It is well with my soul.



Speak Now has been such a massive piece of my life for the last two years. 

I am thrilled at the amount of exposure that this organization earned through likeminded organizations and supporters that aided our mission to spread the importance of women empowerment. I have been more than blessed by the incredible experiences, opportunities, and life-changing memories that this organization has brought upon my life. I feel truly humbled. 

Today it is with great sadness that I announce the closing of the Speak Now Organization for young women empowerment. The last seven months of my personal life have been plagued with tragedies that have served as obstacles for me to further invest my time into my passion for this organization. That said, I have decided that it is in my best personal interest to close down the organization and begin my young adulthood without the commitment to non-profit work. 

I would like to personally thank those who made Speak Now possible and take a moment to recognize each of you with my deepest gratitude for your ongoing support and commitment to our mission statement. 

Currently I am writing feverishly to complete my first novel due to publish in 2015 and working towards my goal of launching a wedding and lifestyle photography website in October. From there I will begin a full-time career in freelance lifestyle photography serving Orange County, Los Angeles, and San Diego. To stay connected please consider liking Ellie Coburn Photography 

I will spend the next eight months adventuring on various travels and decide where I feel best suited to start a little life for myself. I will be revealing my travel list and documenting my travels on my personal blog, elliecoburn.com 

A special thanks to Sarah Moog for her tireless effort and commitment to Speak Now. This is a chapter of my life I will absolutely never forget. 

Warmest regards from my family to yours. 
Ellie Coburn 
Speak Now 
Owner and Founder 

Happy Holidays and an Update


Hi all!

Happy December. As 2013 comes to a close, Speak Now has SO much to be grateful for. This year we gained 1,000 new Facebook friends, held three link-ups that brought together an upward of 400 bloggers for women empowerment, and hosted our first Next Generation Beautiful day camp for girls ages 6-11.

This year I am enjoying my final year of high school online, writing a book, redesigning my personal blog, launching a freelance photography business, and enduring my biggest endeavor yet- a position at the homeless women’s center in downtown San Diego. Needless to say, Speak Now has seen some incredibly quiet moments as I explore these new seasons of life.

My dream for Speak Now to spread women empowerment, online support, and community to women and teens in need has become a reality and for this- my heart is forever grateful to you, you, and you.

Appearing in several High School and community newspapers and websites across the country, Speak Now is setting a standard for self-love and self-appreciation as first priority in all areas of life all over the world. I am so grateful for all that have given up their time for this movement and hope that Speak Now sets a model example for a world with less body image judgment and emotional abuse for women and teens. It is incredibly humbling to see bloggers and small business owners rally their social media sites to support our movement for change that has seen a small but steady ripple affect through the blogging community and into your own communities.

2014 will bring new exciting adventures for Speak Now. Stay connected through Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to have access to exciting events coming in the spring. Your kindness, generosity, and overwhelming support for Speak Now has encouraged me to go, do, and be in all areas of my life. 

You inspire me, sweet people.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart. Have the happiest of Holidays and the most incredible New Year.

xoxo
Ellie Coburn 

2013 EMPOWERMENT LINK-UP


Ellie Coburn // elliecoburn.com | Christina Soto // Piecing it all together | Shane Prather // Whispering Sweet Nothings | Vicki // My Vickilicious Life | Kristine Foley // The Foley Fam | Jenny // Diary of a Dreamer | Nina // Nina's Bargain Beauty | Ashley Griffith // After Nine to Five | Christine Rosko // Life With a Side of Coffee | Megan Flynn // Freckled Italian Kendra Newton // Kandid Kendra | Julie Grimmett // Julie is Coco and Cocoa | Kayla Leppelman // Love Sparkle Pretty | Ashlea Durrett // Ashlea with an A | Sarah Hallstead // A Plethora of Pondering's blog | Cassie Yielding // Live. Laugh. Love. | Laura Euler // Storybook Reality | Brett // What Happens at Bakertown | Brittany Trevino // Sunny Tales and Happy Mail | Ashley Wilhite // Your Super Awesome Life | Eliza St. Clair // Case Study | Diana // Fly to the Wall | Elle // Dig Deep Studio | Cody Doll // Catching Cody K. | Wendy E. // Blush and Barbells | Brenda Wilkerson // Don't Stop Believing

Today is an exciting day, new friends! 
Welcome to the first ever community fair for women empowerment. 

