Trauma is NOT a bad word

What would your community look life if TRAUMA was not a bad word? Whenever I would admit to my problem, living with life after trauma, shame would wash over me and swallow my light, joy, and confidence.

Living with trauma has brought a lot of changes in my world                                       and those differences made me feel as if something was WRONG with me. 

Through almost a decade of searching and several years of very hard work, I’ve discovered the change inside of me is normal. I’m not a freak of nature. Yes, I am quirky and say very odd things, but those things don’t make me WRONG. The fact I will always have to be on guard to protect my brain does not make me incapable of anything, it indicates I’m wise and brilliant because I CAN and WILL and DO 🙂. .

I am capable of making friends.
I am capable of earning a great living.
I am capable of hugging and loving my children openly, without reserve.
I am capable of having a calm, rational conversation.
I am capable of working through a panic attack.
I am capable of saying no respectfully and with strength.
I am capable……

Trauma changes us forever and there are pieces of that we may never fully “like.” Ok. We can work with those changes and in the process, might even overcome things we never thought capable of doing.

If you have someone in your life who would be encouraged with this message please share this blog post with them. It’s good to know we are not alone. 

Doubts are Normal

Current Lie barrage attacking my heart & mind: Who are YOU to dream so big? How could THIS happen with what little time/resources/etc you have to offer? You should do more and are capable of more and giving more. This won’t cut it. (The lie speaks in a VERY condescending tone)

The night before I launch my new website and finally articulate my next chapter the lies are swarming in! Not only that, I’m becoming VERY clear about what I will and will NOT put on my plate as I step into this chapter. It makes me physically shake.

Y’all. I am gonna fail. This will NOT be perfect. And even telling my precious perfectionist mind that’s ok, I’d like to go throw up and keep all of this to myself.

However, I felt compelled to share that on the eve of taking big steps (for me) that if you have ever had these same thoughts, YOU ARE NOT ALONE. I’m always nervous before something important, special (even date night). Lies work very hard to take me down, I fight back with vengeance, with action, and replacing the lie with truth.

Don’t wait to take your brave action ❤️. Stop what you are doing and go do it NOW! Seriously, you are so worth it and YES that dream can come true (if you choose to do the work), those resources will be multiplied (when wisdom, strategy & FAITH are applied), and these steps are exactly the ones I’m called to take so He can get the glory (as weird as that feels for a competent perfectionist).

Tonight I surrender. Not to the lie (that will keep attacking in odd ways) but to FAITH. In myself. In my community. In my dream. In my Father. Faith that no matter how insignificant my offering feels, He will move and do more than I could ever imagine ❤️
#commitandreclaim

One Step to become Brave

8 years ago I did something terrifying. I chose to leave the only life I knew, the military. Once I was made aware how severe my PTSD was I had a choice: give myself space to heal or stay the same. It was a painful – scary choice.

So the first day of terminal leave I jumped out of a plane with two amazing women. I knew if I could do THAT I could do anything.

If you are doubting your abilities to BE today then pause. Go back in your memories and remember something BRAVE you have already done.

Can’t recall? Then go do something that reminds you on dark days that YES you are a warrior, fighter, friend, and human worth living EACH moment ❤️.

Reclaim YOUR life!

Reclaim My Health

ONE shirt almost undid 7 weeks of hard work.

As I slid the beautiful white and blue plaid shirt, made of silk like material, I was delighted it fit. Sometimes it did, sometimes it did not. Today it did! This was a favorite shirt of mine and made me feel very pretty. I turned to look in the mirror and as my eyes looked at my trendy, super cute top and my heart plummeted to the floor.

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My stomach was less than flattering. It looked as if the buttons were separating because of my well endowed chest. My backside, let’s not even mention the unpleasant action happening there.

The reality that 7 weeks of hard work was not making any progress on my physical shape was devastating. Throughout my 7 weeks of dedication I had good and bad days. I never beat myself up, it’s a normal part of the journey. The most important thing for me was to NOT give up on the workouts. To show up every week and get them done. I kept telling myself I would see progress.

Unfortunately I had painted a story in my head of what that “progress” would look like. As I stared in the mirror and saw a body STILL full of all the same unwanted curves, my world came crashing down. Water leaked from my eyes and feelings of complete and utter failure washed over me.

“I will never be healthy.”

“All my hard work was useless.”

“If I can’t do this, how can I teach my kids?”

I’m useless.

My kids deserve better.

My husband deserves better.

What’s the point…..

