i love you

I wrote myself a letter during the deepest part of my depression a couple of months back. I have ABSOLUTELY NO idea how I was able to write this, which means it definitely wasn’t coming from me. The Holy Spirit was using my fingers to type the words he knew I needed to hear.
Recently I’ve come to the realization that I am a very talented writer and motivator. I have discovered than when I talk, people listen. And not only that, I have people in my life who WANT my help when they are struggling through life. This comes with such honor and never for a second do I take it for granted.
Now, you’re probably laughing thinking, “wait Kassidy you just NOW realized you can write and you’re inspiring?” YEP! Cause I never gave myself credit. I always believed I was average, so, I was average. I limited myself, I put myself in a box and said, “Kassidy, you are never to leave these four little walls, this is who you will be, never greater than this box.”


I used this analogy with my friend the other day and it really resonated with the both of us. If you follow me on Instagram than you know that I have suffered with adult acne most of my adult life. I go through phases of having clear skin and then major breakouts. But what I’ve recently brought to light, is that half the time my skin does not have any zits. I am just standing in front of the mirror picking at my face, CREATING THE PROBLEM.

I am my own problem.
I am my own worst enemy.

And just like that, I stand in front of my mirror and pick at my face, looking for a zit to pop, which then creates a lovely scar that leads to me telling myself I’m ugly.
But what’s really ironic here, is that is what I have been doing to my soul.
To my inner Kassidy.
I find something about her that I don’t necessarily like (just like the beginning of a small zit), and I pick at it until it forms a larger zit, at which point I continue to pick at until a scar is formed and I am left feeling horrible about myself.

THE SAME THING I DO TO MY FACE, I DO TO ME, MY SOUL, TO THE INNER WORKINGS OF KASSIDY!

You don’t even understand how blown away I was when I had this discovery. I sat back and imagined my face at its worst, when I had picked at it to no end, blood everywhere. Then I imagined what my heart looks like from all the times I had tore Kassidy down, told her she is NOT enough, worthy, beautiful, smart, strong, good, loved.
Tears rolled down my face.
I broke Kassidy.
Not anyone else, not what anyone said, not what anyone did.
ME. I broke her.
I picked at her for years until she truly believed that she, would never be enough. That she, was better off gone.

I did this to myself over and over again.
Until I decided to show up for my life.
Until I decided to start forgiving myself for the destruction I had caused.
I decided to really look at what I was doing to myself by keeping Kassidy in that box. I was limiting her when she was made for so much more than that box. I was MINIMIZING her. I was giving her no space, if anything I was telling her she did not deserve space in this world.

But the truth is, Kassidy, she deserves ALL the space. Because there is enough space in this world for EVERY ONE – that’s how God designed it.

You deserve to take up all the space my friend.
You deserve to forgive yourself if you feel you have been too hard on yourself.
You deserve to stand back up and try again when you feel defeated by YOU.
You deserve to take time to heal, take time to learn to trust yourself again, and then when it’s time, stand back up and realize the badass you were created to be.
YOU DESERVE IT.

Now I would like to share the letter I wrote myself about two months ago. To set the scene, I was having major panic attacks lasting about 2-3 hours, EVERY SINGLE DAY. I was so full of anxiety I pulled my car over several times because it was not safe for me to be driving. I was in the darkest pit I have ever been in. I was so hurt I could not communicate it, so I would sleep and cry and sleep and cry. But somewhere, amongst, all of that pain I was able to open up my computer and write this letter to me, and it’s everything I needed to hear then and everything I need to hear now. I’m hoping it will resonate with you too.

“Dear Kassidy,

You lost your sunshine. Somewhere along the way you gave bits and pieces of your sunshine to those you love most. Only because you care about people so much that you want to see them shine.
You walk around seeing everyone’s radiance but your own.
You see the potential people have and you never stop sharing it with them, because what’s the point of having all that potential if you’re never going to use it?
But why did
you stop shining? Why did you dim your light?
You don’t have to dim your light for others to shine, there will always be enough light.

You’ve learned over the past couple of years that grief is not linear, and neither is healing.
When you’re at the bottom, you have to keep fighting to get back to the top.
When you feel like you’ve finally reached the top, you have to be humble enough to remember you will be back at the bottom.

You can still shine your light while you’re healing.
You can still be radiant.
You have permission to be whoever you are right now.

I know that you’re struggling, I know that each day comes with waves of emotions and thoughts you’re choosing to fight through.
Don’t stop fighting. Don’t stop climbing to the top. Don’t stop trying. Don’t give up.
GIRL! YOU ARE THE LIGHT! YOU ARE THE SUN!
Wake up and remember each and every day, that
YOU are the sun.

