Flairist Team

Voices: What Makes You Feel Alive?

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“Just because you’re breathing doesn’t mean you’re alive,” we’ve all heard this statement before. So, if breathing doesn’t define aliveness, what does? What are the things that make you and the people in your life feel alive? We asked several (incredible) women to tell us about when they feel most alive. Their responses are enough to make us want to appreciate the moments that surround us.

Family

Shelley Hunter, a.k.a. Gift Card Girlfriend, is your consumer guide to gift cards. As the founder of GiftCardGirlfriend.com, Shelley created a strong following and become an authority on all things gift cards. She shares insight on ways to avoid gift card pitfalls, how to enhance and personalize gift cards, and has a signature approach to help consumers pick the right gift card every time. A former IT professional, Shelley is a work-at-home mom who loves to give (and receive!) gift cards. She is currently the Content Manager and company spokesperson for GiftCards.com.

Shelley Hunter, a.k.a. Gift Card Girlfriend, is your consumer guide to gift
cards. As the founder of GiftCardGirlfriend.com, Shelley created a strong
following and became an authority on all things gift cards. She shares
insight on ways to avoid gift card pitfalls, how to enhance and personalize gift cards, and has a signature approach to help consumers pick the right gift card every time. A former IT professional, Shelley is a work-at-home mom who loves to give (and receive!) gift cards. She is currently the Content Manager and company spokesperson for GiftCards.com.

“I feel most alive when the work is done and I get to play-especially when the playing happens spontaneously. Like when we are taking an impromptu walk together, going out for ice cream, or playing kickball with another family. I have to work (we all have to work to progress in life or even survive it), but nothing I do is as important as strengthening our family relationships. So no matter how hard I’ve worked or what triumph I’ve achieved in business, I feel most accomplished and at peace when surrounded by family in a positive, unscripted moment.” – Shelley Hunter

Being in and Utilizing Nature

Trudy Scott, Food-Mood expert and nutritionist, and author of  The Antianxiety Food Solution – How the Foods You Eat Can Help you Calm Your Anxious Mind, Improve Your Mood and End Cravings (June 2011, New Harbinger), educates women about real whole food and finding natural solutions for anxiety and stress, depression and other mood problems, and emotional eating at Every Woman Over 29.

Trudy Scott, Food-Mood expert and nutritionist, and author of The Antianxiety Food Solution – How the Foods You Eat Can Help you Calm Your Anxious Mind, Improve Your Mood and End Cravings (June 2011, New Harbinger), educates women about real whole food and finding natural solutions for anxiety and stress, depression and other mood problems, and emotional eating at Every Woman Over 29.

“Being in nature makes me feel alive… hiking in the beautiful Tahoe area with snow-capped mountains and the gorgeous blue Lake Tahoe… exploring in Yosemite with the grandeur of the big granite walls and fabulous smell of evergreens… going to the ocean and walking on the warm sand and then swimming in the invigorating surf… visiting the nearby lake for an early evening swim on a hot summers evening and staying to watch the sunset! ” - Trudy Scott

Laura Berger

Laura Berger is a certified executive coach and founder of Berdéo Group. She has counseled leaders for 15 years, maximizing their potential in the areas of global operations management and leadership development.

“Hiking to a waterfall and rappelling down. The powerful combination of nature, a challenge and exercise awakens my spirit. Swimming in the waterfallÂ’s pool at the end of my journey is a celebration of life.” - Laura Berger

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Facing Fears

Melissa Fiorenza is a freelance writer, associate creative director at a marketing company, and author of Twentysomething Girl: 1,001 Quick Tips & Tricks to Make Your Life Easier. She lives in upstate New York with her husband. twentysomethinggirl.com.

Melissa Fiorenza is a freelance writer, associate creative director at a marketing company, and author of Twentysomething Girl: 1,001 Quick Tips & Tricks to Make Your Life Easier. She lives in upstate New York with her husband.

