Our next event will be on Saturday February 8th at Casa de Amparo from 1-3. Please rsvp with Phoenix at firstname.lastname@example.org.
January Highlights This was our first event and it was a great success! We had such a great time scrapping Calendars and Dream Boards. Bridged together by the beats of Macklemore, Miley and many more ear drawing artists set the mode for unity and vibrated good energy while we engaged in the art of creativity. Pouring our inner most desires onto our pages and turning inside out to create beauty was the highlight of the day. Of course, along with the hot Chitos dipped in cream cheese this event was embellished with the laughter and positivity. We couldn’t have had a better time just hanging out and creating good memories.