Almost two years ago, I walked into a cupcake shop on my first weekend in Boston, alone, new to being in a new place all by myself, and in need of a pick me up. I walked out with a cupcake, an iced coffee, and a business card for a woman named Pam Willsey. I was probably in need of a friend when I’d walked in, and not totally knowing what to do with myself, told the girl working that I had just moved here after moving half way across the country. She instantly told me that I absolutely had to meet Pam. She said she was a true influencer in the community and had started a group to promote authenticity in teenage and 20-something girls, and thought it seemed right up my alley. What I didn’t know when I left with that business card, was that I’d gained something much sweeter than any cupcake I expected to walk away with.
Today, two years later, Pam and I met for lunch to catch up after a busy few months in between our usual coffee chats. Thinking back to that first day I showed up at a Peet's coffee shop on a drizzly Sunday all those months ago, I didn’t know what to expect, or who this person would become. Today, Pam and I laughed and decided that she was both my mentor, my friend, and my Boston mom. I’ve also decided that she is one of the women that I most look up to.
After getting her MSW, Pam worked as a therapist in the Oncology unit helping family members of those who were sick through a very difficult time. She then began working with the children in those families, and after noticing a teenager's difficulty to open up in the process, developed a program that allowed these kids the opportunity to help their families, and in turn, grieve themselves. From opening a private practice, to raising two successful children, and many other things in between, Pam now has started Willsey Connections and The Real Deal Girls Project. Her sole mission (I should say "soul" mission) is to work with girls ages middle school, high school, and 20-something, as well as their parents. During a time that can be exciting, devastating, and in many ways a roller coaster, Pam helps promote confidence, authenticity, and real connection when there are so many things that cause these girls to feel otherwise.
I’ve learned many things from Pam, but I think at the core of it, it is this: to live with intention and show up with your whole heart. I feel inspired to see a woman who continually found ways to follow her passion, and design a life where she could positively impact others through her work. I also see a woman who lives with an open heart. Her home is a space where she welcomes those that she works with, her children, their friends and significant others, and family friends, and she loves everyone of them like her own. No topic is off the table, and she shows up honestly, authentically, and affectionately. I feel refreshed to know that when chatting with Pam, I know she is 100% all there. Whether it is in asking her guidance, or looking to her as a role model, I feel fortunate to have the gift of knowing her.
In our discussion today, we both agreed that when you are living with intention, and authentically sharing your heart, things seem to fall into place. Whether its consciously building a career that you’re passionate about, loving the people in your life, or being authentic in all situations, when you put these things together, you can have the piece of mind that you’re right where you are meant to be. So, as I’ve learned from Pam, I want to share this message on with you. This week, forget the “should do’s” and the “what would people thinks”. Genuinely ask yourself if you’re living a life that you’re passionate about, and if you’re on your right road. Accept the people in your life, and love them right up. And show up with your whole self. I can almost gaurantee that the people around you will be refreshed to feel that rare warmth, and I think you'll be blessed with feeling it too.