Let's Talk... Purpose

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

I feel like a lot of people struggle with knowing their purpose. I am a firm believer that God has a plan and a purpose for everything in life. You are reading this blog for a reason, you are in the town you live in for a reason, and the strangers that you meet are all strategically placed.

I am especially talking to the high school and college students reading this. It's okay to not know what you want to do with your life yet. As a senior in high school and a freshman in college what is the one question everyone asks? "What's your major?". At least that was my experience. Personally, I knew what I wanted to do, but some people didn't and that's okay. What I want you to realize is, just because you don't know your purpose, doesn't mean you don't have one.

There is so much pressure on my generation. Expectations are growing, and that's okay. What's not okay are the amount of people feeling inadequate because they cannot reach all of these unrealistic expectations. No one is perfect. We all make mistakes. You have probably heard that a million times from adults, and it is true. Take it from a fellow teen. The bottom line is: you may not know it yet, but God has an AMAZING purpose for you! So give yourself some grace and take time to find out what you truly want to do in life. "Embrace uncertainty. Some of the most beautiful chapters in our lives won't have a title until much later." - Bob Goff

"Success is not measured by what you accomplish but by the opposition you have encountered and the courage with which you have maintained the struggle against overwhelming odds." -Orison Swett Marden

It's the Little Things That Matter

Sunday, November 20, 2016

While in Dallas I was able to meet a special little boy’s family who opened my eyes to the things that really matter.

Nathaniel's family saw Priscilla and I while we were in the entryway of Cooks Children's Hospital. His siblings wanted to take pictures so we gladly agreed. After fun pictures I began talking to his parents. They shared a little bit about his story, since he was in Pediatric Cardiac ICU there was no way to visit him. I told his 


parents I would be praying for them and said goodbye.  

Right after that, Priscilla and I went to the Build-A-Bear Workshop that is inside the hospital. We decided it would be a fun idea to make and donate an animal to one of the Little patients at the hospital. I decided to try to get my dragon to Nathaniel. I knew it would be a stretch as ICU has very strict rules about what and who goes in and out of the floor. I know this because all my experiences with my mom in hospitals.


I was so excited when I received word that Nathaniel got the dragon! His mom and I are now friends on Facebook so I keep up with his journey. This is what his mother shared with me:










I am excited that I was able to put a smile on his face. This is just one small story that shows that the little acts of kindness really do matter!

"Success is not measured by what you accomplish but by the opposition you have encountered and the courage with which you have maintained the struggle against overwhelming odds." 
-Orison Swett Marden  

My Second Trip to Dallas

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Priscilla and I were able to visit Dallas again and we kept busy! It was great to see her again, we both have been so busy with our platform work that we hadn't been in the same area until now. After arriving I went straight from the airport to the American Heart Association Headquarters. Our meeting was very productive and I have an exciting announcement that will be announced soon! 


Next, Priscilla and I headed straight to rehearsals for the Silk Threads Shimmering Lights Fashion Show to End Domestic Violence! It was great to be involved in raising money for this cause. Did you know 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men experience some type of physical violence by an intimate partner within their lifetime. To me, that number is way too high. So I joined forces with the mayor, professional athletes, Silk Threads designer Ruby Bhandari, countless other models, and influential community members to bring awareness to this prevalent cause.





The next day started with us visiting Texas Methodist Hospital. Did you know that Texas has the highest baby abandonment rate in the U.S.? Since Priscilla is an ambassador for Safe Haven Baby Boxes, we visited this hospital to talk about providing a crib by the front door so mothers are able to drop off the babies safely with no human Interaction. This makes the process easier for the mother and safer for the child. 


Next, we donated supplies to the Ronald McDonald House in Ft. Worth. They especially needed Halloween Candy for their Boo Bash that was that night! We were excited to help set up as well as meet some of the kids and their families! I'm sure they loved all of the games and collecting candy from room to room! 



Visiting Cooks Children's Hospital was amazing experience. We were able to meet children's families and take pictures. We also made and donated Build- A- Bears for some of the children in the hospital.

I am excited to see what adventures I will have next!

"Success is not measured by what you accomplish but by the opposition you have encountered and the courage with which you have maintained the struggle against overwhelming odds." -Orison Swett Marden

KNOWvember

The U.S. Pain Foundation has a campaign every November to promote chronic pain. This month is all about teaching people about chronic pain and what they can do to help. This campaign was one of the reasons I looked into the U.S. Pain Foundation. It showed me that I could help make a difference in easy ways. Since I am a caregiver it also has opened the door to multiple resources for my mom and I.

This campaign shows everyone that there are simple ways to get involved even in governmental level issues. By signing a petition online or even going to your local official you can make a difference in the pain community. People sometimes underestimate the power of a social media post. Just teaching someone the bare minimum about chronic pain can be effective in making a difference!

