Mini-Van Confession #1

Hi! This is Melinda Kim and these are my confessions and opinions!

Hey everyone, it’s Melinda Kim and this is my first mini-van confession! I can‘t stand people who think they are victims.  I had the exact same conversation with my daughter today because she claims that she had bad behavior because so and so made me her this way, so and so made her this mad and so and so….

But the point is, nobody is in charge of your actions but yourself! I think we all know this, even as an adult, there’s always so much blame and so much resentment towards others. I just really want to get the message across that you in the end are the one who are really in charge of your own actions.

Think about what story you’re telling yourself, are you an overcomer or are you a victim? I sure hope you’re not a victim because if you tell yourself you are, you’re going to be.
But if you tell yourself that you’re an overcomer, you’re going to be looking at all that you have overcame. Then whatever you’re going through, it’s something that you can handle and get through. You are not a victim and you can choose a better path.  So that’s my confession today, I don’t deal well with people who think they’re victims.

How Light Shines Through in the Darkest Moments with 1 Decision.

This is Melinda Kim, Founder of Aspirely and Host of AspirelyTV. These are my own thoughts and opinions…

What does letting go mean to you? It doesn’t just mean for you to calm down when a car cuts you off.  It’s more like… giving yourself a break after a huge life flop.
A few years ago, I realized I was really unhappy with my life. I was sucking at my job, my marriage, probably not being the best mother and I knew I wasn’t where I wanted to be in that phase of my life. I felt like I was failing at life, at motherhood and my career, I was going through the motions and just surviving. I thought maybe if I get through certain situations, then I’ll be happy.

I didn’t feel like I had control and it was a tough place to be in. I finally decided to give myself the permission to start over fresh and let go of my past mistakes and behaviors. I realized that I couldn’t change the past but I can change the future.

I was inspired and excited to let go of the old me but at the same time so appreciate of the experience I went through, sometimes it takes dark moments like that helps us figure out our ultimate path . Your past doesn’t dictate your future. Let go and be awesome. Dwell in the possibilities.

Why Men Rules the World and The Hot Topic of Lean In.

I’m Melinda Kim, Founder for Aspirely and host of AspirelyTV. My conversation today is with Debbie Nichols, a mom, entrepreneur, Masters Degree holder and now back in school for her second career. Debbie and I talk about how having a family affected her ambition as a career woman and how’s she’s now Leaning In to her passion as a mom.


Say Bye Bye Bye to Your Excuses and Invest In Yourself!

This is Melinda Kim, Founder of Aspirely. Today, I am squashing excuses show you how you can invest in yourself.

Investing in yourself is so important because you will feel that a sense of purpose and fulfillment that is for YOU and not your family. We tend to give every moment of every day to other people, whether it’s our family, business or work. Because at the end of the day, if we don’t feel like we’re growing and progressing as an individual, we can’t fully give ourselves to our family and friends.

I hear a lot of reasons why investing in yourself is hard… things like I don’t have time for that right now, I don’t have the money or I’m not sure what I want to do.

So I’m going to address all that right now… Let’s face it, we all have time and a matter of putting yourself in priority and make the time. Think of creative ways like making a commitment for ½ an hour a day, pop in a video and work out from your home. Or go take a community course that you’ve always wanted to take while the kids are at school. The trick is to schedule it. We all know if something’s not written, it’s not going happen.

Next, let’s talk about the money thing! There are so many resources online between blogs and Youtube that you can pretty much learn about anything you want. So get Googling and I’m sure you’ll find a great cooking class or workout regime that you can simply follow.

And the third one is not being sure of what you want to do. This is actually very common. But if you listen to you own voice, you really know what your interests are. Don’t be afraid to start! If it’s dancing and you haven’t danced in a while, go take a dance class at your local gym that you may belong to already. Or simply try some arts and crafts you see on Pinterest.

