A Wristful of Words: Wear it, Share it, Believe it

Note: This is the first blog post of a three-part series, which will continue through the week (identified as “Believe It” – Blog Post #1, “Share It” – Blog Post #2,Wear It” – Blog Post #3) Please check back for the two other posts detailing the company (Little Words Project) and my experiences with them.

Little Words Project “Believe It”Blog Post #1

Since childhood, jewelry has always stood out to me. Not only is jewelry something to adorn myself with, but it is of much personal meaning. In my early childhood years, I can recall accumulating shoeboxes and shoeboxes full of costume jewelry, filling my arms with charm bracelets, character necklaces, and beyond. More importantly, the jewelry I wear and choose has evolved through the years as a means of communication and self-expression. Some of the jewelry I own can take me back to poignant moments in my life, such as my graduation from college, my first professional job, and my sister’s wedding. Therefore, one frigid afternoon this past Winter, I unexpectedly received a special delivery in the mail which proved to impact me on levels beyond my expectations.

It was a day this past Winter season filled with much sadness and reflection. The job where I’d been employed for several months dramatically came to an abrupt end. With that being said, I was left feeling at a loss, contemplating and wondering where my life path would take me. Lacking confidence and courage at that moment, I heard a knock at the door and reluctantly made my way to open it. A small brown box sat outside my doorstep, with my name imprinted on the front. Unsure as to what it was, given I was not expecting a delivery, I carefully opened it and revealed a surprise gift from one of my favorite cosmetic companies, IT Cosmetics and another small box with a beautiful, sparkling bracelet, which read: Confidence in block letters. A couple weeks prior, I’d entered a contest, not anticipating a win, and hadn’t received a winner notification. Therefore, that afternoon, the delivery came as a surprise, a much-needed and appreciated gift at that moment, when life felt particularly difficult and near impossible to navigate. Though I was excited to have won a small jar of an IT Cosmetics cream, I was more intrigued by the bracelet and interpreted it as a sign. For me, confidence has always been a trait to aspire to. So often, I criticize and chastise myself for everything I believe I’m not and cannot do, rather than celebrating and owning all I can do. Seeing the word confidence on a bracelet with a band of sparkling crystals was all the sign I needed to know that maybe life truly was going to be okay. Perhaps this was merely a stumble in the road or my path to where I truly should be and that really, all I needed to move forward was this very word, now covering my wrist – Confidence.

LWP Confidence

A small gold medallion dangled from the bracelet with a name imprinted on one side and a code on the other. Curious as to what it read and eager to learn of the company behind this intriguing bracelet, I closely examined the medallion and read – Little Words Project. Immediately, I headed to my phone to research the company and was enthralled with all I read. From that moment on, I knew Little Words Project was both a company and initiative I’d wholeheartedly support and come to be quite fond of.

By now, you might be wondering, what exactly is Little Words Project? Without further adieu, here is a brief synopsis of not only a jewelry company, but a movement of many calibers, uniting women of all ages and beyond:

Little Words Project Symbol

Website Information: The official website; littlewordsproject.com provides extensive information regarding company history, product information, and host of other resources.

Little Words Project (LWP) Origin (via littlewordsproject.com): Started by Adriana Botti, the idea which later became LWP began as a project initially conjured during her high school years to provide her with positive reminders as inspiration and reassurance. As the unfortunate subject of bullying through the years since the 4th grade, Adriana realized much of the cruelty persisted even through later years as young women and adults and made the choice to join a sorority. Through joining the sorority, Adriana credits her experience of learning the meaning friendships and bonds. As a result, Little Words Project was born during Adriana’s sophomore year, as bracelets with encouraging and supportive words, such as “Be Fearless,” “Smile,” “Strength” and “Be Happy.” Seeing the bracelets immediate popularity within her sorority, upon graduating, she officially launched Little Words Project as what Ariana hopes will “inspire a culture of kindness among women young and old.”

LWP Girls

LWP Mission: As described on the official LWP website, their mission exists as a means to, “Unite women of all ages in one common goal: to be a go-to company for jewelry that’s uplifting, to be shared with yourself, your loved ones or anyone who could use some extra kindness.

LWP Bracelets: At the heart of LWP are the bracelets available in a vast array of bands, words and symbols, each with their own unique color, style, meaning and number as means of identification and tracking.

