I remember 3 years and 4 months ago – the day my daughter turned 1 – sitting on the floor in front of a mirror feeling completely lost. I was overweight, depressed, I felt like I was an awful mom, a worse wife and not contributing to this world that I so often complained about. Of course, none of those things were true but we all create our own realities. In that moment, I found MY Positive Presence. I was given this gift from God, Source, Universe – whatever you want to call it – that not only changed me and my life but has since changed and saved the lives of hundreds of teenagers around the country and the world.
Positive Presence, LLC started as an extension of me and my illustrious and tumultuous international runway modeling career. I was guided to coach teenager girls and help them in their modeling careers. I used to believe that the ONLY thing I could contribute was teaching them how to be positive models – I was so wrong. My contribution to this company has ALSO been my biggest journey in life. I am a visionary through and through, and when I finally owned that strength and started listening to the path my visions had set forth for me, Positive Presence began to transform beyond my wildest dreams.
Between year one and two, I was slowly guided to let go of being a model and coaching models. Modeling was an incredible part of my life and it was an incredible part of Positive Presence since our inception, but I knew that I had to cut those ties in order to really fly free and impact the world. Once I got a clear vision of the purpose of Positive Presence, I started manifesting some of my greatest coaches, community partners and grandest lessons. I started coaching my modeling clients on confidence and self-esteem. I brought in the best-of-the-best coaches who were experts in hair & makeup, style, health & fitness, finance, emotional intelligence, art therapy and more. In less than 6 months of no longer promoting model coaching – we became the largest confidence coaching company for teenage girls in CO. Right around our two-year anniversary, we officially became the largest confidence coaching company in North America and received an incredible accolade as ‘The most innovative life coaching company of our time’ by HerLife Magazine.
MY Positive Presence became OUR Positive Presence! We began to impact teenagers in ways even I could have never imagined. I sat and held space for so many girls in this community who for the first time ever in their lives were opening up about suicide, depression, bullying and fears of school shootings… not to a therapist or a counselor but to ME. These were some of the hardest times in my development as a coach, being so emotionally impacted by girls as young as 9 talking about attempting suicide, but it also served as one of my greatest awakenings. I witnessed healing simply because they had someone to talk to. They didn’t want someone to try and fix it or diagnose their ‘issues’. They didn’t want pity or hand holding, they just wanted someone with a good heart and ‘positive presence’ to sit with them and listen to their fears. I’d tell them that it’ll be okay and that they will never feel alone again. I’ve seen how these girls are more connected then any generation before them, but they feel the loneliest.
In less than 8 months coaching, I saw light come from the darkest of places. I saw girls transform in front of my eyes from being lost, shy, depressed, without purpose to young women with confidence, joy, passion and purpose. They began to practice positive presence. It was in those transformations that I recognized what Positive Presence really is – ‘the confident state of existing’ – and that is exactly what we teach!
Although I had received massive amounts of clarity and vision about what I now dubbed as Positive Presence Global – the Universe had one more grand lesson it wanted me to learn, and this was going to be the hardest. On Mother’s Day of last year our Positive Presence family lost one of its own to suicide. I taught Marek and his entire family in my model coaching days only one year prior. Marek was an incredible young man – he lit up a room, and his hugs were like hugging your soul. He didn’t just come and go in people’s lives, he stopped and changed them just by being present. I am so incredibly grateful that I was one of those people whose lives he changed!
In the months to follow, I asked why a million times – ‘why him’, ‘why me’, ‘why his family’, ‘why this community’, ‘why Positive Presence’. It was in that journey of finding why – I learned how to surrender. One day I realized that I might not ever know why, but I’m not just going to sit here and do nothing. I envisioned creating a nonprofit for at-risk teenagers in our community who can go through our life-changing and life saving coaching free of charge. That’s when the Universe gave me Shaylee Holland – an incredibly passionate mother of three who fell as much in love with Positive Presence as I did. I shared Marek’s story with her one day and my grand vision of creating a scholarship fund in his honor, and without blinking an eye – she helped me start it. Together – we co-founded Positive Presence Foundation and the Marek Edwin Putman Scholarship Fund.
But my vision for the Foundation didn’t stop there – I wanted to find a way that allowed everybody to contribute to Positive Presence Foundation and what better way than a store. The Positive Presence Store officially launches TODAY and will be an online store that offers positive apparel, accessories, children’s books, personal development workbooks, affirmation cards, planners and more. 100% of all sales from the store will benefit Positive Presence Foundation! Every penny we sell pushes us one step closer to changing and saving lives and we’re doing it all because of Marek. It warms my heart that Marek’s legacy will continue to live on in the heart of Positive Presence.
After Shaylee, I stayed open to receiving more gifts from the Universe – Verona Matthews came first. Not looking for any type of award or recognition but simply to find a place here in America that she could lay her South African roots and make an impact. In the past nine months, she has made that impact and her and her roots are deeply entangled with mine and the company’s. She is Positive Presence and I couldn’t ask for a better friend or a better partner.
Positive Presence Global is no longer OURS – it’s the world’s. Everyone deserves to have Positive Presence in their life, and we will not stop until they do. Three years in and many more to go – I envision sitting with Jimmy Fallon, Oprah, Ellen and positive news sources around the world that can get behind our vision of eradicating insignificance, eliminating teenage suicide and sustaining a positive future because of the transformation we are instilling in the next generation.
I’d like to thank the one person that helped me find MY Positive Presence – my daughter – Savannah – she helped me realize that life is so precious. We all deserve to live our best life and have someone who can help us find it. I’d like to also thank my husband – Adam. Being married to a visionary is not easy, and the past nine years together have been some of the hardest for me personally. My man has been by my side, holding my hand, my heart and whatever else he can carry, and I am so grateful that he chose me to walk alongside him in this life. Thank you my love!
~ Michelle Marie King