The point is, just start taking time out and investing back in yourself. If you’re happy, you’ll find yourself giving more back to your family.

She Said Something That I Wish I Had the Guts to Say!

Melinda Kim, Founder for chats with author, host, speaker and surfer Vidette Vanderweide about her heart dropping journey to discovery, reinvention and becoming a S.O.U.L Mama.

Melinda: I downloaded your book in my iPhone and I was really impressed with your writing because I really felt like you were telling my story.  There was a point where you were in your car where you were dropping the kids off at school, and you broke down crying.  You realized that this is not the life you had imagined and I personally went through the same thing.  I felt like I chased “things” all my life and at one point, I also broke down and the only thing I could say to myself was, “I can’t”!  I felt an overwhelming feeling of not wanting my life, and that was so scary!

Vidette: I talk about in Soul Mama that even prior to that moment, I’ve had these feelings of “something’s off”.  I didn’t know what to do to understand those feelings.  In today’s society, we live in a culture where we go to school, get a great job, get married….  But I find myself still saying, “Why isn’t this feeling good?”  I went through many jobs, lived in 5 different cities.  Like you were saying earlier, I was chasing stuff and checking things off my list.  That pivotal day when I broke down, it was a normal day.  Nothing unusual happened.  I was just overcome with emotion, finally I said out loud, “I can’t believe this is my life.”  There’s something to be said when we hear ourselves say something like that.  I felt guilty, I had two beautiful boys and this great job.  So I wondered why I wasn’t happy and thought something was wrong with me!  I think that many women go through it but we just didn’t know what to do?

Melinda: I completely went through that journey and I haven’t had the guts to write or really talk about it in public.   I felt at one point as if I had rejected my life.  I’ve checked off all the “things” I was supposed to do and then wondered, “now what?”

Vidette: My message of reinvention comes at any given time when we come to a certain point in our lives.  I find that I’ll always reinvent my life.  It’s not about negating your husband or children.  It’s simply taking a step back and re-evaluation what’s working and what’s not working in our lives.  Reinvention is identifying which areas of our lives need to be leveled up. Then… when we stay in alignment with our purpose and understand what we really want to do instead of what we’re supposed to do.

Melinda: How did you sort it all out?  A lot of women wouldn’t know what to do at that point.  What did you do?

Vidette: I wish I could say that day made me change right away, but it didn’t.  That whispers within me have been trying to speak to me for a very long time and I continued to ignore her.  4 months later is when my life fell down around me, and that’s when I talk about walking in on my husband with another woman.  That’s when I realized that something REALLY needed to change and at that point, I didn’t know how to change things.  I just started doing things and making decisions differently.  That’s also when I started listening to my inner Soul Mama!  After 4 years in that journey, I realized my process and journey.  That’s what I teach now, I developed a tangible process so I can help other women get through this difficult journey.

Melinda: And that’s perfect!  So many other women would love that.  I’ve had many conversations about that “initiation” point.  Did you go to any mentors or friends you went to through your journey?

Vidette: I found mentors, because at that time, my friends and I would go out to dinners and I didn’t want to be the imperfect one.    Everyone else’s lives seemed perfect.  I found more comfort with people who didn’t know me.  I found mentors who would specific help me with certain areas in my life.  I needed to let go of a lot of toxic things in my life.  I really started to spend money, time and invested in myself.  I didn’t know what was wrong, I didn’t know what I didn’t know.  I needed help with next steps.

Someone gave me the advice of finding people who are doing what you want to do and go learn from them.  So I found amazing mentors who’s been there and done that.

Melinda: So what advice would you give women who may not have the financial resources to hire coaches or mentors?  What would you suggest?

Vidette: A few things come to mind.  There’s a lot of people sharing beautiful valuable content online and workshops.  There are a lot of resources and actually sometimes too much!  But if you want it bad enough, you’ll find the resources.  This may sound hard core but, just find the money because it’s worth it!  Start out with the free stuff and get some self-help books.  Choose the strategies that call to you and just start implementing them.  Just choose 1 strategy and do things differently.  Then when the opportunity comes, hire something to advance you further.