“Doing something that scares me to death always ends up making me feel more alive. Whether it’s paragliding in southern France, running a 5k race or simply signing up for a dance class, if it’s something that makes me nervous (but I’ve always wanted to do), that rush of adrenaline I get always, without a doubt, makes me feel invigorated and free.” - Melissa Fiorenza

Jacqueline loves to cook uncomplicated, plant-based, gluten-free, whole foods. She enjoys food closest to its natural, unprocessed state. She doesn’t count calories, use measuring cups or kitchen scales. She eats when she's hungry, and sometimes forgets when to stop and thinks that food tastes best when it is local, organic and in-season. She's passionate about living an un-fussy, barefoot kind of urban minimalist life and believes that less space = less stuff = more life.

Jacqueline loves to cook uncomplicated, plant-based, gluten-free, whole foods. She enjoys food closest to its natural, unprocessed state. She doesn’t count calories, use measuring cups or kitchen scales. She eats when she’s hungry, and sometimes forgets when to stop and thinks that food tastes best when it is local, organic and in-season. She’s passionate about living an un-fussy, barefoot kind of urban minimalist life and believes that less space = less stuff = more life.

“Doing things that scare the crap out of me! Having babies, riding on the back of a Harley through the desert and giving my first cooking demo to 30 hungry people.” - Jacqueline Fisch

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pursuing Dreams and Passions

 

Valerie Ormond is a retired U.S. Naval intelligence officer and writer.  Her first novel "Believing In Horses," about a young girl rescuing horses, won the Military Writers Society of America Gold Medal in Young Adult Books and the Stars and Flags Book Awards Gold Medal in Children's Literature.  Her non-fiction stories based on writing, travel, military and life experiences have appeared in numerous books.  She blogs at http://believinginhorses.com/blog, and her second novel is in the publication process.

Valerie Ormond is a retired U.S. Naval intelligence officer and writer. Her first novel “Believing In Horses,” about a young girl rescuing horses, won the Military Writers Society of America Gold Medal in Young Adult Books and the Stars and Flags Book Awards Gold Medal in Children’s Literature. Her non-fiction stories based on writing, travel, military and life experiences have appeared in numerous books. She blogs at Believing In Horses, and her second novel is in the publication process.

“Writing! When I am writing, I am communicating. I feel so alive when I unchain thoughts, commit words to paper, and work out story details. Connectedness and sharing make me feel alive, and I feel very fortunate to try and make a difference through written words.” - Valerie Ormond

 

Traveling 

After college, Angela jumped straight into the PR world; designing customized PR campaigns for major hospitality brands and Inc.500 companies. For nearly a decade, Angela has positioned her clients as experts and leaders in their fields; helping them stay relevant in an ever changing environment. In addition to PR, Angela is passionate about writing and storytelling. She studied Global Journalism at Harvard University and is a freelance writer in South Florida.

After college, Angela jumped straight into the PR world; designing customized PR campaigns for major hospitality brands and Inc.500 companies. For nearly a decade, Angela has positioned her clients as experts and leaders in their fields; helping them stay relevant in an ever changing environment. In addition to PR, Angela is passionate about writing and storytelling. She studied Global Journalism at Harvard University and is a freelance writer in South Florida.

“I feel alive when I am traveling! Travel is one of the great loves of my life. Travel is my muse, my teacher, my therapist and my companion. I love to create things, write, dance, and connect with others, and travel is what mostly fuels the passion behind all of them. Travel makes me better at my job as a PR Practitioner because it enhances my communication skills. The adventures that come from travel makes me a better writer because I can relate more feeling to my words and make them more vivid. Travel heals my soul, gives me purpose and brings me joy.” -Angela Betancourt

Erica Duran is a published Productivity Expert/Coach, Web Designer & Certified Professional Organizer®. She is a veteran entrepreneur with over 21 years consulting large companies & creating several of her own ventures. At Erica Duran International, she provides both virtual and in-person coaching around the globe through her programs, workshops & products.

Erica Duran is a published Productivity Expert/Coach, Web Designer & Certified Professional Organizer®. She is a veteran entrepreneur with over 21 years consulting large companies & creating several of her own ventures.
At Erica Duran International, she provides both virtual and in-person coaching around the globe through her programs, workshops & products.

