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Reflection and Intention

Happy New Year!!!  I hope you enjoyed a joy-filled holiday season!  For the first time in many years, mine was stress-free.  It was so lovely to relax and sink into the spirit of the season with my family and close friends.

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I spent hours reflecting on 2017 and setting my intentions for this year.  If you’ve been following my blog you know I lost my company of thirteen years last year.  It’s the most traumatic experience of my life.  It was also the most transformative period of my existence.  2017 will go down as my worst year yet, but I learned a tremendous amount about myself, life, business, and humanity.  It wasn’t the kind of learning you get by sitting in a classroom – it was real and raw shit!  So here are just some of the practices I will remember as I continue to move through life, and I hope they can help you too.

  1.  I will not be defined by my mistakes.  It doesn’t matter how much we mess up in life, we all have the chance to start again.  Even if the screw-up or failure hurts other people, it doesn’t mean you’ve forfeited your right to get back in the game of life and seek out and create an extraordinary experience for yourself.

2.  More doesn’t equate to better.  I think a lot of us feel the pressure to accumulate more stuff, but more doesn’t guarantee enhancement or advancement.  Do you really need more friends to feel loved?  No.  Do you need more clothes to be stylish?  No.  Do you need more businesses to be profitable? No.  In fact, when we de-clutter and simplify our existence, we open ourselves up to more overall enrichment.

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3.  It doesn’t matter how hard life knocks you down, you can pick yourself up.  Life can be tragic, but as long as you still have one, it means you have the opportunity to change your circumstances and live an inspired and fulfilled life.  Don’t let your fears, self-deprecating thoughts, or the words or actions of other people convince you otherwise.  Pick yourself up, dust yourself and rage ahead.

4.  Being humbled is healthy.  Humility is an essential aspect of self-improvement.  It’s a virtue that helps us become better humans.  When we realize we’re not perfect and accept our failures we’re giving ourselves an opportunity to self-evolve and be better learners.  If you want to create an abundant life, then you continually have to take part in self-discovery and exploration of other possibilities.  Being humbled opens that door.

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5.  It’s lonely at the top and the bottom.  A rather sad truth about humans is our nature to isolate from others that are high achievers.  Whether it’s jealousy, insecurity, intimidation, or an evil spirit some of us just can’t seem to celebrate the successes of others.  Even worse, as I found out, is how inhumane people can be when you fall from grace.  It’s difficult to watch people celebrate the failures of other people, especially when you’re the one being so gleefully scorched!  When you seemingly go from having it all to having nothing, people will turn their back on you; vilify and exploit you.  It’s not a secure place to recover from, but it can be done.  I’ve learned that those types of people have problems with their existence that causes them to act out in such a deplorable manner.  Let them carry on with their nonsense; you move on and push forward.

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6.  Your character is your number one asset.  Your character can never be taken away from you.  No matter what misfortunes, adversities, challenges, and traumas you brave if you live with a spirit of integrity you will enjoy many successes in life.  Your behavior and principles will determine whether you will be a triumph or a tragedy.

7.  A loss is a loss.  It’s inconsequential if your loss is from death, divorce, a changing circumstance like moving across the country, or losing a business, it comes with a fair share of grief.  How we choose to cope with loss varies from person to person, but the grief process should never be diminished or rushed.  I didn’t expect my grief to hit me like it did, but now that I recognize it I’ve allowed myself to go through it and let it unfold within me.  At first, I had feelings of elation and relief, then I went through periods of intense guilt and anxiety.  I expressed anger at myself and others, which led to stints of depression and frustration.  I’ve come to a place of forgiveness and patience with the course I’m on, and am letting them be as they should.

This leads me to my intentions for 2018.  Just a few days ago I allowed myself to get my entire being in sync.  I was encountering an internal struggle with something, and when I finally let myself listen and tune into the conflict, I set myself free.

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I intend to practice staying in tune – listen to what my mind, body, and spirit are telling me and take action (or none at all) from what I feel.  I’m eliminating pressures to keep up with or impress anyone other than myself.  I’m going to follow my heart and develop my voice and my message.

I’ve decided that this year is about writing.  I’m going to drowned myself writing about what moves me and what’s shaped me and transform them into books.  I will invest in becoming a better storyteller, inspirer, and teacher.  I will continue to mentor and coach because it brings me joy and helping people is one of my callings.

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I’m happy to announce that I have TWO books in the works that will publish early this year.  The first one is Happily Altered After: The No Non-sense Bride’s Guide To Her Dream Gown and Dream Experience! 

Happily Altered After is a wedding gown shopping guide for brides-to-be, from the perspective of a retail veteran. With honest wit, humor, and hints of grit, I take the bride on a reality-based ride to wedding gown glory.  From the exuberance of her engagement to the final walk down the aisle, I provide step-by-step advice and insight aimed to keep her grounded and realistic about the process she’s about to plunge into. I do this by storytelling some of my experiences over a 16-year career dressing brides.  I’m honest about the etiquette she and her bridal party should follow during the relationship with their bridal shop. She will learn what expectations her wedding retailer will have of her, so her shopping voyage is free of peril (even if the shop goes out of business).

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My second book is Wedding Warrior:  How a Warrior Spirit and Resilient Mindset Helped me Recover from Bridal Domination and Destruction.