Great advice!  Start with the free stuff…  Definitely start with what strategies or resources that calls out to you because that’s your intuition talking to you.  Once you start doing things differently, different opportunities will open up and your path will be changed forever.

What Legacy are You Leaving Behind? Mortality Much?

Hi this is Melinda Kim, founder of and host of AspirelyTV.

Recently, I’ve been thinking and talking a lot of the legacy I want to leave behind and how that promotes positive changes.

So instead of talking about this off camera, I’m going to share with you all one of the most powerful motivators for me to take action to make positive changes in my life.

This is going to be kind of morbid…

  • I actually think about what they would say about me NOW if I’m not longer here..and what impact I’ve had on their lives.
  • And if I think what my family and friends will say about me doesn’t reflect who I am and what I’m trying to achieve, then I think about what type of changes I need to make.
  • My ultimate legacy I want to leave behind is that I have inspired moms to take action to live a life with passion, courage and purpose.
  • And to my children, I hope that I will show them that anything is possible and for them to follow their own dreams, teach them to overcome their challenges and be happy and confident of being who they are.  Let’s face it, whether we like it or not, our children learn from our actions and not our words

So when I think about positive changes, I think how I want to impact the most important people in my life and what is the message I want to pass on.

Look, I know that we are all different, I would love to know what you think about this topic…

Perhaps you can tell me what Your legacy is that you want to leave behind.  Or maybe, this doesn’t motivate you to change at all, let me know what is your most powerful motivator to take action for positive changes in your life.

I hope this episode opens up honest conversations that will inspire you for positive changes so YOU can be the person you’re meant to be.

Visit our community on and subsctibe here!

See you next time

So Your Master Degree is Useless! Sonja Landis Tells All About Art, Books, Life and Legacy!

Sonja Landis Tells All About Life, Legacy, Art and Books!

Melinda: Today, I’m going to have a Girl to girl chat with author, motivational speaker, mom, looser of keys and eater of carbs, Sonja Landis.  We’re going to talk about her journey from being a single mom to being an artist, author to having celebrity clients.

Sonja:  I was seeking funding the Painted Laugh when we met.  I record children’s laugher and paint it as modern art.  I did end up opening the gallery and it was a dream of mine that I wanted for so long.  But once I opened it, I realized that it didn’t actually match who I was as a parent and what I wanted to do as a career.  I learned a lot and was really emotionally attached to it.  So when I decided to close it, it was heart wrenching.  There was so much guilt because I thought it was what I wanted and now I’m not happy.  After getting through the guilt and knowing that I did the right thing, I had a whole litany of projects that came my way that were better fitting and allow me to be the mom that I wanted to be.  And now I can work in a way that is much more leveraged of my time and skills.  Being a writer has allowing me to be more of who I am.

Melinda:  You felt like you had to go through that process first in order to go to the next phase.  If you had those opportunities prior to opening the art gallery, would you take those opportunities the same way?

Sonja: I don’t think so, I definitely believe in everything happening for a reason and in its own time frame.  Had I not opened my gallery, I would have always had this longing and desire inside of me.  But just because you have a dream and it comes true, it doesn’t mean it’s your dream forever.  And so I learned a lot about flexibility and being open.

Melinda: And you’re brave enough change!  I know a lot of women out there who may want to change but is paralyzed by fear.

Sonja:  And yes, it’s hard to be open to change.  You feel a sense of security and a sense of responsibility especially as a mom.  It is hard to be brave but it’s much nobler to be brave.  I think there’s more power in bravery than sitting idle to wonder, hope and wish. There’s a lot of power of achievement through that bravery. That’s an important aspect that I want to show my son. I want him to see that in me.  Even if I’m scared, I always think about what I’d want him do, I’d want him to be brave, to move forward, to accept change roll with it and to be flexible to new possibilities.

