Today, we are celebrating passionate women with the Forever Fierce Campaign 2018.
The word fierce may describe a way of behavior or a determination deep down inside you. Life occasionally throws curve-balls. It takes that gut fierceness to get through the rough, take the good with grace, and shine through.
For a life well-lived, one needs to care–even to be passionate about something–something that makes you tick, something that gets one up in the morning. One’s passion can change during a lifetime, but it still needs to be there.
I am sharing seven different women’s voices today with their own words. Each one has their own understanding on life, passion and, of course, what it means to be fierce. Thanks to everyone who shared their thoughts to make this project happen. Each is truly inspirational!
Jeanette Knittel, 57, Kansas City, Missouri
The first 49 years of my life, the word fierce evoked negative and dark emotions. That all changed after spending ten days watching my mother’s process of dying, not having a chance to grieve for over a year due to work/life obligations, a vindictive job firing, weekly trips to care for my father before I gave him my blessing to ‘leave me’ and join my mother, plus launch two businesses. Those pivotal 18 months changed my idea of fierce to one of knowing that I
Am not afraid to fight for what I believe is right or do the right thing;
Will pick up the pieces and keep going;
Will surround myself with other fierce women to build a strong tribes;
Will embrace the good and bad days – but know in my heart and soul that I’m OK;
Will relish the good and joy in life;
Will be secure in me…my FIERCENESS.
Barbara Fishman, 66, Kansas City, Missouri
I had a little girl dream. Growing up I always made my own clothes and dreamed of being a designer and owning my own boutique. My professional career and my mother’s advice took me in another direction. In my 40’s, I was a working mother and spent long hours working as a university professor and therapist in the field of psychiatry. At the end of the day I felt as thought I was giving my family the leftovers and not the best part of me. I was exhausted. As my children grew older, I started to thing about “what’s next?” I decided to take a fierce and bold step into the fashion world and began developing my skills as a personal stylist and etiquette coach. As the owner of Savvy Style I use my communication and leadership skills from my past profession to help individuals and corporations create their brand image.
While my friends are retiring, I feel like I am hitting my stride and living out my little girl dream.
Tana Gabrielle, 45, Henderson NV,
Christian health/lifestyle consulting
My expression of “fierce” is much different now at age 45 than it was in my 20’s or even 30’s. At a very young age, I found myself facing rare circumstances that shattered my dreams when I literally “lost my voice” after enduring 3 vocal surgeries. Around this time, I was putting a tremendous focus and effort on exterior pursuits in fitness competitions, modeling and even making my way as a single mom in strip clubs. The avenues I traveled came at a heavy cost, including a “healing crisis” with food, my body and my very identity. For me, this “midlife” shift came by hitting a humble bottom and being met with God’s transformational grace – which has since redefined my definition of beauty, freedom, and strength. At this point in my life, it’s grace by faith that makes me “fierce.” So at 45, the best is only yet to come!
Michelle Cahill, 43, Joplin, Missouri
I’ve been a practicing companion animal veterinarian for 19 years. The first 14 of those years I spent working for other people with little thought of practice ownership for myself. That changed five years ago when the perfect veterinary hospital for me practically fell into my lap. During the last five years I have learned who I truly am and the leader I can be. I am fierce in my love for my patients. I am fierce because I am the voice for those who have no voice. I am fierce because I have embraced an innovative approach to veterinary medicine, the Fear Free Method that values the physical AND emotional health of my patients. I believe this gentle and considerate approach to veterinary medicine is the future.
Tara Lee, 50-Waukesha, Wisconsin
Business owner, Independence Facilitator, Mother to 4, Grandmother to be, Daughter of the King God has put you where you are for a purpose. Esther 4:13-14
Given the choice to despair, save only yourself, or wait on God’s intervention, there remains another choice. God placed you in position for purpose. Seize the moment and act.
While I may have earned the accolade of fierce years and victories ago, I lacked wisdom to glean the value of every moment. Challenges wouldn’t define me. Abuse, divorce, single mom to 4, a major move, breast cancer, and financial struggle were pieces of process. Respect the process.
My tapestry already was woven with confidence, compassion, and thirst for connection. Through the fire, I honed courage, convictions and need for community. The lone wolf will perish, but the pack survives. Grace reminds me to greet each day with an attitude of gratitude. I know that from every experience, I gain opportunity to encourage, strengthen and authentically empower others.
Lady Jayne Fontaine, 63, Zimmerman, MN
“Ever since I was a girl, my dreams were shattered repeatedly through violence, lies and deception. Yet, I am Fierce in midlife, knowing that I brings courage, hope and inspiration to all I meet. My creative passions – her words, images and songs — allow me to teach the younger generation how to overcome and find truth. I faced the giants of mt life when I finally said enough is enough to trauma and won a MN Supreme Court decision.
To be Fierce is to know that I am called to love, to forgive and to walk in peace…that because of the God of Justice, I am not responsible to make anyone pay for what they have done to me. I share my faith through my stories, and I’ve discovered there is no choice but to be a fierce voice — our lives depend on it!
Aisha, 32- North Branch, MN
At 26, most people feel they are just beginning to live, but life as I knew it changed. Being fierce for me meant having to wake up every day and fight the enormous giant before me – with a strong desire to get back what was mine and come out on the other side of it triumphant. Lyme disease was my giant for 6 years, and it was a battle unlike any I’ve ever fought in. Yet, in order to live you have to fight, and that’s what I did. Now at 32, I’m standing on the other side of the battle with meaning and a victory stance! It’s a second chance at life, viewed with a new set of lenses. Fearlessness and boldness are attributes that have evolved within me because of Lyme; I’m excited to see where they will take me. As I move toward midlife, I’ll do so joyously fierce!
There are many other voices speaking for our Forever Fierce Campaign today and they all can be found HERE.
Thank you for dropping by. Take care and stay fierce!