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Today marks four years that my business and livelihood were destroyed by bullies.
An intentional smear campaign combined with an internet army instigated by Two Big Bullies all rallied together.....attacking and destroying my successful business of 13 years overnight.....all based off lies for personal gain.
A one-sided and false news story aired about me and thousands of people I had never met nor worked with attacked my business, and livelihood leaving false reviews calling me a “cheater”, “scammer”, “con-artist”, and accused me of spreading AIDS. It even went as far as me receiving a death threat. The story went internationally viral within 24 hours.
After a lengthy battle of almost 3 years in court and a jury trial ruling strongly in my favor, my story went on to receive more than 400,000,000 (four hundred million) impressions around the world.
I realized my life would never be the same and how crucial it would be to continue to share my story to help make a difference to those that have been bullied, and those that continue to remain a victim of bullying.
I don’t have to tell you that bullying is a serious problem. It exists online, in the workplace, in our class rooms, on the playgrounds, even in our own minds and it has become my dedicated journey to help bring awareness and education to our children on the importance of knowing their worth, speaking their truth, and standing strong with integrity in the face of adversity.
If we could educate our children on the effects of positive self-talk we would have more confident, empowered children knowing who they are, what they stand for, walking around speaking their truth. I believe there would be much less bullying and fragile children (whose wounds if not properly healed) ultimately lead to broken, emotionally unhealthy adults.
Many people will try to tell you throughout your life who you are and define your worth.
It’s so crucial to teach and constantly remind our children that NO ONE can tell you who you are. You get to decide that! And if you are being judged, or bullied by another it is something in that person that needs healing. YOU GET TO DECIDE WHO YOU ARE. YOU GET TO DEFINE YOUR WORTH. The second that you believe what another says about you—> you give all of YOUR POWER away. You have the power to choose. To choose who you are and how you show up in the world.
While my experience may have been unique, I know that I am not alone. I know the feelings of fear, sadness and worthlessness that I experienced, and the many tears that I cried are shared by anyone that has ever been bullied.
Standing up for what is right was one of the most difficult things that I have EVER done. It would have been so much easier to quit, and waver even in my “questionable” strength at times. But the alternative for not standing up and speaking MY TRUTH in the midst of the greatest battle of my life would have been far worse, because that would have compromised my self-respect, my integrity, and my sense of self worth. And I whole-heartedly know my worth. I won’t lie and say this wasn’t tested at times, but having a strong and solid foundation of internal truths that is built on integrity is what pulled me through to the finish line.
Having been through these experiences on a global scale, it has become my mission to share my story, knowledge and experience with our children to give them the awareness, tools and strength necessary to live successful, emotionally healthy, and abundant lives no matter what challenges life may bring them. It is how we stand strong in a storm, with our self-worth in tact, and how we pick up the pieces and move forward through our pain that defines us. And we get to choose all of this.
This is not accomplished through fighting, hateful words and malicious actions but instead, through kindness, forgiveness, empathy, compassion and most importantly, positive self-talk. I do not believe this is emphasized or taught enough.
I have learned that teaching children at a young age to love all of the parts of themselves, including their emotions and experiences, helps to encourage confidence, awareness, positive self-talk and creates a strong foundation for valuing themselves and their self-worth. Without these strong foundations to fall back on, and to help shape them, our children are growing up too fragile with little self-esteem, lack of self-worth and confidence. It all starts with your self-talk because your thoughts shape and create your reality.
Over the last year I have been working on a children’s book to help provide direction and encouragement for our children to help them be their best self through the loving acts of compassion, gratitude, forgiveness, self-care, and creativity through positive self-talk. The single most important relationship we will ever have is the one with ourselves.
After photographing more than 600 A-list weddings, and countless other creative endeavors, I can honestly say that this is the single piece of work that I am the most proud of in my career.
If you are a parent, teacher, caregiver, know or have friends with children and would like to support my work, I invite you to please order a copy and share this book and my journey. Every single child (and parent) can benefit from the lessons of compassion, gratitude, forgiveness, and creativity through the unique illustrations and words of 𝙈𝙞𝙧𝙧𝙤𝙧, 𝙈𝙮𝙨𝙚𝙡𝙛 𝙖𝙣𝙙 𝙈𝙚!
This book will not be officially released to the general public until March 5th. However, advanced copies are available to friends, family, colleagues and supporters for a short time. If you would like an advanced, signed copy of the book please visit:
I will soon be launching a nationwide book tour traveling to various schools across the nation to share this important message with our children. If you think your child’s school can benefit from this message, please comment on this post and I will get in touch with you. I am so excited and honored for this next journey in my life and I thank you all for supporting me. I cannot wait for your family, children and loved ones to read my book. Confident, Empowered Children = Confident, Empowered Adults. Know Your Worth, Speak your Truth, Live your Light. ❤️