Certain experiences change you. Whether forced by pain, mistakes or the wisdom of knowing better, you know you can no longer remain the person that you used to be.  It’s an awakening that takes place in your heart and soul and before you know it, you’re not even living in the same world you once were.  That’s what experience does: it opens your eyes, it re-shapes you–and you’re never the same. That can be for good or bad, depending on your perspective or the path you choose to take. It depends on whether you choose to remain bitter or take the experience, process the pain, then find and live in the joy and lesson.

The path to great change is not always easy, but walking along the bitterness path weighs you down and often drags others with you. I would much rather get scrapes and bruises as I learn, grow and celebrate the joys, than to live bitter and miserably. I want to be the woman that looks a challenge dead in the eye and gives it a wink knowing “I got this!”

We could get angry or defiant or try to get even, and in some cases, that’s appropriate, but ladies, my friends: do better, be better than the thing or the person (even if that’s you yourself) that caused the pain. Rise above. Become so involved in your own development and success that the experience becomes a non-event. You know that it won’t be repeated in your life again.

In order to bring out our true powerful selves, we must constantly re-shape how we perceive ourselves first and then others. Maya Angelou told us “Stong women: you may encounter defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter defeats, so that you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it.”

These experiences may temporarily break us down but strong, courageous women always pick up the pieces, rebuild and come back stronger than ever. Whether you are facing changes at work, in your family, your health–find your brave!  You don’t have to always like the change, and some changes cannot be accepted and you must fight. In other cases, embrace change by shifting perspective. Don’t rule things out just because of the unknown or because they scare you. “Some women fear the fire, some women simply become it.” ~r.h. sin

Stand in the storm of change and the whirling dervish of experiences thrown at us daily and find your courage from within your vulnerability and live that whole purpose driven, warrior princess, save the world life you want to live. Choose not to sit around feeling sorry for ourselves. Choose to not respond to those who dictate to us or try to bring us down. If we fall, we fall: we will rise up stronger than ever because we are survivors, not victims. We are in control of our lives and can achieve anything.

A strong woman has faith that she is strong enough for the journey…but a woman of strength has faith that it is in the journey that she will become strong.