18May/14

Start Living NOW!

eWomen Network lit signage in the hotel, Dallas Texas 2013

eWomen Network lit signage in the hotel, Dallas Texas 2013

My heart is heavy as I sit in a local greasy spoon diner to write today.  I’ve never come here to write.  I normally write in coffee or tea shops.  This morning I choose to come here.  The Blackfoot Truck Stop has been in Calgary for MANY years.

My belly is full on eggs benny, earl grey tea, and bacon.  Yet my heart is still sad and heavy.  Heaven had a knock at the door this early morning from my dear friend Shaun Stephenson who bravely fought a short battle with breast cancer.  Shaun was so full of light, wisdom, love, and compassion for others.  We met in 2012 at eWomen Network International Conference.  I was dancing around my chair before the event officially started.  Shaun came over to me and said she must get to know me, as she loves my energy, she thought it was beautiful.  It was an instant connection of heart to heart.  She was one of my first international cheer leaders from eWomen Network.  She always had words of wisdom to share, and a willingness and openness to dance when ever there was music playing.  We would dance anywhere at the conference where there was music playing.  We stayed in contact through the year with the magic of facebook.  Last year she even nominated me for the International Award for eWomen Network Business Matchmaker of the Year for 2013.

Rochelle, Shaun and myself at eWomen Network International Conference 2013, Dallas Texas.

Rochelle, Shaun and myself at eWomen Network International Conference 2013, Dallas Texas.

One of Shaun’s messages she kept sharing and spreading to others was to start living now.  She didn’t want us to wait till tomorrow.  So what am I doing about it?  I choose to live, even if it’s just a small step towards goals or dreams.  Remember Oprah doing her “Wildest Dreams Tour” one year?   I have crazy wild dreams like dancing on stage as a ‘back up dancer’ for Beyonce, dancing solo on the eWomen Network main stage to the song “Halo” by Beyonce.

Then I have other dreams that I have been working on for a while, one is to be a published author with my name on the front of the book.  I have been a part of a few books now that I am a contributing author too.  The two books last year made International Best Seller on Amazon within their first day on Amazon.  This was step one of the goal.  Now step two, is International Best Selling Author with my name on the front of the book, as the compiler!  And this is going to happen.  I have been working on a book project called “Inch by Inch ~ Growing in Life”.  As of right now there are 5 more spaces left.  This book will have stories from some brave and amazing men and women who openly share about overcoming adversity as a small child.

Inch by Inch ~ Growing in Life book cover.

Inch by Inch ~ Growing in Life book cover.

 

So my ask to you all, is what are you not doing that you need to be doing in your life to live?  What is it that makes your heart sing and dance?  What gets you jazzed about?  Let us know below in the comment section!

Start Living Now!

Start Living Now!

03May/14

They yearned to know…..

The Skype presentation for the Power Girls Circle in South Africa

The Skype presentation for the Power Girls Circle in South Africa

Back on March 5, 2014,  I had the pleasure and honour to speak to a group of girls in South Africa via Skype.  It was very early in the morning for me it was about 4:15am, and I was awake and buzzing with energy.

I was about to talk to a group of girls who were open and raw asking questions about dating violence.  And the questions they asked blew me away.  I’ve never been asked these type of questions.  The girls yearned to know so much knowledge.  And they yearned to discuss their questions.  Such as “How does a girl protect herself from being raped?”  Or “How does a girl heal after being raped?”  And also “If a girl is raped and becomes pregnant, should she keep the baby?”

Power Girls Circle ~ South Africa

The girls were excited to engage and talk with me, via Skype

We talked openly and honestly about their questions, and the girls were amazing, they knew the answers from their own questions.  They loved the interaction with our discussion.  I am so proud and honoured to have been talking with them.

Power Girls Circle South Africa

Power Girls Circle South Africa ~ a brave girl coming forward to share her answer with me and the rest of the group.

 

Find below the testimonials from the girls:

“I enjoyed the fact that Aime was open to talk about anything and that she answered our questions honestly.”

“I learned:

  • Not to allow boys to control you
  • Not to allow the boy to make all the decisions
  • Not to stay when you start to feel a bit uncomfortable
  • Always be with friends or go on group dates”

“I had a lovely time when you talked to us.  I learnt a lot about the signs of a bad relationship.  It was my first time here and I was so glad that I had the privilege to know more about relationships so I’ll know what to do in the future.  Thank you so much for making a difference in our lives.”

“The Skype call was really inspiring and it taught me a lot of things eg. teaching me to be independent and to always say no if I don’t agree with something.  It also added onto my knowledge.”  ~ Innocentia Nene

“I learnt the signs of dating violence is that he will control you, control your money and what you wear but I think it really doesn’t make sense because they should accept you instead of changing or controlling you.”

“I thought the Skype session was very touching.  How Aime was able to get through what had been done to her.  I was inspired about how she was able to move on with the rest of her life and to tell other people about her story.  Her story was very sad but also made me aware of what could happen to a girl and makes me know what to do if it ever happens.”  ~ Aphelele Ndlovu

The girls celebrating the answers given by peers

The girls celebrating the answers given by peers.

