Kelly McNelis: She’s Sharing Her Messy Brilliance

October 16 - On The Dot
FIRST THOUGHT: The Value of Patience

Throughout my lifetime, I’ve realized there’s one quality we all need to survive: patience. At times, I think I’ve got it down. I’ll wait calmly for the hygienist to call my name, for that pie to bake, for the next season of my favorite show. Then I’ll reach for my coffee too soon after a manicure or become overwhelmed by obscenity-laden threats during rush hour, and feel like I am the least patient person in the world. All the way back in Aristotle’s day, he was going on about how patience is bitter but the fruit is sweet, yada yada. It’s easier said than done, Mr. Philosopher Man. Today, let’s all try giving ourselves five minutes to patiently wait for that thing we just can’t bear waiting for. After all, a little self-restraint is a good thing.


Employing patience can enrich many aspects of our lives, including self-esteem. But with being a girl comes far more complicated issues revolving around self-esteem, and gaining that confidence definitely takes practice, especially since teen girls are bombarded with intense pressure to be perfect. According to childhood experts, seven in 10 girls suffer from self-esteem issues. They compare themselves to others, making the incorrect assumption that everyone else is better. The best friend of patience is acceptance, so do your part to give the young girls in your life the support and understanding they need.

WOMAN TO WATCH: Kelly McNelis, Founder of Women for One

For girls and women any age, one of the easiest ways to adopt patience and self-acceptance is by finding your tribe, whether it’s other gals experiencing similar life struggles or simply a mentor who reminds you that she’s been there, done that and you’ll survive. That’s why we love the global community of women today’s tell-it-like-it-is Woman to Watch has established. Her name is Kelly McNelis, and she’s the founder of Women for One, a sisterhood of more than 500 ladies—or truth tellers, as Kelly calls them—from 50 countries who share their powerful stories in an effort to inspire other women the world over.

Kelly is a mom, wife, mentor, businesswoman, Reiki master, healer and incest survivor. She’s been through a lot in her life, and has a keen understanding that her experiences, from the good to the bad to the incomparably ugly, are part of her. As Kelly says, she’s messy, genuine and perfectly imperfect. By speaking her truth, Kelly has reclaimed her body and her voice, her past and present.

It’s that kind of acceptance she wants to share with other women through Women for One. She knows finding the time to build and sustain strong relationships with other women will ultimately give women the confidence to persevere through life’s inevitable negativity. She encourages women to claim our voice, share our stories, lift each other up and make life happen. Even if you’re worried about what others think, Kelly says power comes from owning your choices with zero shame and taking the reins to steer life your way. Kelly spiritedly delves into such issues in her book, Your Messy Brilliance, explaining that to be messy is to be human, and that we should refrain from beating ourselves up for not being perfect.

Kelly’s book and her Women for One website feature mesmerizing and inspirational stories of great loss, survival and gratitude. One writer shares how she’s “breaking up with judgment,” while another urges readers to create a social impact by sharing personal stories.

Thanks, Kelly, for having the guts to accept all life’s messiness and for thoughtfully encouraging other women to embrace our perfectly imperfect selves. As Kelly would say, permission to be real: granted!


Today’s quote comes from Kelly McNelis herself:

“Sharing your truth courageously with no shame is a lifelong journey.”

This is Melinda Garvey signing off until next time. Remember, ladies, empowered women empower other women. Share On the Dot so more women can have a voice. Thanks for getting ready with us.

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