Melinda: This is an Oprah AHA moment!  This really resonates with me because I want moms to take that risk and take a chance.  Their personal happiness is out that for them and if they’re content, that’s okay, but if they’re not, then there are ways to take action to make themselves happier!

So you a book…

Sonja: My first book is called My Master’s Degree is Useless…  I came up with the title because it was the way I was feeling at the time.  It was during the recession when I’ve gotten a Master’s degree.  It was pushing me to a career path that didn’t fulfill me or make me happy.  It was over qualifying me for some positions that I would have really enjoyed and wanted to get into.  But because I had an elevated degree, it was pushing me toward something I didn’t want to pursue and it was holding me back from things I was really interested in.  The other aspect of that was I had gotten a Master’s degree and the world was changing.  There was so much technology, social media and entrepreneurism that was really evolving and I wasn’t set up for that with my degree.  And I paid a lot of money for that degree but I wasn’t prepared to be an entrepreneur and to live the kind of fulfilling life that I wanted.  I had a really unique life and made some really great decisions and some enormous mistakes along the way.  I feel like I can help people by encourage them to pursue their own dreams and destiny.  I want to point out my flaws and mistakes in a funny way so they can feel that if she can do it, so can I.  The mistake you make yesterday doesn’t carry on when you move forward.  So I can tell them my mistakes and flaws to give them encouragement.

Melinda: So you’re also a life coach, I’ve spoken with you briefly about this because I’ve always been skeptical of life coaches.  There are so many experts out there, how do you know if someone is really for you.  Since they’re seeking help, they’re desperate and are willing the pay the price.  What is the best advice for them to have them get a coach that’s right for them?

Sonja: It definitely depends on the person’s specific goals and what they looking for.  It could be for personal development, build a business or they want to inspire and build communities.  There so many different goals so it’ll depend on who speaks to them the most.  For me when I was in search for a coach, I wanted someone who had a business sense as well as personal development because I’m a single mom and head of household.  So for me, not only did I want to be fulfilled but I also have a child I needed to provide for.  Having that business aspect in a coach was very important to me.  Part of my book does say that you can build your life doing what you love and make money at it.  But you can’t just affirm it, cross your fingers and hope for the best.  You really have to put some business principles behind it.

Melinda: That’s what leads you to your next book…  Which is Nothing But Net, She’s the contributing author in chapter 23!

Sonja: It hit the bestselling list in 5 different categories including for entrepreneurial.

Melinda: So what inspires you?

Sonja: I’m inspired by humor, I love it when people make me laugh and when I make others laugh so that’s something that’s so true to me.  It’s really a brand new thing because it’s come out of my writing.  Another thing that really inspires me is bravery and creativity.  I think they go hand in hand.  Anytime you get bravery and creativity together, I’m really inspired by that. For example, like when people think outside the box in little things they do such as creating different ways to perform random acts of kindness.

Melinda: What legacy do you want to leave behind?

I want to people to know that I did just the best that I could with what I had and that I didn’t waste any of my days or my time and talents being afraid or looking back too much. I’m raising my son so I really want him to be brave and want him to pursue things with an open heart, mind and be flexible.  I want that for him so much.  The only way to do it is to demonstrated it and not just tell him.  I want to have made people laugh and them knowing that I laughed all the time and did what I loved.

Melinda: Now giving the same circumstance and situation, what is your imagined life?

Sonja: Now, it would be to continue to write and I have several books in the works.  So I definitely want to keep writing and pursuing that.  I want to get into public speaking and especially speaking with young women to inspire them to not get stuck into all things they should do but just to be more aware about their options and take the time to listen to their own heart and do what they want to do.

You Too Can Dance! Spilling The Beans about Living The Ideal Life You Have Imagined!