If you are a pain patient this would be a great month to become an ambassador! If you would not like to sign up for that kind of commitment then share your story with our People With Pain Matter Program. This would also be a great month to join a local support group! Support groups are a great way to meet others with chronic pain or other caregivers. During these groups you can learn valuable information about different diseases as well as doctors or treatments that help. Contact the U.S. Pain Foundation or me to find a local support group in your area!

I am excited to see each and every one of you get involved in the pain community soon. Stay tuned for more details on the U.S. Pain Foundation's KNOWvember Campaign!

"Success is not measured by what you accomplish but by the opposition you have encountered and the courage with which you have maintained the struggle against overwhelming odds." -Orison Swett Marden

Holiday Season Helpfulness


The Holiday Season is coming up! Most people do not realize how many opportunities for giving open up around this time! Here are a few ideas on how you can spread holiday cheer to those in your community and beyond.

1. Crafting with Seniors
If you like art or making crafts share your gift! Nursing homes or assisted living facilities are usually very open to activities. Call around your community and see if you can teach a basic holiday craft making class! Not only is it fun for you, the residents will have a fun decoration for their room!

2. Angel Tree
If you do not have enough time to physically go and volunteer but you have a little extra cash purchase an Angel Tree gift. Usually at churches or even local Walmart there are Christmas trees with ornaments that give a child in needs name,a necessity like a hat, shoes size 7 or gloves, as well as a gift they would like for Christmas that year. After purchasing those items you wrap them and drop them off wherever it is specified (usually the same location you picked up the ornament). This is an easy and less time consuming way to make a child's Christmas one to remember.

3. Food Bank
Any local food bank is busy during the holiday season. They try to make Christmas special for those who are unable to even afford food. Usually volunteers as well as food drives happen during this time. If you can I encourage you to volunteer or donate something they need. Taking an hour out of your day can make someone's whole holiday season.

I hope these simple ideas inspire you to get active in your community this holiday season!

"Success is not measured by what you accomplish but by the opposition you have encountered and the courage with which you have maintained the struggle against overwhelming odds." -Orison Swett Marden

Invisible Illness Awareness - Never Stops!


What is Invisible Illness? Who all is effected? Why isn't anything being done about it?

October 16th began the start of Invisible Illness Week but why should we limit it to only one week? Today I am going to talk about invisible illnesses and why they are so important. Most chronic pain patients illnesses are invisible. Sadly this can cause many problems with diagnosis as well as stigmas.

I have spoken to many people who struggle with receiving a proper diagnosis. Sometimes diseases are so close to each other it is hard to differentiate,but sometimes doctors do not believe patients are actually sick. A common stigma for people with invisible illnesses is that they are just lazy. There resting in bed "is not due to their pain, it's due to their lack of work ethic."

In my opinion this couldn't be any more false. Countless people have their lives effected on a daily basis because of these illnesses. It is important for everyone to break the chain of stigmatization. I have seen it first hand on how one Illness or one wrong protein in your blood can change your life. Everything becomes a difficult task and they are stuck "using more spoons. "

Some of you may not understand what I mean by more spoons, and that is okay! However I would like to introduce you to: THE SPOON THEORY
https://butyoudontlooksick.com/articles/written-by-christine/the-spoon-theory/

Let me know your thoughts on The Spoon Theory!


"Success is not measured by what you accomplish but by the opposition you have encountered and the courage with which you have maintained the struggle against overwhelming odds." -Orison Swett Marden

How to Get Involved With the U.S. Pain Foundation


I have been asked by a few people about the U.S. Pain Foundation and how they can become involved. As an ambassador and spokesperson for the Foundation I would love to have as many of you involved as possible. Here are a few simple ways you can help those with chronic pain.
One of the main missions at the U.S. Pain Foundation is trying to get our voice heard. Chronic pain affects a majority of the population however, it is never talked about. So many people are unaware of these diseases that are sometimes invisible. By making or sharing a simple Facebook post or tweet, you can make a difference. The more people who know about chronic pain the more they will understand how this affects every aspect of people's daily tasks

If you or someone you know has chronic pain or you feel passionate about consistently advocating for those with chronic pain you can apply to become an ambassador. The Pain Foundation has made it very simple, now there is an application online! It may take sometime for your application to be processed, however it is worth it. Being an ambassador has allowed me to reach over 100,0000 people via social media and in person!

I love the pain community, and would love to see you become a part of it soon!

"Success is not measured by what you accomplish but by the opposition you have encountered and the courage with which you have maintained the struggle against overwhelming odds." -Orison Swett Marden

My Trip to New York


I have always wanted to visit New York City and now thanks to International Pageants I was able to! Here is a little bit about my trip to New York!

The first day I arrived I was able to tour around and look at different parts of the city one of them being Times Square! I was able to check one of the items of my bucket list. I have played the violin since I was 18 months old and always wanted to play in Times Square so, my friend and I played duets for a few minutes. It was great to have someone with me while I was playing!

