There is a fantastic quote about the two most important days of your lives. 1. It’s the day you were born and 2. It’s when you realize the reason you were born. Each one of us has unique qualities that make us all different and impactful. Some people take a
lifetime to find what it is, while others know it at a very young age. For some, it just takes time to develop and percolate. But, when we know, it’s a WOW!
Today’s guests all have found that inner spark to light up the world.
Starting with our first guest, Marcia Agius. Marcia is a wife, mother of three, and a philanthropist involved in many charities including, Odette Cancer Centre, Make a Wish and Million Dollar Smiles. During the pandemic Marcia truly found her voice. She is the Founder of the Instagram Account and movement called ‘Inspire Always’. It is a place that spreads kindness, positivity, and inspiration every day. Each featured guest shares their favourite quote. Marcia shared hers – “You can’t compete with me. I want you to win too.”
Tonight, Marcia also shared her story. Two years ago, she didn’t consider herself anything but a stay-at-home mom. But during the pandemic, she craved to seek out positivity. And so began her Instagram page, ‘Inspire Always’; a forum where remarkable women nominate each another. It all began as a passion project and grew to feature quotes and stories shared by over 400 inspiring women.
Marcia found her passion and purpose and shared some sage advice. “Do not let fear stop you from following your dreams. Challenge yourself to do something uncomfortable. Whatever your passion is, just go for it!” Following that advice, Marcia has decided to launch another initiative. On February 17, which happens to be Random Acts of Kindness Day, she will launch ‘The Kindness Circle’. This initiative will be a community driven group that supports charities while spreading kindness and giving. Please check out Marcia’s Instagram page _inspirealways for a dose of inspiration.
Our next guests were Carla and Ivy Rockmore. Carla was always fascinated by fashion and the fashion world. She is a designer, a collector and lover of all things beautiful. She says, “The most important thing you can ever put on is your confidence.” Carla has a huge personality and a sense of humour which is so welcoming.
During the pandemic, Carla went into her closet and decided to put together outfits for inspiration. People started watching and listening. Her TikTok and Instagram accounts blew up. On TikTok she has over 1.3 million followers. Vogue Magazine named Carla, the real-life Carrie Bradshaw.
Carla spoke about her experience going viral during the Pandemic. She really enjoyed making videos and had Ivy’s help with the editing and content. Now, Carla works with companies to help them get their own messages across on social media outlets.
She shared three pivotal tips that she learned.
- Try something new even if it’s scary
- Do things that are challenging because that’s a reward within itself.
- Every person is a superstar in their own right, so use your skills to give back to the community.
Then, Carla shared a diagram on what she calls, ‘The Sweet Spot of Happiness’: a combination of merging education skills, (what you are good at) hobbies (what you love to do) and finally community need. For Carla, it was her design skills, combined with her acting talents, and helping others during the pandemic that allowed Carla to find her shining light. Fill in those circles, to find your own sweet spot. Ironically, this same rationale is one that is used by PGB students to create their own projects!
Then, 18-year-old Ivy shared her own story. Ivy identifies as a transgender girl; born male, but inside, felt female. She transitioned over the Pandemic and became her authentic self. As Ivy said, “a new name, but the same person.” One for the world to see, but not dictate. She wanted to feel better in the body that she was given. Ivy was given much support and encouragement and now embodies her mother’s mantra, ‘she sits well in her skin.’ Together, Ivy and Carla are helping so many others find their own unique path.
Tyler Simmons is very special to Ellen’s family and an old friend of Jacob. Jacob loved music, so he was brought to concerts and musicals. It was at a fundraising event for the Liv Wise Foundation, when Jacob first heard Tyler Simmons sing. Jacob lit up. The two became fast friends and Tyler would often visit Jacob on Sundays. At a young age, Tyler knew the reason he was here. This extremely talented singer/songwriter continues to follow his dream. Tonight, he performed an original, called ‘Avalon’, a song he wrote at 16, when deciding what he wanted to do with his life; make music. He performed at the School of Rock, where he currently teaches.
Next, we met Amy Janes and Robert Humes, who are the Co Chairs of this year’s CCC, Cure Cancer Classic – a student run initiative that raises money through sporting tournaments. Last year they broke all records and raised an astounding $340,000 for Cancer Research. These young leaders care so much and are truly passionate about this cause. They have been part of this team for over the last 4 years, holding ambitious goals to make events become more inclusive and involved with the community. Recently, the club reached the cumulative goal of raising 1 million dollars! Seeing the rewards of their efforts pay off, has been extremely rewarding for both Amy and Robert. They are eager to stay a part of this team and change the way people view fundraising, by making it more experiential, rather than just a financial contribution.
Finally, Lindsay at One2Give spoke about Mental Health. In light of Bell Let’s Talk Day, Lindsay shared that over 28,000 kids are awaiting mental health support in our province. Wait times are 3 times longer than should be. What’s Up Walk-In offers free mental health counselling and support to anyone, both in person and over the phone. There’s also, Kids Help Phone. Please help spread the word about these incredible organizations and make an effort to check in regularly with those around you.
Thank you to all of our special guests today. Please share this episode with anyone who might benefit from learning from today’s powerful messages from our inspiring guests.
As always, my message to you is to be kind to one another, to embrace one another and to learn from one another!