Hi, I’m Melinda Kim and the Founder for Aspirely.
Normally I would feature ordinary moms who do extraordinary things. But today, it’s just me and you baby today and I’m going to tell you how you too can dance! From all my research and interviews with moms who has turned their passion into action, there are 5 common traits among all those women.
So I’m sharing that with you today so listen up if you want to live a life with passion!
1. They all day dreamed a little: A lot of moms tells me they don’t know what their passions are and by being curious and open to trying different things, they get pulled to their inspiration and eventually find passion.
2. Invested in themselves: They are all moms who love their family and children very much. And the best thing they have ever done is to take the time out to do things for themselves that fuels their soul.
3. Share their dream: Once they found that thing that fuels your soul, they shared it with their friends and supporters to get support and accountability. Making yourself accountable to others sometimes is just what you continue going towards your dream.
4. See the details: They all visualized themselves to be able to do the things they love most. As they dug deeper in their passion, they were able to hone in on the details and make something ordinary into extraordinary. And their vision of the path becomes clearer and clearer. Your mind is so powerful that you really will become what you believe!!
5. Let their baggage go: Letting that baggage go will release your fears, disappointments and huts. In order to go forward, you have to let go of old and negative thoughts about yourself.
Even though these simple steps may not sound complicated, but sometimes committing to doing these actions can be challenging
Through the next month, I will be doing a more in depth video for each step and give you a more detailed explanation and let you know why these steps are crucial to your happiness and success.
Thank you for watching this episode of AspirelyTV, please subscribe to my channel or blog if you found this information useful.

12 Simple and Free (or at least inexpensive) Ways to Give

I recently interviewed Amy Fox on AspirelyTV.  Amy Fox is a mother of 2, community philanthropist and got inspired to start giving after her daughter was really sick when she was two years old. After her daughter recovered, she has been an avid supporter of national and local charities. Not only is she a supporter, she always inspires others to give.  Click HERE to view her interview! – Melinda

Guest blog by Amy Johnson Fox

Here are 12 Simple and Free Ways to Give!

1. Bring bags to the park or beach and have your kids clean up trash–this not only beautifies the community, but it really makes you kids see how dropping just one wrapper really adds up.
2. Fill a pair of new warm socks with small toiletries in one and snacks/drink in the other. Add a handmade card, tie the socks together and keep in your car. When you see a person in need of help (usually on a corner with a sign) hand them the socks.
3. Grab two or three other families and schedule a date to make a meal at the Ronald McDonald House. It is fun and rewarding.
4. Grab others in your sports league to organize an equipment swap for everyone or to provide as a donation for underprivileged kids. This helps get gently used equipment that kids have grown out of back into play at no cost.
5. Volunteer at an animal shelter or for a rescue. Foster some kittens or walk/socialize dogs.
6. Organize a toiletry drive at school, church/temple, or in your neighborhood and sort them into hygiene kits. Clean out all those unused hotel toiletries from under your sink and get them into the hands of families. Deliver to a local food pantry, OC Rescue Mission, or Ronald McDonald House.
7. Purchase fleece material on sale and have your family make no-sew blankets for Project Linus. It is fun and easy, and you can do this while watching a TV show. A cute fleece blanket will warm the body and heart of a sick child.
8. Keep your eyes open in your neighborhood. Maybe you have an elderly or sick neighbor, or a pregnant mom on bed rest. Offer to take trash cans in and out, or organize meals, water plants, or help with their pet care. What can you do to help out a neighbor going through a rough time?
9. Adopt a grand friend at a senior care facility. Play games, do art, read, simply talk, or help them learn some new technology.
10. Help abused kids at Olive Crest by making them Easter baskets or filling backpacks with school supplies.
11. Share your skills: medical, teaching, law, art, music… Everyone has skills they can share. Donate your time and expertise. Help those who cannot afford these skills, and help them break the cycle of poverty.
12. Appreciate your military. There are many ways to volunteer time or items through Operation Help a Hero.