Keep going.
Keep on finding out who you are meant to be.”

My friend, keep going.
Keep on finding out who YOU are meant to be.
I love you.

future

I use to live a life of the past.
Meaning, the present was happening to me as I focused on the past.

Now I live a life focused on the future.
My goals, my dreams, every single decision I make is based off of what the Kassidy in ten years will benefit from.

A lot of people have asked me why I started my online boutique, or where the money is going when they buy from my store.
The answer is simple, it goes to me and my business. I am officially a small business owner and while I am not making profit off of my shop in the present moment, it’s one of those dreams I see for the future Kassidy.

All my life I have loved the thought of opening up my own boutique, but the reality is, owning a brick and mortar business these days is HARD ASS WORK. I commend each and every business owner who does it. Not only do you have to keep up with your lease, you have to hire people, focus on the inventory of your shop, and a million other things just to keep your doors open.
I knew that I would HATE that with a passion.
I also know that future Kassidy wants the flexibility to travel, to be able to be with her family whenever she needs to, and to not be tied down.

See, when Cooper was sick with cancer I watched as my family traveled back and fourth to California to see him and my mom. It taught me a HUGE life lesson, if someone I love gets sick, I REFUSE to have to quit a job or fight with a boss to get days off to see my loved one. I also, REFUSE to not have an income coming in. That’s where Gracious & Grateful the Shop came to life, it allows me to chase the dream of becoming a small business boutique, while also running my business from anywhere in the world.

See the old Kassidy, the one who lived life focused on the past, would stay in the comfortable job that was offering her the best financial peace in that moment. She would have saved her money God forbid an emergency would have happened, and then she would have prayed it never did. She would have been comfortable living in the past, being scared that what happened in the past would happen again.

The new Kassidy, knows the future is not in her hands. But she can do her absolute best to chase the dreams God has put in her heart, without fearing that cancer, or a shooter, will interfere with those plans. She can chase her dreams knowing that they were instilled in her for a REASON and that reason is that she was made for more than what society tells her she should do.

I had to give myself permission to live outside the box. I had to decide that it’s okay to not want to work an 8-5 job, with an office and a parking space. I had to allow myself to understand that THAT lifestyle is NOT what Kassidy was made for; she is creative, a helper, and LOVES flexibility. Those are all GREAT things and we live in a time where I can have all of those things and MORE. If I give myself permission to BELIEVE that I was made for more and that “more” is what God put me on this earth to do.

See, It was always me.
It was always me holding me back from my dreams.
Telling myself I couldn’t do it.
Forcing myself into trying careers I knew I would hate, just to “fit in”
I take full responsibility for the fact that I THOUGHT I WANTED TO BE LIKE EVERYONE ELSE. I thought I wanted to go to an office, clock in and clock out. I thought that, that was where the happiness was and for some people, THAT IS THEIR HAPPINESS, AND THAT’S AWESOME! Everyone’s version of happiness is different.
But for Kassidy, I had to give her permission to say that, that type of lifestyle is not her version of happiness. AND THAT’S OKAY.
Kassidy’s version of happiness is a flexible lifestyle that allows her to do the MILLIONS of things that bring her joy every day. Teaching Pilates, writing, running an Instagram tribe, opening an online boutique, picking up my baby girls from school, meeting a friend for coffee, or staying in bed because I am grieving.
My version of surviving the working world, is honestly to not have to ‘survive’ it at all. I want to THRIVE in my own little working world. I see a future of making money abundantly from all the things I love to do. Never feeling stuck, never feeling like I can’t break through the glass ceiling. Because friends, there is no glass ceiling when you run your own business, when you chase your own dream, when you realize you were made for more and decide to take that risk.

It’s all on you, my friend.
To decide to live in the past or to decide to live in the future.
To decide to have a mindset of financial scarcity or financial abundance.
To decide to avoid your dream or to chase it.
To decide to give yourself permission to realize that you, my friend, were made for more.

Shop This Look: Gracious & Grateful The Shop

Who do you believe you are?

I’m currently reading “Own Your Everyday: Overcome the Pressure to Prove and Show Up for What You Were Made To Do” by Jordan Lee Dooley.

I highly reccomend this book if you are into personal development or want to start owning who you are in this moment. Jordan is full of encouragement and Godly words that can change your perspective on many aspects of life.

In the last chapter I just finished, the quote that stuck out the most to me was as follows,

“We always live out of who we believe we are.”

This one sentence slapped me in the face. It was like a bar fight, me against those ten words, and I lost that fight fair and square.


