Tag Archive | Moving Forward

Beautiful, Scars And All

Scar – The Strength Story

by Denise Kennedy
November 17th

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As I sit here writing to you, the very first snow fall has started outside my south Dublin window. I am mesmerised by the fluttering white flakes as they chase each other to the ground below. They are each so different and beautiful in their own right. Winter is here early, and the white visitors contrast against the backdrop of autumn colours that my trees display; it is so beautiful that it is hard to keep my eyes from the window. So I stopped writing, wrapped my warm faux scarf around my neck and opened my window to really feel the white wonder, and breathe in the crisp cold air. So refreshing.

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Today I am relishing the thoughts of an impromptu walk I took yesterday in our city’s main central park. It was unplanned and turned out to be perfect. I found my deer friends, and captured a few beautiful photos of them, as I always do. Today I want to introduce you to one of them, he’s one of my favourites. I call him Scar.

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When I go to the Phoenix Park, I always look out for Scar. This time I was more concerned about him because of a recent deer culling in the park, and I was not sure he was still with us. I was glad to see him. For some reason he tends to be a loner and wanders off on his own, something I love to do too. If you look at his face you will see why I gave him the name I have. To me, even with his scars, he is beautiful. And today, my friend, I want to tell you the same incredible truth is true about you.

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When we look at Scar, we see his outside wounds, and the proof that he has been hurt, but we also see that he survived what it was that hurt him. The battle left its mark on him but he lived on, and so will you dear reader. Scars are a sign that you are strong, that you overcame something that tried to take you out. Your battle may include disappointment, divorce, the loss of a dream, the realisation that life sometimes gives you what you do not ask for; and you have a choice to make.

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Your scars may be on the inside, where nobody can easily see them, they may be wounds that truly only you and those who you allow to come close can understand. Let me tell you that these wounds, whether internal or external, are things to be proud of because they are proof that you are stronger than the hurt, tougher than what tried to knock you down, and more resilient than the battles you have endured. Your scars tell others to hold on, and not to give up. They shine around your neck like a medal of honour, and you should see your scars as a sign of great victory, even in days of loss or pain.

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“Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared with scars.” ― Kahlil Gibran

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Look at this beautiful Fallow buck, who I have rightly named Scar; he is majestic and strong, and will hopefully live through many more battles, bravely using the skills he learned the hard way in previous encounters. In the same way dear friend, so are you. You are a strong soul with a mighty God who wants to walk through every battle with you. He promises to never leave or forsake you, but to be your refuge where there is found rest in and from the storms of life. Even if you already have scars, you are a display for His Kingdom, shouting gloriously to the world, that you never gave up or surrendered. Your scars tell a magnificent story!

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Scars are evidence of life, of risks, or trying new things, of fighting for something you believed in. They are proof that you moved out of your comfort zone and decided to be brave. So today, instead of hiding your scars, whether they are seen or unseen,  choose to find someone who needs the story of courage that you carry in your heart. Tell them how you struggled, but that you are overcoming. Remind someone who is close to giving up, that they do not have to. Look for those who feel so isolated in their battle, and remind them that they truly are part of a great army of those who did not give up. This army may be scarred in many different ways, but their courage unites them. Each has a battle cry put in their heart by the Creator himself. Each one is as beautifully unique as each snowflake falling outside my window.

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Dear scarred one, your scars are the signs of strength and someone who feels weak today, needs to hear your story of strength!

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“Scars show toughness: that you’ve been through it,

and you’re still standing.” -Theo Rossi

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Your Uniqueness Has Value

I’m delighted to be writing for The Irish Academy of Public Relations

Here is a reminder of just how valuable your uniqueness is! Have a look at this week’s blog…Your Uniqueness Has Value

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In this age of digital and personal development, many have thrown around the term USP, or otherwise known as your Unique Selling Point. Some folks find it easy to identify these incredible strengths in others, but struggle to evaluate these attributes in themselves, their talents or their business offering.

As entrepreneurs, communicators or anyone with a dream, it is vital that you know what your unique strengths are, and utilise them in all of your business endeavours.

Let’s break it down into smaller parts and evaluate the significance of this term.  When you are asked about your business, your skills, your capabilities or accomplishments, do you struggle to see what makes you unique? If you do, don’t worry, you are not alone in this dilemma. But if you do not challenge this weakness it will hold you back in every area where you seek to be successful. It is like carrying out a SWOT analysis on yourself, while determining where you are most likely to achieve your business goals.

