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Empowerment and T1D

I have always been drawn to empowerment. Growing up, I loved the theatre, I loved the ballet, I loved all forms of performance. I think that the primary reason for this was because of how powerful and confident the performers always seemed.

From a very early age, I knew what my purpose was. I was meant to inspire and empower others in this life…. somehow. To me, that was a fact that was never second guessed. The challenge, as it would prove itself to be going forward, was to find out how exactly I would manifest my purpose.

I was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at the age of fourteen. I have lived with the disease for over half of my life now. For a while, my own ability to embrace my inner power felt like it had been robbed from me.

I began to tell stories. It was my way of reaching out, despite my antisocial nature. I told stories through acting in film & television, which eventually escalated into writing fiction, screenplays, and journalism. I told fictional stories as well as the real stories of others – but all the while, my own true story was being written simultaneously.

Organizations such as JDRF and Beyond Type 1 gave me the chance to connect to others who had similar, yet very unique, inner struggles. I became involved in advocacy initiatives that allowed me to engage with these people and to share my own experiences. I began to write for Beyond Type 1, helping others share their own stories with the world. I felt the immense gratification from both sides of the coin, theirs and mine.

This was empowerment, I thought – impacting others with chronic illnesses was, as I realized, what made me feel alive.

The day that KNOW Foods partnered with Beyond Type 1’s Bike Beyond initiative was the day that the puzzle pieces that made up my life would finally and seamlessly come together. I tried this new and interesting healthy food company’s product – low-carb, gluten-free, wheat-free, and non-gmo?! It did not spike my blood sugar and it gave me a truly sustaining energy throughout my days. I knew I had to become a part of this – and so I did.

KNOW Foods’ Founder & CEO, Steve Hanley, recognized my purpose. He recognized how my experiences, leading up to this, would make me the perfect candidate to take on the title of Senior Director of Alliances. I would take the helm would it came to partnerships – with an emphasis on nonprofit organizations that focus on chronic illnesses/disorders such as Beyond Type 1, Beyond Celiac, College Diabetes Network, Autism Hope Alliance, and the list will go on!

I made a vow to myself after being diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. I vowed to make my #1 priority to live my healthiest life, always and forever, and to help others do the same, even those who were not living with a chronic illness. Everything else would come second.

Today, I can confidently say that I am living out my purpose – it simply took realizing that Type 1 diabetes was the center piece of my puzzle –  the most important piece.

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What Is Your Intent For 2017?

A little over two years ago I met the founder of the My Intent Project, Chris Pan, in Malibu. Chris was going around asking people what their ‘word’ was (a word that was important or inspiring to them), and making them bracelets with their chosen word engraved. Earlier that morning, Brazil had just played a crazy game against Chile in the World Cup, which resulted in a 3-2 shootout victory in penalty kicks. Man, was that game stressful! When Chris asked me what my word was, I thought for just a second before replying, “faith.” My reason? I had faith that Brazil was going to win the World Cup. (Little did I know at the time Brazil would lose against Germany in the semi-finals by an embarrassing six points, but I digress.)

Over the years I watched as Chris’ company grew with the goal of becoming a catalyst for meaningful conversation. Picking a word begs the questions: “What do you want more of in your life?” “What challenges do you want to overcome?” or “What are you passionate about?” In no time, the My Intent Project was featured on the Today Show, had a booth at Jay-Z’s pre-grammy party, and most excitingly (for me) Kanye West proudly wore his word [BEAUTIFY] on the cover of Time Magazine.

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Six months ago, my intent for the next stage in my life came to me out of the blue. I rushed to my computer, got on MyIntent.org, and ordered myself a bracelet. My new word? CREATE. I had realized that what makes me happiest is releasing my creativity. I needed to do more of that! So I made the intent to create on different outlets and on different platforms.

This Christmas I decided to give the gift of intent. I ordered a Makers Kit (highly recommend!) and started asking my best friends questions about what they wanted from 2017. “If you could choose a word, something you want to achieve or live by in 2017, what would it be?” This led to meaningful insights about those closest to me. Words such as AWARE, CONTROL, CLARITY, HAPPINESS, HARVEST, STRENGTH, BE, and YES came to light; all with beautiful and inspiring reasons behind them.

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On New Year’s Eve, the only accessory I wore was my intent (now on a gold bead necklace) to set the vibe for the new year. I haven’t changed my intent to CREATE because I am still inspired by it every day.

Now that we are in 2017, I encourage all of you to think for a minute about what your word is. Some of you may have more than one word. Some of you may have to take some time to think about it. The goal is to dig within yourself, discover your purpose and passion, and set your intention.

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The My Intent Project is a true Lyfebulb favorite! Feel free to reach out and share your word with me and the Lyfebulb team! We would love to hear your story!

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