LWP Bracelets

  • When purchasing a LWP bracelet, you’ll receive much more than the Swarovski crystal-constructed bracelet with an inspirational word. Though beautiful and delicately crafted in itself, its mission and culture only adds to its beauty.
  • Upon becoming a LWP bracelet-owner, you’ll enter the official Little Words family and as the LWP website states, “Being a member of this community connects you to women of all ages who have already engaged with our movement and have found comfort in our mission.”

LWP Project Info

LWP Buying and Selection Process: Intrigued yet? Here is a step-by-step process of how exactly making a Little Words Project purchase works:

LWP Pick   LWP Register             LWP Pass

  • Choose from one of the many inspiring words, bands and colors available via the official LWP website (littlewordsproject.com) or one of the retailers supplying the bracelets as listed on the website.
  • Upon purchasing a LWP bracelet, be sure to venture over to the “Register Your Little Word” section on the LWP website or app and register the unique number found on your gold tag (attached to the bracelet)
  • Wear your bracelet for as long as you want.
  • Upon meeting someone who might need the word on your bracelet, pass it on and advise her to register the bracelet for herself.

Follow along your bracelet’s journey by checking the tag’s status and witness the powerful impact your word (and purchase!) can make.

Social Media: As a company and initiative, LWP is extremely active and communicative on their various social media accounts and prides itself in being open and interactive with their followers and customers (i.e. Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr, and Instagram):

  • Facebook = @littlewordsproject
  • Twitter = @littlewordsproj
  • Pinterest = @littlewordsp
  • Tumblr = littlewordsproject.tumblr.com
  • Instagram = @littlewordsproject

Official App: LWP even has their own app available for download in the App store with loads of information, the ability to register your LWP bracelet, interact with other Little Words owners, sales, news and much, much more! When downloading the app, you’ll receive not only pertinent information but also will become a member of the LWP community.

My Personal Reaction: Learning more and more about LWP as a company that very day upon receiving my first LWP bracelet, I knew they’d secured me as not only a customer, but as a true believer in their goals and initiatives. As someone who has personally battled through my own issues with self-esteem, harsh criticisms and poor body image, learning of a company like LWP who strives to support, encourage and advocate for women, is comforting and reassuring to me. To be able to look down on my arm and physically see an encouraging or supportive word reminding me of my strength, courage and capabilities, is a gift to me in more ways than one:

Little Things Mean the Most

Second Blog Post (“Share It”): With this being said, it leads to me the topic of my second blog post. Later this week, join me for an insider look at how Little Words Project is truly giving back to women and society in more ways than one.

In this next post, learn more about the reasons why LWP resonates so deeply within me. Without disclosing the heart of this next post, prepare to be overcome with emotion when discovering a purchase of a LWP bracelet not only affords you with a beautiful piece of custom jewelry, but a means to grow and support organizations and people in need (“Little Words that Give Back“)

LWP Inspiration

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Notable Reflections

Perhaps it is because it’s what I’ve been subconsciously searching for, or maybe it is simply a coincidence, but recently I’ve noticed numerous articles, quotes and pieces of advice centered around the concept of fear. Fear is something I’ve battled throughout my life on many occasions and it is only when I make a choice to act in spite of it, I feel a surge of confidence and comfort. Shying away because of the fear we harbor within us is one of the easiest ways to feel overwhelmed and ultimately, trapped. Acting and making choices in spite of fear is not an easy feat by any means, or at least to me it isn’t, but when I summon bravery and courage, most of the time, I end up feeling at piece with my decision.

Courage quote 2

Sometimes, the occasions when I’ve experienced fear were simpler and less significant than others. For instance, when I was about 17, my sister and I traveled to Disney World for a quick spring break vacation. I was excited and eager to ride an upside-down roller coaster for the first time. Though I’d been to countless amusement parks in the past with numerous opportunities to ride upside-down roller coasters with friends, I’d always opted out and chose to wait on the sidelines as my friends squealed with excitement over the largest, complex roller coasters around. In some instances, I was frustrated with myself and my fear of riding the roller coaster, or rather, by my decision to not experience it at least once. My fear and worry continued to get in the way, leaving me curious to what it might feel like to be upside down. On that particular trip to Disney World, I made the decision to ride the Rockin’ Roller Coaster, one of Disney World’s only upside-down roller coasters, in spite of the fear I still harbored within me. When the moment of truth arrived, I stood at the foot of the coaster, with the ride employees urging me, “You need to make a decision now.” My fear was piquing at that moment, but when a ride employee volunteered to ride along with me and talk me through the ride, I took a chance. Some of the ride is blurry to me now, since it has been 10 years since that moment, but what stands out to me, is my courage and ability to ride that coaster in spite of the fear still pulsating through me. Though it might sound so simple to some, for me, it was a feat proving I could still make choices and take action in spite of fear. Fear does not have to completely dissolve within us in order to make a choice or take action.