So take a pen and paper, and jot down the words that come to mind as you answer these questions: There is no wrong answer, just be as honest as you can.

  1. What differentiates you from what your competitors are doing or offering?

  2. How do you add value in the industry or market you are currently in?

  3. If you were not doing what you are doing, what would your consumers or customers miss out on?

  4. When you wake up in the morning, are you motivated by the thought that you can make a difference in your work day, and if so, how?

Okay – how do you feel in the pit of your stomach right now? Are you chasing a goal that actually has no real value to your heart? Is there a possibility that you are stuck in your comfort zone and are no longer excited about what you are doing? If this is the case, then make the decision today to ‘unglue’ yourself from this place of underachieving.

When we forget our value or what we bring to the table, it helps to encounter new opportunities and meet new people. It is time to follow your dream, so let the journey start today. At the Irish Academy of Public Relations, you will find new career ideas, training courses and opportunities to up-skill in many areas such as, Event Management, Journalism, Social Media Marketing, Mobile Journalism. There is something there for everyone.

“Take advantage of every opportunity to practice your communication skills so that when important occasions arise, you will have the gift, the style, the sharpness, the clarity, and the emotions to affect other people.”Jim Rohn

Your skill set may be perfectly matched to the industry you are working in, so it just may be the case that you need to sharpen your focus in a more dynamic way. Either way, unless we challenge these thoughts, we can find ourselves drifting along with no real motivation and certainly having no lasting impression on those we desperately want to impact in business and life.

It’s up to you! Check out the Irish Academy of Public Relations today, and start to sharpen those amazing skills you already have. It’s time to make the move!

Guest Blogger – Denise Kennedy

❣ You Know You Want To ❣

by ♡ 𝕯enise Kennedy ♡

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    Have you ever found yourself in an unexpected place, where everything seems unpredictable? A place where virtually anything could happen next?

It could best be described as the most spontaneous, amazing, fearful, wonderful and challenging place your feet and your heart could ever find themselves; well I am there, right smack bang in the middle of it. Just the other day I penned the following words; “Sometimes too many choices are just too many!”     (A Nisey’original)

I eagerly reach ahead to grasp the future, yet my heart holds on tightly to the memories the years have made, but hope pulls me closer and commands me to lift up my head with earnest expectation and anticipation.  I can sincerely say that I am finding these days the strangest and scariest I have yet to walk through.  I rarely live life with no map before me, or at least an idea of what may unfold but lately the temptation to lock my heart away is overwhelming at times ~ to live from a place where it is safe, pain-free, careful and predictable (and boring, well at least to me) is as real as the chair I am sitting on right now…. but I cannot ignore the deep desire in me to do something crazy and unpredictable.

I always thought I would have my life’s direction figured out by now, a road map to potential happiness with all the boxes checked along the way.  But life has not worked out like that and I am learning lessons in hard places, yet finding unexpected joy in the crazy unforeseeable changes life brings.   I guess we all go through seasons where it seems fearful and yet wonderfully adventurous.  One of my favourite things to do is head off on a road trip, to wherever the road goes.  Having been on some amazing road trips in Ireland, America, New Zealand, Australia, and various places from Belgium to the Ukraine, I know the thrill of these shared adventures.  The sense of spontaneous decisions and the thrill of seeing where we end up tickles me pink!    I love living life like that.  And yet bravely and courageously my heart is saying, “Seize the adventure again Denise!”…. and so I must listen to my heart and let my passion and creativity lead me to where I really want to be.  And to the ‘me’ I really want to be.  Scary isn’t it?

During these past months (plus some), I have been tempted to abort the mission my heart longs for, to turn around and settle for less than I know is genuine, thrilling and passionate.   I have toyed with the idea of giving up on the picture I had of the future, and settling for a less challenging route.  At first I felt peace, calmness and collected repose.   It is easy to feel peace when you are no longer challenging your fears or advancing into new territory in your life.  Yes you feel peace at first, when all resistance fades away into living a life more ordinary, but not for long for soon that unsettled feeling of boredom will raise itself to the forefront of your heart and you know you cannot turn your back on what you need to do and really want.