We ALWAYS live out of WHO WE BELIEVE WE ARE.
Friends, for a majority of my life I BELIEVED I was anxiety.
I BELIEVED I was trauma.
I BELIEVED I was bad luck.
I BELIEVED I was cursed, bad things only happened to Kassidy.

But just like my girl Rachel Hollis says, “We can choose to let things happen TO us or FOR us”
I was letting all of my trauma happen TO me.
Not anymore. I see a new perspective, my trauma, EVEN my brother dying, EVEN me running for my life during a shooting, happened FOR me.

I know what you’re thinking because I thought the same thing. “You’re crazy Kassidy, why would you get caught in a shooting and believe that that WAS WHAT WAS SUPPOSE TO HAPPEN?”
Well let me offer you this perspective, if I hadn’t ran for my life during a mass shooting, if I hadn’t watched the pain and grief of the people around me, I would not be the human I am today.
I would not be able to write the way I write or inspire the way I inspire, because I wouldn’t have THAT story.

“We always live out of who we believe we are”
I believe that my traumas happened for me.
I believe that good will come out of all the shitty things that happen for me.
There is an opportunity every day to choose that life will happen to you or happen for you, what perspective will you choose to believe? Because based off the perspective you choose to believe will decide WHO YOU BELIEVE YOU ARE, and who you believe you are determines how you live your life. That’s big my friends. Like Oprah big.
Your perspective, what you believe about who you are as a human, DETERMINES THE LIFE YOU LIVE.

We have two choices.
They aren’t going to be your favorite choices, and you certainly aren’t going to be able to live this way every day. But it’s worth evaluating and adding to your daily habits.
Your choices are a negative outlook, life is happening TO you.
Or a positive outlook, life is happening FOR you.

Girlfriend, this life is happening FOR YOU!!
Each beautiful, messy part of this life is happening so that you can go out and full-fill your purpose, your dream.
If you don’t start to change your perspective, you’ll never live out the dream that is burning inside you.
And that is a life WASTED. YOU DO NOT KNOW WHEN THE TIMER IS UP.
YOU DO NOT KNOW WHEN THE GOOD LORD IS GOING TO CALL YOU TO THE GATES.
So why waste all of this precious time on a negative perspective? Why not take the things that have happened to you in life, decide they happened FOR you and go out and change the world because those things happened for you and YOU have a story to tell. Not your husband’s, not your sister’s, not your mom’s BFF’s story. YOUR STORY. YOUR DREAM. YOUR PASSION. It’s yours, not theirs, so own it.

AND START TODAY! Take a hold of this new found fire (that hopefully started burning as you read through this blog!) and RUN WITH IT!!!
RUN WITH THE FIRE! CHASE THOSE DREAMS!
BE THE WOMEN YOU WERE MADE TO BE!

The time is now.
Tomorrow, the next minute, the next year is not promised.
Do it now.

Kassidy believing she is a HOT MESS EXPRESS.
Because that’s who she is, and she rocks it every day.

Never stop trying

Failure is when you stop trying.

How many times in your life have to SAID you were going to do something for yourself and you didn’t?
That is failure because you didn’t even try.

When you make a promise to yourself, you have to follow through.
At the beginning of this year I promised myself I was going to complete a 5K and a 10K, after never running in my life.
So I made the promise to work out 5 days a week in preparation for these races.
I got up on days I was exhausted, depressed, anxious, and sad.
I got up and I moved my body.
Some days I went straight back to bed, but I never broke the promise I made to myself that I would train for these races.

What this training process has taught me is that my persistence is a badass, she knew I needed to get up every day and train for these races because it was actually training me for something so much bigger than a 10K.

It was training me to keep promises to Kassidy.
It was training me to never give up on the girl who’s given up on herself her whole life.
It was training me to see the light I had within me but never saw for myself.

So yes, there were days I got up and didn’t go to the gym.
There were days I went and really didn’t give it my all.
But I did not fail, because I never stopped trying.
I always got up and tried again the next day.

After my latest blog post I had several of you reach out to me saying that it inspired you to start going to the gym or start reaching for your dreams. I am so blessed to have had my words impact you in that way, however, we have to face the hard truth. Failure is in the back of your mind. You’re wondering if you can ACTUALLY get to the gym at 5 am or if you can ACTUALLY become a comedian. But the thing is, you’ll never know until you try. And then whatever comes of trying today, might bring you closer to that dream or that goal. So then you get up again tomorrow and you try one more time, and then again and again. Until you’ve made it on that stage or you’ve ran that 10K.