After that I spent the next couple of days modeling at the International Bridal Market! It is always so fun to try on different dresses.


Of course I had to make time to see the 9/11 memorial. If you ever are able to go to New York it is a must see. You can feel the emotion in the air. It is an amazing experience.

I cannot wait to see what adventures I have next!

"Success is not measured by what you accomplish but by the opposition you have encountered and the courage with which you have maintained the struggle against overwhelming odds." -Orison Swett Marden

How to Book Apperances and Community Service Events

As a Teen title holder I understand the struggle to find appearances and community service opportunities. Teenagers are typically labeled as immature by strangers who do not know them. In some past experiences I have found it hard to book appearances based on my age, here are some things that may help you book appearances in the future.
1. Make a connection in that field! For example if you want to work with nursing homes, start out by finding one that is willing to work with you. Once you get your foot in the door and develop a relationship with the employees they will be willing to vouch for you if you keep your commitments. Then, when you try to branch out to other nursing homes you can use the first one as a reference! If they know you have worked with one nursing home successfully, they will be more than willing to let you work with their residents if their schedule allows.
2. Go straight to the business. I always try to set up appearances by emailing or calling. However, sometimes people do not respond and your email may be lost in a sea of countless other people looking to do the same thing. If you can, try to go to the business during typical hours to meet the person you have been trying to contact in person. If you show that you are mature and confident enough to talk in person, you will be on there radar, no matter what your age.
3. This is a simple tip but, show up on time and look presentable. When I am teaching my Dancing Through the Pain classes I like to be ten minutes early. This allows me to set everything up as well as meet and talk to the “students.” Also looking presentable does not always mean a dress and heels! I could not teach in a short dress and stilettos, as long as you feel you outfit represents you and your organization well, you are presentable!
I hope these tips help you book countless appearances in the future!

"Success is not measured by what you accomplish but by the opposition you have encountered and the courage with which you have maintained the struggle against overwhelming odds." -Orison Swett Marden

Eating Healthy While Traveling


Eating healthy is a challenge even while you are at home. Now imagine being busy or constantly traveling. This post if for all of the busy ladies who want to live a healthy lifestyle. Here are a few tips on how to eat healthy while traveling!

1. Keep Snacks in Your Purse
Whether it is a granola bar or a small bag of almonds keeping healthy snacks in your bag will prevent you from heading to a vending machine every time you are hungry. By keeping healthy options in reach there is less temptation to go for that candy bar or bag of chips.

2. Bring a Cooler
This tip is specific to road trips! My family and I road trip quite frequently. I even road tripped instead of flying to the pageant. Whether it is a small or large cooler, pack it with small healthy options like lunch meats and cheese or different fruits and veggies. Not only will you save money, you will save your diet as well.

3. Know Your Options
I know it is easy to go to the first place you see but, with technology these days we can find other options nearby with a few clicks! Even if you seem to be stuck with that not so healthy option, check out their menu online. Most likely there will be at least one thing with less salt or bad fat.

4. Eat Every Couple of Hours
Eating every 2-3 hours will not only keep you satisfied, but it will keep your metabolism going all day long. Drinking water all day long also keeps your body burning calories throughout the day.

Don’t let traveling or being busy keep you from staying healthy! I hope these tips will help keep you on the right track.


"Success is not measured by what you accomplish but by the opposition you have encountered and the courage with which you have maintained the struggle against overwhelming odds." -Orison Swett Marden

How to Survive High Heels

 

I get this question all of the time: “Garin, How in the world can you wear those tall heels all of the time, don’t your feet hurt?!” The answer is yes, sometimes they do. However here are three tips on how I keep my feet surviving longer than the average person!

1. Foot Pads
   You can get gel or fabric foot pad inserts at just about any drug store. I have found that the clear gel inserts work the best for day to day use. If you need more temporary comfort the tan slip on fabric pads work well. Make sure to wear these only with shoes that can disguise them (they are a little more bulky than normal inserts)!

2. Break in Your Heels
 If you have time, take preventative measures. Having shoes that are well broken in will save your feet and mind during pageant week. Your feet will thank you because you have built up a “stamina” and now the shoes will form to your feet. You will walk into pageant week feeling confident. Tripping and falling on stage are fears that every pageant contestant has. You can walk in with your mind at ease if your  house has been your runway for the past couple of months!

3. Epsom Salt
   Soaking your feet in Epsom Salt after a long day in heels will help tremendously. Not only will it reduce swelling the warm water will help the soreness. Plus taking a nice warm bath at the end of the day is a great way to relax!

"Success is not measured by what you accomplish but by the opposition you have encountered and the courage with which you have maintained the struggle against overwhelming odds." -Orison Swett Marden