Wedding Warrior is my deeply personal story of the rise and fall of my wedding enterprise.  Part memoir, part inspiration to overcome adversity with advice on personal and professional development, I chronicle my last two years in business.  You will want to read this book if you’re a nosey-nelly and desire the inside scoop to the hardships I endured trying to save my company, but it’s written for anyone who’s ever had to champion through tragedy (publicly or privately) or is going through that right now.  It’s for people who want inspiration to live with a fire in their belly, and for those who seek to learn from my mistakes before they go ahead and make their own.  Wedding Warrior is an essential read for small business owners and aspiring ones.  You’ll find comfort, relatability, and sound advice as I transparently share some of my jaw-dropping, heart-stopping challenges with you.

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I will randomly be giving away chapters of each book and copies of the full books as I inch closer to their publication dates.  To enter to win, you must become an email subscriber to my blog.  I would love for you to join the Maya Inspired family and invite your family and friends to join the journey too.  You can do that by sharing this post by simply clicking to share on the Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Google+, Email and LinkedIn icons, under Inspire People section at the bottom of my post.

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I want to know your vision for 2018!  Be sure to share some of your aspirations, resolutions, and intentions by submitting a comment.  I wish you all the very best year and thank you from the bottom of my heart for being Maya Inspired!

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With all the love in my heart!  XOXO

-Maya

 

 

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16 thoughts on “Reflection and Intention

  1. I’m here for all of it… Good luck my sister!!!😘😘😘

    1. Thank you my sweet sister! I love you!

  2. You are so inspirational!! I hope that I like you am soon able to follow my dreams!! 😘😘

    1. Hi Erica,

      Follow your dreams every day even if you’re taking baby steps. Keep focused on your vision and you’ll get there!

  3. Those ‘Nosey Nelly’s’ sigh! I am totally HERE for you, girl! Since the day I met you in 2010, I’ve always admired you and your hustle. Cheers to an amazing 2018. The year of the MayaPhoenix! <3 <3 <3
    Praying for you, your family and your future businesses! <3

    1. Happy New Year wishes to you, Carly! Thanks for all your love and support! I think you’re a rockstar and have always admired your honesty and individuality; not to mention your talent! I wish you a blessed and prosperous 2018!

  4. I am glad I read this tonight. I don’t know you, but I feel like I could listen to you talk for hours. I always wanted to know the woman behind Maya Coutour. This is amazing and I can’t wait to read more. Thank you for being human and your transparency. This is refreshing to know that a business owner as myself have yucky moments as I do sometimes. We don’t stay there, though. We pull out of it!

    1. Hi Melissa! Thank you for taking time to comment and share your sentiments with me. You are so sweet, and I’m flattered by your words and thrilled that you’re taking away meaning from my posts. Owning a business is a rollercoaster ride, and being a woman in business has added challenges. Stay focused, energetic, and true to your vision, and the best will be yet to come! I wish you much success in the new year!

  5. You are such a strong women. I believe with everything in me you will come back on Top of the world. I have watched you fight and struggle to keep everything going. I have watched you through the 14 years give and help so many in the Wedding bussiness, and support them when no one else would. Watched as you generously gave time and inventory away to help those in need. You have done so much for the community you are an Icon in the industry. I have also watched so many that you helped turn against you when you needed support from them as they once received from you. I have no doubt you will rise to the Top once again. You are a survivor .. I am proud you are my friend and will support you with your new walk through life. Keep looking up. Good bye 2017 hello 2018 and a new beginning.

    1. My dear, as far as friends go you get an A+++. I’m heartened that we have been able to lean on one another over the years, especially last year. You’ve always been a rock and someone I admire, who also exudes a giving spirit with a big heart! I love you girl!!

  6. Good morning Maya!! I am relieved to know that you are doing well and you are pressing forward in 2018! Ive only met you a few times, but I could tell from our brief encounters that you were a person I could learn a great deal from. You’ve given me hope that even in the worst of times, there are ALWAYS going to be better days ahead. I look forward to reading your books and wish you love and light!

    1. Hi Tonie! Thank you for taking the time to send me such a thoughtful comment. It warms my heart that you’re connecting to my messages. It’s important we all know that there is bright sunlight after the storm. We’re all going to have to weather at least one in life and we can’t let it defeat or define us. I wish you a year of many successes and fulfillment.

  7. Bring it home, Maya. I’m so happy for you. We should team up in Boston when you start your book tour. Your message works seamlessly with mine. I have an event in September that may interest you…. ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

    1. Vanessa!! I’ve had you in my heart. We’re in such similar points in our lives and I do believe our messages support each other. I was planning on calling you about some things. I’ll give you a buzz next week. Love you girl and look forward to collaborating!!

  8. Charlene Wallace January 5, 2018 — 3:31 pm

    Maya, Beautiful blog! When I read it I finally
    felt like you are on your way to healing! Follow your heart and your dreams and I know you will succeed, no matter what level the success is, as long as it is successful for your soul and your family. Congratulations my dear friend!

    1. Thank you, my love! It’s been quite a road, but I know you can relate. I’m so happy for you on how you came through the other side of your hardships and feel renewed empowerment now that I’m on the other side of mine. I can’t wait to see you Monday and catch up in person. Thank you for your kind words and valuable friendship! I love you!!

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