FROM GAB TO GLORY

image1 IMG_8341A young girl sits in a chair beside her mother, her bony knees clicking in unison as she shares the myriad of ideas in her head and the random exploits of her day. Her mother slowly backs away, desperate for just a second of silence. The young girl drags her chair across the floor, following closely behind her mother. She didn’t know it then, but this eccentric, afro-sporting child was perfecting her craft.

She is me.

Growing up, I was a talker. It didn’t help matters that my parents divorced when I was four years old, leaving me no choice but to entertain my mother through, at least as I perceived, her rather dull life. Talking was just my thing, but when you’re an only child, it becomes the only thing. Many nights I spent alone, creating fairytales for my Barbies while my mother dealt with the harsh realities of single motherhood. With no siblings to annoy, I often talked to myself, my dolls, imaginary friends and ultimately through my writing. What I didn’t realize then was that the universe was shaping my path as a scholar, businesswoman and teacher.

Looking back now, I wish I had tapped into this creative outlet more. Isn’t that always the way? Becoming an adult only to end up looking back on all that could’ve been rather than what actually became? On the first day of school every year, when teachers would ask, “What else would you like to know about me?” I took no shame in inquiring about their romantic relationships, lifestyle preferences, and other, more personal information most students would’ve died rather than ask. Me? I’ve never been afraid to dig deep. Don’t get me wrong. While I don’t condone the behavior of disrespectful students (like me) feeling a little too comfortable with their role of influence, I’m all for the idea that, more often than not, a gift needs to be nurtured. People, especially children, need to feel encouraged. Enriched. Empowered.

As a student, my writing, speaking, and influence in the classroom was… different. Years of playing alone in my bedroom gave me an imagination and creative edge many of my more “popular” classmates lacked. Was I the “geek” whose head was in a book and who ducked while students chucked food and paper at her in the cafeteria? Well, no (not after 7th grade at least). However, I was always a bit different. Certain practices that normal high school kids saw as fun didn’t appeal to me as much. Drinking on a weekend? Um, how about Scrabble?

Being different is what has led me to this point in my life. At the age of 35, I am still just a little bit different. Friends? Few. Accomplishments? Many. That confident, curious girl who talked her mother’s ears off, who asked teachers if they preferred long walks on the beach or going to the movies, who went against the social grain in high school, is now a leader of an organization that does over a quarter of a million dollars in sales per year. She is a health coach to hundreds of people who once looked into the mirror and cried, and now look into that same mirror and see hope for their lives. She’s the wife of a man whose dream it is to see her fulfill hers. She’s the mother of a six year old boy, whose idea of fun is memorizing the names of each state in America. She is still that little girl, who will drag her chair into another room to tell stories, but those knees aren’t so bony anymore, and that chair now sits in front of a much larger audience.

That little girl came alive in her mother’s kitchen, in classrooms, in sorority boardroom meetings, and now in leadership conversations with others about their dreams and vision for their own purpose-driven lives. Madi Still wasn’t just born. She was created… with and for a purpose. The intention is to explore my creative voice and use this gift to inspire and motivate everyone I meet.

We are not here on this planet to live a life of complacency. I believe we are all here for a purpose that was outlined for us even before conception. I have no doubt in my mind that my purpose is to lead others to living a happier, more fulfilled life through the exploration and communication of health and wellness. Our health is too often neglected. The physical challenges we face as human beings, as well as the mental and emotional ones too, call for a catalyst. It’s become my life’s mission to be that catalyst. To stimulate conversation between ourselves and others, but  more importantly, for the private discussions that you’ll have in your own mirror. After all, health is the most important connection to our own, personal joy and the key to the manifestation of our dreams.

Welcome to my journey and thank you for taking it with me.  

Start Prep’n,
Madi Still

 

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