20 Mar Fierce Female: Sonya Versluys
I am thrilled to have the opportunity to introduce you to our gal, Sonya Versluys! I met Sonya years ago when I designed her home. It didn’t take long for our professional relationship to blossom into a meaningful friendship. Her outlook on the world and clear perspective in the face of challenge is both humbling and inspiring. She has a seemingly infinite reservoir of creativity and no matter what life throws at her, she always makes time to express herself through music, photography, cooking and writing.
A strong, independent woman, she’s never afraid to speak her mind and stand up to injustice. Sonya champions many causes by actively trying to raise awareness and educate others on Asperger’s Syndrome, Lyme Disease and supporting our local community. On top of being a deeply engaged mother of two, wife and freelance writer, Sonya recently opened a Tae Kwon Do studio in Mission Viejo and is currently working on launching a non-profit organization.
I hope you are able to gather as much inspiration from her as I do. Without further adieu…
How would you describe yourself?
Terminally positive and deeply opposed to limited thinking. I think it may be possible that I am willing to try anything at least once. My weakness is that I am completely impatient with pity and excuses. I feel as though I want to help everyone in the world reach their full potential–except for those people stuck in an endless, perpetual loop of self-pity, or those who can’t, for whatever reason, open their mind. I feel too much empathy to be around people like that.
What are you passionate about?
Experiencing everything with an open mind. Visiting every possible facet of life without judgement, and appreciating the beauty in the small stuff. I resent typecasts of any kind.
What motivates and inspires you? Do you have a personal mantra?
Moments in time. The journey toward something is more meaningful than actually getting there. It’s humbling to be beaten down and then get back up fighting. I believe in the goodness of people. I believe that all people do the best they can do with what they have and where they are in life–therefore it’s wrong to judge. Choose your own path and follow it without judging the path others’ are on. I don’t have to be exceptional at something to enjoy it. I just have to try.
What daily practices keep you in the zone?
Writing. Composing music. Yoga. Taekwondo. Photography.
In life, we inevitably experience loss, failure or setbacks. How do you cope with and navigate those times?
Is there any other way than to just get back up and put one foot in front of the other? Times of major setbacks are there to remind us that sometimes we have no choice but to rally and celebrate different victories. I refuse to let pain or failure define me. People who let that happen don’t really exist–they just float from one crisis to the other with a detailed laundry list of excuses as to why they can’t be happy or fulfilled. Everything is a conscious choice. Why not choose something positive?
Who is your favorite Fierce Female and why?
I guess I don’t have a specific role model. There are many people I admire, and not all of them are female. I like to think that I can learn something from anyone I meet and I definitely shy away from putting anyone on a pedestal and emulating them. My successes need to be my own, and they will never be the same as the next person.
That said, I probably feel something special for those people who find a passion for something and really live with it. I especially admire those who can do so humbly, without need for praise or glory.
What words of wisdom would you like to share with young women?
You are enough.
What does home mean to you?
Home is comfort. I feel that I could live in many places, but ultimately it needs to be a place that is comfortable to me. I find environments that are visually distracting or cluttered make me feel uneasy and restless. I need to be able to curl up on a chair without too much effort. My space needs to invite you in.
Describe what makes you feel comfortable and nurtured at home.
I like sunlight and nature and an easy flow with delicious aromas and fresh air. My space is usually always slightly quirky and unconventional. Conformity is definitely not my style.
When your journey on this planet comes to a close, what do you want your legacy to be?
Our physical lives are finite. But I believe there is something more for that intangible, thinking, creative, emotional part of us that aspires to something more meaningful and enlightening. I don’t need to leave a legacy behind me. I don’t need anyone to remember my name. I really don’t enjoy being the center of attention. I would hope only that all people, living now or in the future, can open their minds to the possibility that they are enough to do whatever needs doing. The reality is, that while we may do great things in our lifetime, we are just a small piece of a very large world.