My name is Ellie Coburn, I'm the owner and founder of the Speak Now Organization and movement for women empowerment. 

Today exists to inspire you to love yourself.
Today exists to challenge you to empower yourself.

Today exists to spark a movement that is of such importance.....

A movement of self-worth, self-appriciation, and self-love.
A movement that strives to create a community thousands strong of women who believe in themselves and their abilities. 
Today Speak Now is teaming up with 30+ bloggers, woman, and empowerment leaders and telling you that you are beautiful. 

Why are we here sharing this information with you?

We live in a culture that defines our successes based on our weight, general appearance, or financial successes. A culture of female mothers, lawyers, doctors, waitresses, bloggers, realtors, house maids, interior designers, graphic designers, photographers, and endless other lifestyle choices. Interestingly, despite our dynamic differences based on demographics or choices we are expected to fit in with the expectation of the "ideal woman" Today we are here to tell you: 
Speak Now exists to inspire and empower you to look in the mirror each day and pledge to love yourself. Are you in? 


Link Up Below to Show your support. Be sure to share your support with family, friends, and fellow bloggers.
Like us on Facebook to stay connected!


Special Thanks to, 
Sarah Moog, Casey Wiegand of the Wiegands, Annelise Rowe of Aunie Sauce, and  Jenni of Story of My Life

This Event is Sponsored By: 

The Transformation Survival Guide


Accepting Rules



When we are young, there always seems to be rules that restrict us from doing what we want to do.  Everyone seems to be telling is what to do, parents, teachers, coaches, etc. And—like it or not—we all have rules that we have to live by.  But what if I told you that many of the rules in life are actually there to give you freedom?

The best example I can use to prove this to you is our Interstate Highway system.  When I was 18 years old, I was given the opportunity to attend the University of California at Berkley.  Only thing was, I lived in Connecticut at that time.  Thankfully, I had the freedom to drive alone for almost 5 days to get myself from one coast of the United States, literally, all the way to the other.
 
Because most drivers in America understand the rules of driving and accept them as necessary, we have the freedom to travel all over this beautiful country.  I recently had my friends from Nigeria tell me this is not true there.  In Nigeria, no one drives anywhere after dark.  Because there are no rules being enforced, the people don’t feel safe and ultimately their freedom is restricted. 

In America, everyone not only wants to be safe, they want to be successful and happy too.  And, just like in learning how to drive with some practice you can understand and accept the need for many of the rules in life. They are in place to help you achieve your goals; instead of struggling up against them and have them slow down your successes.  Learning to work with the systems in your life—whether in school, in a career path, or in a family— the rules will actually help you achieve safety, success, and happiness.

Hugs,

Kim Moog
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Lessons from Tarzan


This is Tarzan and Jane. They happened to me on early Monday morning of this week. I saw them at the pound and after having long conversations with my roommate and friend; we decided we are going to foster them for a while. If things work out, they soon may become mine permanently.

They were beaten my previous owners and trust almost no one. When we discovered them Jane continued to back up as far as she could go, to the point that she had twisted herself and her head was in the corner. The sight brings even the strongest of men to tears. But I am learning, moment by moment, that these two pups can teach me so much about my faith, my relationships, and myself.

Tarzan trusts women after you hand feed him a few times. He doesn't like the sound of the food in the bowl so he won’t eat from it. I have found myself multiple times in the past few days on the floor, in a corner, coaxing him to eat food. The level of trust he has established for me is already quite amazing. But Jane still wants nothing to do with me. We are working on it!

But how do these two; abandoned, lost, and beaten puppies have anything to do with us? In my opinion, we can all relate to one of these emotions, some of us, all of them. They sense they’ve been abandoned and so they refuse to get close to anyone. I’ve done that. They were lost and now they’re in a strange place they didn’t sign up for. I’ve been there. They were beaten and warn, mentally and physically, to the end of their wits and then some. I’ve felt that. Have you? Can you admit to being vulnerable? Admit to having trust issues? Who doesn’t?

