Empowering OthersAug 01, 2016 ● By Karen Thomas
A native of Miss., Mrs. Griggs moved to Germany when she was 9 months old. “My father was career Army, so I grew up on government installations with my sister, brother and parents. We lived a great life, full of adventure and education as we traveled the world. While I pretty much grew up everywhere as an Army brat, we lived most of my childhood in Fort Campbell, Ky. We were a very close-knit family. My father was the typical military dad who required order, respect and discipline. We had chores that required inspections, right down to a quarter bouncing off the bed! It was a wonderful life, but the toughest part was watching him get deployed. As a daddy’s girl, this was especially tough on me. As the oldest child, I took a lot of responsibility in helping my mom with household things and my siblings. I would not trade my military upbringing for the world. It taught me how to adapt to change and embrace diversity. The military is a real melting pot. Being an Army brat, as they call us, is special. It is where we really learn what patriotism means.”
A graduate of Jackson State University, Mrs. Griggs studied mass communications and marketing. She says, “For more than 25 years, I have worked in corporate America in various senior management roles. Before moving to the Dallas area, I had the opportunity to meet Oprah Winfrey. This was in 1998. I had just turned 31 years old and was searching for more meaning in my life. Despite my career success, I was still feeling as though there was something bigger for me to pursue. I was grateful to have the opportunity to have a conversation with Oprah about my quest, and she gave me the most valuable words of wisdom. I took her words as fuel to launch my motivational workshops that later became a fulltime business, along with four published books and speaking engagements.”
The biggest win for Mrs. Griggs was that years later, not only did it turn out to be her true purpose, it positioned her to be featured on the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN) and oprah.com. She was also selected to do voice-overs for OWN during its “Upfronts” presentation. “Talk about full circle moments! As a purpose coach and guide, I am now committed to teaching people how to get past their limiting beliefs and show them how to discover their passion and purpose while earning income,” she says.
Mrs. Griggs and her husband, Michael, met in college. They dated for three-and-a-half years before getting married, and the couple just celebrated 24 years of marriage earlier this year. They have a 21-year-old son, Johnathon, and a 6-year-old daughter, Mikayla. “People often giggle or comment on the kids’ age gap, and trust me, it was not on purpose, but it was God’s timing. Having a child in college and one in kindergarten has been interesting and quite comical at times! My son was planned, and we did not have any issues conceiving him. After he was born, I wanted to focus on my career because I was on my way up the corporate ladder. I always felt that I had plenty of time to have more children. When we decided to try again, it did not happen the way we imagined. Unfortunately, I had several miscarriages. After countless tests and no success, we decided we would never be able to conceive naturally.”
Then, at the age of 42, Mrs. Griggs miraculously got pregnant! She shares, “We were both excited, but nervous because of how all the others had ended, but we were optimistic. As we were rejoicing and thanking God for this miracle, the familiar events that were the prelude to my miscarriages started to happen. I knew I was not going to be able to carry this one either, or so we thought. My doctor confirmed my suspicions and surgery was scheduled. He asked me to come back for one last sonogram. We were devastated. Why would God give us this miracle and then take it back? I felt cheated. The strange thing is, that out of all the miscarriages we experienced, my husband refused to accept this one. Even with the doctor’s diagnosis, he never accepted it. I thought it was just part of his grieving process.”
As the sonographer began, she got really quiet. She said, “We cannot have the surgery. There is a baby in there!” Mr. and Mrs. Griggs both jumped up and yelled with disbelief! It was unbelievable, but true. The sonographer turned up the volume and they heard the baby’s sweet heartbeat. “I can honestly say that I witnessed a real miracle. When I look at Mikayla, she reminds me every day of God’s blessings,” Mrs. Griggs shares.
Mrs. Griggs and her husband moved to Frisco in 2000, just before all the growth began. Mrs. Griggs says, “Out of all the surrounding cities, we felt that Frisco was a great place for young families. Although we are excited about the growth, we sometimes find ourselves reminiscing about the time when it was smaller and more rural. Yet, thanks to the business boom, I have met a great number of professional women in networking events hosted here in Frisco and through my empowerment workshops. I love the city of Frisco and the people I have connected with.”
Like her inspirational guide, the one and only Oprah Winfrey, Mrs. Griggs tries to mentor everyone she meets, offering them wisdom and encouragement, even if it is only for a few minutes. She explains, “Many of us often live for years not knowing our purpose on this earth. We take on roles that appear to be the natural progression for us and we spend time focusing on doing that well. It is not until we have a major shift happen in our lives that we begin to search for a more meaningful reason to continue doing what we do. When life interruptions happen, it shakes us to our core and leaves us wondering if the choices we have made have been in vain. Since 1998, I have been inspiring women through countless empowerment seminars, group and one-on-one coaching sessions. It is my goal to help them achieve success, not only with their personal goals, but to give them hope of fulfilling their true purpose. It is my life’s mission to serve those who want to answer their calling.”
With her roles as wife, mother, purpose coach, author and speaker, Mrs. Griggs has a service heart and still finds time to volunteer. She says, “I am involved in several organizations, including my church, but the one organization that I am serving in a big way is Hope’s Door. This organization, located in Collin County, is dedicated to supporting individuals and families affected by domestic violence. I serve on several committees and I created a mentoring program for both the women entering and exiting the program. I am excited about supporting these women by restoring confidence and inspiring them to embrace their new lives. Once I began discovering my purpose on this earth, I have been in a relentless pursuit of it. I want everyone I encounter to believe that having a purpose in life is not reserved for a select few. I want them to know that because they still have breath in their body, they have work to do on the planet. As I continue on my journey, I have come to realize that every single person, man or woman, wants to know they matter and that they have something meaningful to share. I am just a copilot for them. I want to fulfill my own purpose by uplifting and inspiring the masses to find their place in the world. When I talk about finding purpose, look for and believe in the small things. If you are faithful to the small things, the big things will happen.”
To learn more about Mrs. Griggs’ coaching services or motivational events, consider visiting shelbyalexandergriggs.com.