Sometimes life just sucks. The question is: Are you going to live there, or are you just visiting? – Mary Fran Bontempo
Do you want to come through Broken or Brilliant? – Kristin Smedley
Welcome to Brilliantly Resilient! We are Mary Fran Bontempo and Kristin Smedley, and we know our Brilliance. But we didn’t always. In fact, we know what it feels like to be lost, afraid, unproductive, unsuccessful and unhappy. That’s a lot of yuck, but without it, there would have been no need for RESILIENCE, the key to uncovering your BRILLIANCE.
We’ve learned our lessons the hard way, with few resources and little guidance. And while the road was rough–like ugly crying rough–we also managed to come through with skills, tools and strategies that helped us not only survive, but thrive, in crisis and beyond.
We want to share what we’ve learned with you, because though the details of challenges may differ, we all have Resilience, and yes, unique Brilliance within each and every one of us. We’re here to help you come through Brilliant, not broken.
What’s your train wreck? Everyone has one–past, present, or future. Why do some people come through stronger while others never recover?
Hang on for the ride as Mary Fran and Kristin teach you to move beyond crisis to discover your brilliance and resilience, facing challenges with strategies for personal and professional fulfillment and success!
Mary Fran Bontempo and Kristin Smedley know their brilliance. But they didn’t always. In fact, both Kristin and Mary Fran know what it feels like to be lost, afraid, unproductive, unsuccessful and unhappy. That’s a lot of yuck, but without it, there would have been no need for resilience, the key to uncovering your brilliance. As a young mother, Kristin found herself raising two blind sons, with no idea of how to help them to live vital, successful lives. Mary Fran’s personal and professional lives were right on track, until she learned that her son was a heroin addict. Utterly unprepared to manage either crisis, Kristin and Mary Fran knew only that they would not allow themselves or their children to be defined by the challenges, and they were determined to not only survive, but thrive.
With two of her three children born blind, Kristin Smedley was thrown into a mother’s nightmare with her dreams for her sons’ futures torn apart. Determined that her boys would become productive, vital individuals, Kristin dove headfirst into uncharted waters to equip her sons with the skills and tools they needed to build successful, happy lives. Kristin partnered with Comcast to encourage and promote equipment for the visually impaired, testified before the FDA for legislation for better services for the blind, founded a non-profit for genetic disease research, delivered a TEDx talk centered on setting Extraordinary Expectations, and wrote a book showing both blind and sighted readers the possibilities that exist with imagination and determination. Kristin’s boundless energy and generous spirit allow her to carry her message of empowerment and hope to audiences beyond the blind community through her motivational speaking and programs. Find her at: www.kristinsmedley.com.
Mary Fran Bontempo
Mary Fran Bontempo is an award-winning 2-time TEDx speaker, author, humorist and podcast host who teaches audiences to uncover their brilliance and resilience 15 minutes at a time. A sought-after presenter, Mary Fran is author of The 15 Minute Master and The Woman’s Book of Dirty Words and co-founder of the podcast 4 Chicks Chatting. Mary Fran proves small changes can create life-altering transformations, allowing individuals to be positive and successful in a rapidly changing world. A Huffington Post, Thrive Global contributor and columnist for numerous websites, Mary Fran created a life-affirming brand of wisdom and wit after meeting the challenge of her son’s heroin addiction. A frequent media guest and speaker for corporate, faith-based, and educational organizations, audiences of all ages delight in her empowering and entertaining message. Find her at www.maryfranbontempo.com.
Southampton’s Mary Fran Bontempo and Ivyland’s Kristin Smedley admit they have “wildly different” personalities. Still, one thing united these unlikely besties – experiencing crises and coming out stronger than ever.
Both women had their respective worlds come crashing down. Bontempo learned her son was a heroin addict on Mother’s Day 2010, while two of Smedley’s three children were born with a rare blindness. Neither was prepared for these unprecedented hurdles, but both found ways to empower themselves and their families.
“We’re aware that our stories are pretty extreme. Not many people are waking up to find out they have a heroin addict, although I’d say a lot of people are now getting that phone call. And not many people are going through blindness, but we relate it,” Smedley said. “We share where we’ve been and what we did with it.”
According to Bontempo, whose son is currently doing well after a pain medication overdose, everyone has a decision to make when life throws a curve ball. Read more…
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