So, what are you sacrificing? What dream are you abandoning and trying to live without?  Maybe it is time to pick it up again? I am choosing to do it differently now.  To take hold of the strength that I know God gives me daily, to speak to my dreams and my hopes, my talents and my skills to come alive again!  Do you need to do the same?  You may think that it is easier to ignore the longings of your heart, to run away from the deepest places of your soul, but it isn’t.  May I gently and lovingly tell you that you will turn into a person who is bored silly with life.  Joy will drain from you and all you dreamed of will be sacrificed for a false sense of security that you will grow to resent.  Trust me, I know.

So…..right now…..think quietly ~  What is it you really long to do with your life?  What is on your bucket list?  What wakes you up and puts a smile on your face no matter what the weather is like?  What is it that you do that makes you sigh deeply with the realisation that this is what you were born to accomplish?  You know it and you feel it, you live, breathe and think about it every waking or ‘should-be’ sleeping moment.  You have tried to banish it away like a vapour, thinking it is easier to live without it, but you are not living abundantly by hiding it away and ignoring it.  Take some time to write it down, remember it again, realise it is possibly the thing that will rescue you from a place of unfulfilled living.  Inside each of us there’s a Superman T-shirt or brave hero longing to be revealed.

Can you hear it? A whispering excitement beginning like a soft drum in your chest…. a beat that wants to sound loudly to you that there are new things to call forth from you.  It is time, the clock ticks, and it waits for no one.   I want to see you, the real you, shining forth in all your great yet humble talent for the world to see.

Come on…come alive!  It may feel like you are stepping out onto nothing, not knowing really where you are going, but you will find it easier after you take the first step.  I am beside you, cheering you on (and myself).  Take my hand if you need to.  Look for others in your life who have stopped living from their heart, encourage them to speak tenderly again to their dreams and listen to the deepest longing within them.

You know you want to…

♡ 𝕯enise ❣ ~~ ♥ ~~ ♥ ~~

The Giving Thanks Season ღ¸.•*´¨Thanksgiving!

by Denise Kennedy

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As I sit here at my office table writing to you, I am surrounded by half-packed boxes and disordered belongings…all of which are screaming for my attention.

My freshly brewed coffee steams beside me, swirling amidst the scent of my favourite pumpkin spice candle, and the birds chirp and dance outside as the frost melts in the November sun…

So I choose to be still. I choose to be thankful. It is easy to be thankful when all about you is splendidly perfect and testing times have come and gone, but when you are in the midst of true battles it can be a difficult thing to choose. I understand my friend, as I too am in that place. Between the now and the not-yet can be the scariest place to find yourself, or the grandest adventure ever. We can either see it as an opportunity or a threat.

I am moving, well getting ready to move, to a place unknown to me. As I prepare, I have been reminded over and over to be grateful for the things I have, while waiting for the things not yet seen. We have a choice to make…we can wallow in fear or we can flap our wings and use the winds of adversity to take us only higher. I want to choose the greater thing, the activity of winners, of fighters, of eagles. Today my friend Katie Taylor won her fifth world boxing championship title. What a legend! And as I watched her interview after the fight, I was overwhelmed by the expression of pure joy and relief on her face.

I couldn’t help but think of all the times she must have felt like giving up, or quitting. There must have been days when the sacrifice seemed too hard or too costly, but it all paid off today.  And what a day of thanksgiving it is for her and all of us who know her and love her.

So, my friend, today we must decide to be brave, to be thankfully courageous, and respond with strength, boldness and faith. We can let the fear of the unknown overcome us or we can choose to respond with determination and perseverance. In this season of Thanksgiving it can be hard to be thankful when things are not as we would love them to be, but when we start to focus on the many beautiful things in our lives, joy will come and fill our tired hearts.

As we embrace the winds of adversity and change, thankfulness and bravery can be our companions.  Choosing to be thankful creates a strong foundation in our lives that becomes our default response, even when circumstances are completely challenging. It is not easy but it is possible. I am sure there were days when Katie Taylor had to fight to believe that she could achieve her dreams, and today she celebrates where discipline and training have brought her. We can too my friend!

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I invite you today, to be thankful, to be bravely thankful! And now back to my boxes…the adventure awaits! ¸.•*¨) Nisey K

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