So where do we go from here? Even if we have the courage to admit the above, how do we face today like strong, empowering, yet vulnerable and susceptible women? The answer, as Tarzan and Jane are teaching me, is baby steps. Every single day we will decide we are going to be a little more vulnerable with ______. Today I am going to believe I can do _____. I feel, that I can _______. I’m willing to trust _____ about _____. We can’t jump back into everything all at once, our hearts don’t work that way. But that doesn’t mean we can’t make progress. We can think just one more vulnerable and confident thought everyday. That will eventually lead us back to where we want to be.
{below photo is them snuggling with my roommate, Pam, as she sleeps!}

With love and hope,

Sarah Moog

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What Does a Win Look Like for You?


I LOVE Autumn; and one of the reasons why I do is because it is the beginning of the football season. Every game from the local high school games on Friday nights; to College games on Saturdays; to the NFL games on Sunday and Monday nights, I love football!

One thing that is interesting about football, like most sports, is that everyone on the field knows what a win looks like.  Every player, whether he plays offense or defense, knows what he has to do to help his team earn a win.  Depending on how well they execute that skill, determines whether or not their team will win.

What about in life? How do you define a “win?” Sometimes when parents argue with their children, I believe it is because the parents and the kids are not striving for the same goals or “wins.”  I have also noticed that it is much harder to earn a win if you don’t know what that win looks like. 
So, I am asking you to ask yourself, “What do I want a win to look like in my life?”  Maybe the answer is to not get any grade lower than a B in high school. Maybe it’s to not worry about the mess in the living room and to play with your kids for an hour. Or maybe it’s a date with your husband where you two can decompress from the previous week.

No matter what they may look like, “wins” allow you to take steps forward. Some wins are small and others are giant.  But, in my experience, life looks a lot better if you can count your “wins.” But in order to do that, you need to decide what your “wins” are and then go after them!

Hugs,

Kim Moog

Speak Now Guest Post: You become, over time

We are so excited to introduce Sara from A Plethora of Pondering's. Her writing is incredible and we encourage you to check her out elsewhere.



I never thought of myself as a pretty girl. 

Or beautiful.
Or stunning.

Or any of those adjectives that are used to describe someone’s physical appearance.
I was just…me.

I showered every day, I wore clean clothes, I wore perfume, and a little make-up.  I fixed my hair to the best of my ability and that was that.

It was enough for me.
I didn’t want to stand out.  Previous experiences in my life had seemed to brainwash me into thinking that if I just did the minimal, no one would notice me, and that was a good thing; specifically men.  I was always noticed by the wrong men.  They would suck me in, manipulate me, and then leave me when they were done with me. 

I spent my teens and early twenties believing I was trash because I allowed people to treat me that way.  My self-esteem stunk.  I did what I had to do to maintain a normal fa├žade to the outside world, but at night, when I was alone and in my bed, it was hell. 

I hated myself.  I picked myself a part.  I put the blame on myself solely. 

I was a wreck.
And, in that wrecked state, I managed to meet my husband.
It took us seven years to get married. 

It took me six of those seven years to believe my husband when he told me I was beautiful.  Even when I was pregnant with our daughter, swollen to the hilt, peeing every five minutes:  I was still beautiful.  I was beautiful without make-up or my hair fixed.  I was beautiful after the birth of our daughter.  I was beautiful when I was happy.  I was beautiful when I was sad. 

No one had ever even tried to help me with my self-esteem before.  My husband never even suggested it, but he knew.  He knew without even having to ask.  He, in his own way, fixed a very broken part of me and for that I will be forever grateful.

He somehow untangled years of self-hate by just letting me be myself.  When we are able to be ourselves, we can begin to heal from all of the things that keep us down. 

The best thing I ever did was surround myself with people who supported me.  I got rid of all the negativity in my life and maintained a generally positive attitude about life.  I began to feel the change inside of me and I began to see myself differently in the mirror.  I began to have confidence, an actual opinion, and I was fearless. 

The day of my wedding I felt unstoppable. 
I looked in the mirror and I knew what my husband had been saying all along was true:

I was beautiful.
am beautiful.