“I think the Skype session was very informative and hearing different views from different people was good.  Actually hearing someone who has gone through it talk about it actually puts more meaning into what she said rather than hearing a professor from university give his/her views.  I loved the Skype session and think it was very helpful in terms of gearing me up for the future.”  ~ Asande

“The last Skype session with Aime was very informative about relationships and the things that you should be careful of and the things you should just avoid.  It was very nice to hear about her stories and I have learned how to handle a relationship even if it isn’t one hundred percent, it will be better than if I didn’t know.”  ~  Matha Mnisi

“I learnt how to see if the person you are dating is violent or not.  I also learnt the person must accept who you are.”  ~ Ayesha

“I learnt how to see a person who mistreats you and controls your life.”  ~ Buhlebenkosi

“The session was very inspirational.  I learnt how to be an independent and empowered woman and how to act positive towards life.”  ~ Sinethemba

“It was very interesting learning how men can control you in a relationship and abuse, not treating you in a way that you should be treated, and also being aware on your first date.”  ~ Amahle

“I was really inspired by your speech and I learned how you should be careful of who you date and to always be aware of dangerous people.”  ~ Laiya

“I really liked your talk.  I learnt many things that are happening in reality.  Your stories touched me and I will not forget them.”  ~ Nokuthula

 

Thank you to Haseena Patel for asking me to speak to your girls.  I am humbled by the responses by your girls.  Your girls are so brave and amazing.  If anyone wants more information on her organization check out Leave No Girl Behind and engage with them, find out how you can be of service!

And if YOU want Inch by Inch Empowerment to come to your school/program to speak please contact us!  Click to our Contact Us page and put “Girls Talk” in the subject line!  We would be happy to be of service to YOU!

25Apr/14

Do you know the signs of violence?

Earlier this week, I was asked by a friend who runs Leave No Girl Behind in South Africa if I had some ideas, websites, lists of what people can do or look for when it comes to dating violence.

As one who has survived a dating violence situation and stalking, I have many resources.

Haseena took what I offered her and created a blog post about it.

You can find it here:  http://www.leavenogirlbehind.org/what-does-abuse-mean/

If you want more information, or have us come to you and do workshops around healthy relationships, dating, violence, boundaries please contact us!  We would be happy to serve YOU!

04Apr/14

Taking Teamwork!

What a crazy couple of weeks it’s been in the land of Inch by Inch Empowerment.  I had a phone call with the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario to see if the book project I’m working on could have part of it’s proceeds be donated to CHEO even as being specific to have the funds go to the NICU.  Well they said YES!  Check out this video with my reaction:

Then this week just a couple of days ago actually I was approached by the hospital to be one of their featured stories for their 40th Anniversary.  CHEO is celebrating 40 years of being in the community of Ottawa helping thousands of children and families on a daily basis. I am 1 of 40 stories that are going to be featured.  The stories are sent out weekly leading up to May 17.  The stories that I’ve read so far have been heartbreaking, and uplifting all at the same time.  Each story is sent to all staff at CHEO, as well as being posted on their website.  Check here for the stories so far!

According to the “Baby Center”  7% of babies born in Canada are premature, with 1.5% being born before 32 weeks, and 0.4% are born before 28 weeks.  This is why CHEO is so interested in my story.  I am in that 0.4%.  Back in 1976 it was very likely that babies born before 28 weeks would not live.  I was born 3 months early, with a birth weight of 1 pound 12 ounces.  I was given a 24hr chance at life.  The doctor thought I wouldn’t live past the 24hr mark.

When my Dad sent me my ‘birth journal’ that he kept, it was emotional to read.  So many ‘critical close calls’ after being born took place.  On IV’s, off IV’s, on oxygen, off oxygen, breathing, and not breathing.  There was something else though that caught my eye.  It was that there was a huge team working to save my life.  There were about 4 different doctors and a huge amount of nurses as well.  I even had a neonateologist while in the NICU.

I am reminded of the eWomen Network motto of “Taking teamwork to make the dream work.”  The doctors and nurses were working as a team to make the dream of saving my life come true.  And it worked.  I am very grateful to the entire team (including my parents) who saved my life, so I could be here today to be of service to women and girls all over the world.

Inch by Inch Cover Photo

If you have a story to share about a child you know that has overcome a challenge/adversity and want to be in the book project.  Action is required.  Not many spaces are left.  This book will reach around the world, and be a source of hope and inspiration to families who have little ones going through their own crisis.  Think about what you would say if you had the opportunity.

All the information can be found here.

23Mar/14

Welcome!

Welcome to the new home of Inch by Inch Empowerment.  In this blog will be sparks of inspiration for you the reader, thoughts about different subjects around the area of empowerment for you.  As well as some information on a topic that is dear to my heart.  Dating violence and healthy relationships.

Quick messages sometimes with a video to encourage you to have a dance break.

Thanks for joining me here!

Till next time keep putting one foot in front of the other, believe in yourself, and let others help you!!

Aime