Courage 3

In hindsight, what I’m attempting to say is that I’ve missed out on many opportunities, chances, friendships and relationships because of fear. As I grow older and I reflect on these instances within my life that stand out to me, I realize how fear is something we can control. Sometimes, it feels as though fear may control us, but we are the ones creating that fear and are in the driver seat of that fear; we determine the direction the fear charges towards. Perhaps my perspective is flawed, but it is what I feel most resonates with me and my particular experiences.

Life Quote

That being said, here are some quotes I recently stumbled across that I hope will bring you some perspective and comfort this rainy Tuesday (if it is rainy where you are today; here in Pennsylvania, it is a rainy, chilly day!):

“I could conquer the world with just one hand… as long as you were holding the other.”

“Sometimes we don’t notice the things others do for us until they stop doing them.”

“If you live in fear of the future because of what happened in your past, you’ll end up losing what you have in the present.”

“Fear is not your enemy, it is a compass pointing you to the areas where you need to grow.”

 

 

 

Chains of Love

Good morning! I hope your first week of May has been off to a good start, thus far. The one aspect I’ve been thrilled about is the outside temperature. It is incredibly refreshing and invigorating to be able to walk outside again, sans a winter coat and gloves and be able to simply delight in the warm air and fresh breeze. In a way, as odd as it may sound, it makes me feel like there is a warm blanket, right out of the dryer wrapped around me!

Since it’s been on my mind, on my birthday evening, my mom and I went to my sister and brother in-law’s house for cake and gifts and for a chance for us all to be together. The gifts they gave me were not only beautiful, but incredibly thoughtful and filled with the most heart and care I’ve ever received. They were not only gifts that look nice, but serve a function and purpose. About two weeks ago, along with my 3.5 year old iPhone 4 becoming obsolete, that very day, the wallet I’ve been “borrowing,” from my sister for about 3.5 years as well, ended up becoming nearly unusable, after snaps somehow managed to break apart. Needless to say, I was upset and steps away from running to a store to purchase a new one out of fear my credit cards, driver’s license, etc, would fall out, as a result. My mom, however, advised me to “wait,” and so I did. What I was provided with on my birthday, was a beautiful black wallet, able to hold not only all of my cards, license, etc, but also my checkbook, which makes toting it around much easier. Along with the wallet was a beautiful handbag, also serving a purpose as my current one has not been holding up all that well due to significant use and general wear and tear. An array of shirts from Express also made its way into the gift bag, uniquely designed with bright and friendly colors; all of which I cannot wait to proudly wear!

My most favorite gift, however, by far is the gift given to me by my 8-month old niece. Yesterday, it officially arrived in the mail and today, as I look at it, I cannot help but smile and feel an outpouring of love and comfort. I took a photo of it, so I could publicly share it, because the quote on it and imprinting truly speaks for itself:

Keychain

If you look closely, you can see the quote, “Only an Aunt can give hugs like a Mother, keep secrets like a sister and share love like a Friend.” On the other portion of the keychain is my title: Aunt Melissa. There is another charm on the keychain that says Aunt and also some beads and pearls. When my sister placed it in my hand yesterday, I could instantly feel tears beginning to well up in my eyes and as she connected it to my keys, I felt such a sense of contentment. Though, it didn’t really fully hit me until I drove home later that afternoon. Living close to each other, the drive home is merely minutes, but when I pulled into the parking lot of my development and parked my car, I gathered up my keys and began to walk to the mailbox and as I looked down at the keychain in my hands, it was surreal to me. Reading the keychain again and seeing “Aunt Melissa,” emblazoned on there, was finally the “reminder” I was looking for. Merely hours before being gifted with the keychain, I had been discussing with my mom how I thought I should buy a piece of jewelry or something I could wear and see each day that would be an inspirational reminder to me of my significance or contribution to the world, or at least a reminder of some kind that encourages me when I feel down, self-conscious and unworthy. Little did I know, within hours, there would be a keychain serving as that constant reminder, now, each day. Looking at the quote and my title on the keychain is a sign to me of how I am something to someone. I am an Aunt, I am someone who can share in moments with my niece, with my family, with a friend, with a future significant other. No matter how down about myself I might feel at times, I can instantly look at the keychain and feel love and companionship. It is a tangible proof of my role, of how I always have a piece of my family beside me and a reminder of how I am loved.