“Traveling makes me feel alive! Of course, an exotic location with a totally different culture is amazing. But, you don’t even have to go very far at all! Take a new route home, go to a shopping center on the other side of town. Just get into a new environment where you and your senses are not on “auto-pilot” and you are in the present moment.” – Erica Duran

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Helping Others

Jodi O’Donnell-Ames is a certified teacher, writer, massage therapist, member of Union Fire Co. and Rescue Squad and tireless advocate for Lou Gehrig’s disease, or ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis). She is also the founder and president of Hope Loves Company, a non-profit organization committed to helping the children and grandchildren of ALS patients. She is also the author of The Stars that Shine. She lives with her husband Benton and three amazing children in NJ.

Jodi O’Donnell-Ames is a certified teacher, writer, massage therapist, member of Union Fire Co. and Rescue Squad and tireless advocate for Lou Gehrig’s disease, or ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis). She is also the founder and president of Hope Loves Company, a non-profit organization committed to helping the children and grandchildren of ALS patients. She is also the author of The Stars that Shine. She lives with
her husband Benton and three amazing children in NJ.

“Being an advocate and helping others, living a life of purpose, brings me alive!” - Jodi O’Donnell-Ames

Rasheda Kamaria is the Chief Empowering Officer of Empowered Flower Girl LLC

Rasheda Kamaria is the Chief Empowering Officer of Empowered Flower Girl LLC

“I feel most alive when I get to engage with other people. Volunteering in the community inspires me to move forward. It motivates me when things get tough. Making a difference for others, in my opinion, is the essence of life.”- Rasheda Kamaria

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Loved Ones

Erin Santos is the president of the Isabella Santos Foundation (ISF), a nonprofit organization dedicated to raising awareness and funds for neuroblastoma and other pediatric cancers. Erin and her husband, Stuart, founded ISF when their two-year-old daughter, Isabella, was diagnosed with neuroblastoma. Though Isabella passed away in 2012 after a 5-year battle with the disease, the foundation continues its mission in hopes of saving other children and has raised over $350,000 for pediatric cancer research.

Erin Santos is the president of the Isabella Santos Foundation (ISF), a nonprofit organization dedicated to raising awareness and funds for neuroblastoma and other pediatric cancers. Erin and her husband, Stuart, founded ISF when their two-year-old daughter, Isabella, was diagnosed with neuroblastoma. Though Isabella passed away in 2012 after a 5-year battle with the disease, the foundation continues its mission in hopes of saving other children and has raised over $350,000 for pediatric cancer research.

“I feel most alive when I think about my daughter, Isabella. Her precious life was taken away at the age of 7 by a rare cancer called neuroblastoma. Thinking about how full of life she was while she was here, and all the things she never got a chance to experience makes me want to live every moment to the fullest on her behalf.” - Erin Santos

 

Exercising  

Taria is a writer, teacher, visionary, women’s empowerment expert, and the founder of Regal Realness. She has been empowering girls and women for the last 10 years. After experiencing several set backs she eventually had many aha moments which activated her confidence and ignited her life which has changed her into a happier and healthier women physically, emotionally, and spiritually. As a result, she is loved by many for her honest commentary, sassy persona, insightful advice, and regal presence. She is on a mission to help all women feel alive.

Taria is a writer, teacher, visionary, women’s empowerment expert, and the founder of Regal Realness. She has been empowering girls and women for the last 10 years. After experiencing several set backs she eventually had many aha moments which activated her confidence and ignited her life which has changed her into a happier and healthier women physically, emotionally, and spiritually. As a result, she is loved by many for her honest commentary, sassy persona, insightful advice, and regal presence. She is on a mission to help all women feel alive.