The other day I finally made it to that moment of victory.
I woke up like I normally do at 4:30, and I thought to myself… “Kassidy is going to run 6.2 Miles today (a 10K)”. This thought was coming straight from my persistence and she was not giving up. The short drive to the gym all I could think about was 6 miles. Mind you, I’ve never ran more than 4 miles without stopping, which is good because my race isn’t until November. But my persistence persisted on, “Kassidy, you’re running a 10k today!”

I got on the treadmill and started running, mile 2 is my struggle, I always convince myself 2 miles is enough but my goal has never been to just run 2 miles. About 3 miles in the fire alarm starts going off (it wasn’t a real fire, it’s just a glitch in the system lol) but when the fire alarm goes off, so does the AC. So here I am, mile 3, no AC, and a alarm sounding through my headphones. “Okay… you can technically stop here I mean 3 miles is half way, you’ll get to 6 later!” I told myself. Then persistence chimes in, “OH HELL TO THE NO GIRL! NOT TODAY! DID I NOT ALREADY TELL YOU THAT YOU ARE RUNNING 6 MILES TODAY?”
Okay, chill girl, chill.

While I’m talking to myself, a women gets on the treadmill to the left of me and shortly after her another women to the right of me. Then my playlist plays “Run The World” by Beyonc√©, and I’m back. I’m ready to finish this damn thing! I’ve got two powerhouse women running next to me like it’s easy and I am STRUGGLING, like panting, sweating, red faced, half in an asthma attack. But okay here we are MILE 6. I’m telling myself, “well I mean you already did 5 that’s more than you’ve ever done before.” But persistence is over here like, “5 miles is for babies get your ass over that finish line.”

My persistence is crude. She has to be to get through to my stubborn self.

And then friends, there it was. 6.24 Miles, FINITO!!!!!
I DONE DID IT!!! HELL YES!!!

I walk outside and saw the most gorgeous sunrise God had painted me for my victory. I smiled, got in my car, literally every part of my body shaking, and cried. I cried tears of VICTORY! Tears of pure HAPPINESS for what I had just accomplished. I WORKED 7 MONTHS TO RUN 6 MILES! 7 MONTHS!!!!!!!!
And here I was, where I never thought I would be.

In that moment, do you know what I was most grateful for?
My persistence. She never let me fail. She never let me stop trying.
Every day she figured out a way to motivate me into trying a little bit harder for that goal.
And here we were celebrating my triumph.

As I sat in this moment, I made a decision, an agreement to myself.
I will never fail.
I will never stop trying, so therefore I will never fail.
Failure is no longer an option because if I never stop trying, failure cannot exist.

And then I asked myself a question, what’s next?
What’s the next dream?
What are we going to try next?
Where are we going from here?

Sisters.
Make the decision to never fail.
Decide to never stop trying at your dream.
Decide you are worth making and keeping promises to yourself.
Decide to listen to your persistence and push, push, push when the dream gets hard.

So now I will ask you,
What’s next?
What’s the next dream?
What are you going to try next?
Where are you going from here?

Whatever the dream is, lets go get it.
It’s your time.

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Get out of the way

Sweet friend, you are the roadblock of your dreams.

I hate to break this news to you, but you are the reason your dream has not come true. You are the reason you are not on stage singing, opening that business, or writing that book.

I can say this honestly because I am the one in the way of me achieving my dreams. I’m in my way EVERY DAY.

Why do we do this to ourselves? Why do we self sabotage the thing in life that gives us purpose? That make us excited to wake up every day? Because of fear.

Fear tells you that you can’t possibly achieve those dreams in your heart and you let yourself believe that.

Are you going to continue to let fear run your life?
I’m not.
I’ve let him run my mind, my life, my soul for too many years. I’ve wasted countless hours being scared of what ‘might’ happen if I chased my dreams.

I’m WAY too smart to let fear stop me.
I’m WAY too strong to let fear grapple at my throat.
AND SO ARE YOU.

Do not let fear tell you lies that you cannot achieve the thing that God put in your heart.
There is a reason that fire was lit and we will never know the potential that your dream has unless YOU go chase it. Not me, not your friend next door, not your hot boyfriend. YOU. You have to go out and chase the dream the good Lord gave you because he did not give it to anyone else but YOU.

It’s time.

Time to start living in the calling that God has for us.
Time to start believing in the dreams he put in our hearts.
It’s time to believe we are enough to pursue the dream that we have.

It’s time for us to rise up as smart, courageous women and take our dreams on headfirst.

Sister, YOU ARE FAR TOO SMART TO BE THE ONLY THING STANDING IN THE WAY OF YOUR DREAM!
As Elsa from Frozen says, LET IT GO!
Let go of the fear and go after that big audacious dream God has for you.

God chose YOU for this dream.
You and only you.
You MUST live it out.
You MUST follow the desires of your heart.
Get out of the way!