“I feel alive when I exercise. I have been using Hip Hop Abs for the past few months, and it makes me come alive every time. It gives me a feeling I can’t explain because I know I am having a good time while keeping my body fit, my mind clear, and my heart healthy. As a result, I have lost 50 pounds this year and I couldn’t feel more alive! It’s like I got my life back and I got my confidence back from taking care of me and my body.” – Taria Pritchett

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Being Present in Experiences

Toni Coleman is an internationally recognized psychotherapist and relationship expert and founder of Consum-mate. Toni is also the featured relationship coach in "The Business and Practice of Coaching," (Norton, September 2005); and is the author of the forward for," Winning points with the woman in your life, One touchdown at a time;" (Simon and Schuster, November 2005). She has been a contributing writer for several magazines and a number of self- help, personal growth and dating/relationship websites.  Toni holds a masters degree in Clinical Social Work, and is a licensed psychotherapist in the state of Virginia. She is also a Certified Life Coach. She is a member of The International Coach Federation and The National Association of Social Workers.

Toni Coleman is an internationally recognized psychotherapist and relationship expert and founder of Consum-mate. Toni is also the featured relationship coach in “The Business and Practice of Coaching,” (Norton, September 2005); and is the author of the forward for, “Winning points with the woman in your life, One touchdown at a time;” (Simon and Schuster, November 2005). She has been a contributing writer for several magazines and a number of self- help, personal growth and dating/relationship websites. Toni holds a masters degree in Clinical Social Work, and is a licensed psychotherapist in the state of Virginia. She is also a Certified Life Coach. She is a member of The International Coach Federation and The National Association of Social Workers.

“Experiences that allow me to be ‘in the moment,’ make me feel most alive. These can be as simple as sitting outside on my deck and watching the sun rise or set over my lovely and secluded backyard or taking a walk in the new snow after a storm—to swimming in the ocean at dusk, night diving (scuba) in the Caribbean, reaching the summit of a mountain by foot (Mt Washington) and sitting in the evening stillness by the lake of the clouds—and a big favorite, an early morning ride (horseback) through a quiet woods. These are just a few, but the elements are almost always the same—nature, away from the noise of everyday life, and being truly present in the experience.” - Toni Coleman

Award-winning author, photographer and creative catalyst, Lone Morch is the founder of Lolo's Boudoir and for years she's been getting women naked, literally and metaphorically, through her transformational photography. Recently, she got naked herself on the page, with her memoir Seeing Red. Her work engages your heart, hands, mind and gut in sensory experiences and creative explorations. helping you align with your soul and reclaim your personal sovereignty.

Award-winning author, photographer and creative catalyst, Lone Morch is the
founder of Lolo’s Boudoir and for years she’s been getting women naked, literally and metaphorically, through her transformational photography.
Recently, she got naked herself on the page, with her memoir Seeing Red. Her work engages your heart, hands, mind and gut in sensory experiences and creative explorations. helping you align with your soul and reclaim your personal sovereignty.

“I feel the most alive when I’m standing on the precipice of a new adventure in life. It comes in many shapes and shades, from starting a new creative project, to falling in love, to going on a trip somewhere new. I feel very much alive and knowing I’m on the right path, when I’m experiencing synergy at work, like when the right people, message and inspiration shows up in my life, helping open new doors, inner and outer, on my journey towards my dreams. It can also be a surprise invitation, or when I am taking a leap of faith, following my heart and passion even if it at first makes no sense to the world around me. With this sense of adventure, I feel vibrant, alive, alert and open, in my essence so to speak, and the world feels exciting, magical and full of potential. It’s a good place to live.” - Lone Morch

Janet Louise Stephenson is the visionary behind Butterfly Maiden, a project dedicated to personal transformation. After a lifetime hiding behind a mask of other people's expectations, Janet found the courage to quit hiding. Through the process of self-discovery she developed the confidence to embrace her own potential and now offers guidance to others who are ready to reveal their true colors. As a Transformation Tour Guide/Authenticity Advocate, Janet encourages and supports those who are bravely starting their own journey.

Janet Louise Stephenson is the visionary behind Butterfly Maiden, a project dedicated to personal transformation. After a lifetime hiding behind a mask of other people’s expectations, Janet found the courage to quit hiding. Through the process of self-discovery she developed the confidence to embrace her own potential and now offers guidance to others who are ready to reveal their true colors. As a Transformation Tour Guide/Authenticity Advocate, Janet encourages and supports those who are bravely starting their own journey.

“There was a time, just 7 years ago, when I had forgotten what brought me joy. In a state of numbness, I had no remembrance of passion or vibrancy. Because of that experience, the first time I felt passion stirring within me again, I was overcome by gratitude. I set out on a journey to get to know myself. making changes in my life so I could feel this sense of aliveness all the time. This does not guarantee that everything is positive and happy, but that wasn’t my goal. I simply wanted to be connected to my life without the interference of medication, other people’s expectation, self doubt and insecurity. By being present and aware of my existence in every moment, I can appreciate the miracle of life!” - Janet Louise Stephenson

Taking Control

Jennifer Blanchard is a writer, author and certified holistic health coach who supports creative professionals in having more energy, clarity and focus.

Jennifer Blanchard is a writer, author and certified holistic health coach who supports creative professionals in having more energy, clarity and focus.

“What makes me feel alive is waking up every day and knowing that I’m 100% in control of my life, my career and my freedom. I quit my corporate day job last year and finally took the leap to full-time entrepreneurship. It’s been quite a journey so far and I’m never looking back!”- Jennifer Blanchard

Various Things

Jen Matlack is 43 and a mom, artist, writer and sales and marketing rep in Bethel, CT.

Jen Matlack is 43 and a mom, artist, writer and sales and marketing rep in Bethel, CT.

“Things that make me feel alive: exercise, petting my cats, when my seven-year-old sits on my lap, baking, working in my garden, looking at The magnificent sky!” - Jen Matlack

Spunky and quirky. Those are only two of the many adjectives that describe GiGi Dubois, the comedic host of two shows on YouTube: GiGi Eats Celebrities and GiGi Eats Groceries. When not gnawing on celebs, she can be found writing for her blog of the same name and performing stand-up comedy around Hollywood (She knows why that chicken REALLY crossed the road). GiGi also spends a multitude of her days cruising down red (blue, yellow, purple?) carpets rubbing shoulders with some Hollywood big wigs and chatting it up one-on-one with movie, TV and pop stars. Dubbed the love child from a crazy threesome involving Chelsea Handler, Joel McHale and Kelly Ripa, it’s only a matter of time before her unpredictable personality spreads nationally… Or not.

Spunky and quirky. Those are only two of the many adjectives that describe GiGi Dubois, the comedic host of two shows on YouTube: GiGi Eats Celebrities and GiGi Eats Groceries. When not gnawing on celebs, she can be found writing for her blog of the same name and performing stand-up comedy around Hollywood (She knows why that chicken REALLY crossed the road). GiGi also spends a multitude of her days cruising down red (blue, yellow, purple?) carpets rubbing shoulders with some Hollywood big wigs and chatting it up one-on-one with movie, TV and pop stars. Dubbed the love child from a crazy threesome involving Chelsea Handler, Joel McHale and Kelly Ripa, it’s only a matter of time before her unpredictable personality spreads nationally… Or not.

“Getting up every morning at the crack of dawn and working out for an hour and a half makes me feel alive. Eating the most delicious and healthful foods makes me feel alive. Making others smile and laugh makes me feel alive. Making my comedic nutrition videos makes me feel alive.” – GiGi Dubois


What makes you feel alive? Let us know in the comments section below!

[Featured image photo credit: kelsey_lovefusionphoto via photopin cc]

 

The Flairist, written by ambitious women in their 20s and 30s, aims to take the shame out of female ambition by providing phenomenal lifestyle and career resources and opportunities for ambitious young women.

2 Responses to Voices: What Makes You Feel Alive?

  1. Shelley Hunter @GCGirlfriend July 13, 2013 at 7:05 pm

    Thanks for the opportunity to share in this article. I love the other responses as well. It’s interesting to note that while many of us are professionals/entrepreneurs…the things that make us feel most alive are much less complicated. Being with loved ones, exercising, conquering a fear. Great reminder. :)

    Reply
  2. Valerie Ormond July 16, 2013 at 1:21 pm

    Thank you, Flairist Team for asking this question and sharing these responses. I feel honored that you included me in this group.

    Reply

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