…..and then. Yes. And then the thought I work SO hard to fight back every single day came crashing into my brain. “It would just be easier if….”

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About 10 seconds later I began my mantra, “Stop it. Stop it. Stop it. Not true. Stop it. Stop it. Stop it.” Yeah, it’s not very eloquent or pretty. But when I’m in the emotional throes of negative self talk, fancy, well thought out, classic words of inspiration are not for me. I need a seasoned, ruthless boxer to come in and KNOCKOUT my opponent, Satan.

There is no time for pretty quotes on well designed graphics, I’m in the fight for my life and I get scrappy.

While this moment would not have led to any life eliminating decisions that day; however, if I had let the conversation continue seeds of doubt and insecurity would have taken root next to the ones I’m already working to get rid of. My garden is full of unseen weeds, it’s important for me to boldly eliminate the ones I do see.

And all of this started with a shirt. A simple, cute, trendy shirt from Target.

My spiral happened so unexpectedly I knew it was important to be proactive about the next time. I took the shirt and put it on an open shelf in my closet and said, “One month. In one month I will try you on. Any other shirts that threaten my calm will go here too.” 

Some of you may be thinking I should have gotten rid of it, and in two months if it doesn’t fit well, I will. (Update: I waited 6 months to try it on again. There was no way I was taking a chance with my mental heart.) I’ve already purged my closet twice and what is left are pieces that have fit sometime in the last three months. Working out does change your body and I’m in the first 6 months of consistent workouts, I must be kind and patient with myself. What fits well today may not fit well tomorrow and now I have a safe response if I am disappointed. Instead of being weary of the shirts in my closet I have a plan to navigate my wardrobe logically. This short term plan has taken the pressure off of making long term decisions over the 10 shirts I’ve chosen to be in my closet. This is not a perfect solution for all situations; however, for me, I am going to test it. 

Articles of clothing should not have so much power. My expectations for a healthy physical appearance is a new trigger and I am in the process of developing a healthier response.

If you battle negative self talk I hope you found this note encouraging. Unexpected objects, words, and situations can trigger demons lying dormant inside of us. While I have hope that one day all these demons will be slain, let’s choose to stay vigilant and #fightforhope, everyday, everywhere; so that we may bounce back quicker and stronger when the attacks do come our way.

You’re not alone and while it takes work, it’s worth it to #fightforhope. We have a choice to RECLAIM our health journey. It does take commitment, I won’t lie, but the hopeful truth is the choice is OURS.

Before you go, let’s take one step together to reclaim our health. Wherever you are in your journey, pick ONE thing about your appearance you appreciate (nope, I didn’t say like, that means something else). What do you appreciate? Now fill in this sentence: In this moment I appreciate my body because _________________. 

3 P’s in Life

Do you dream of success? Is there a picture of your life that you have in mind?? 

Hold on to it. Hold tight. DO NOT SURRENDER IT!

This world we live in is broken and full of a lotta tough stuff. You know this. You’re a smart cookie. So. Now that we know it, what’s next?

I believe knowing and accepting the fact life is tough is not a *one and done* kinda thing. We need people to remind us we’re not alone. We must surround ourselves with people who will push us forward when we feel bogged down. 

Fast forward through the first minute and hear some encouraging real talk. This is one of my popular FB Post and I thought it may encourage you to power through October. If you like what you hear, don’t hesitate to come hang out in an uplifting FB Community of women, all committed to living a life they value and treasure.

How I Overcame Impossible

That might be me on stage but it took a VILLAGE to get me there. I’d like to take a moment to walk you through the 17 month journey of HOW I got to *this* moment – sharing my Recovery Journey with PTSD at a Mental Health Summit.

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1) Jan 2017 a mentor said I would do 👇 one day. I laughed because I’d NEVER told anyone my story.
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2) An incredible group of humans supported me as I began sharing my story with them (so many I won’t name because I’d forget someone 🙀)
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3) A friend told me, while in Italy, that I already knew HOW I’d transformed. And challenged me to write it down. It flowed out on to paper in 3 hours.
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4) Family beside me every step of the way.
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5) Clients who have allowed me to mentor and lead them….such a gift!
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6) Another mentor who taught me how to listen to my heart & soul THEN share it.
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7) More amazing supporters, challenges to share more, encouragement to step out more.
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8 ) Jan 2018 watching friends kill it on stage, longing for my impact, hearing Greats say they struggle with what I struggle with. COMMITTED that weekend to DO more.
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9) Same week 👇 event was booked.
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10) Book collab about my trauma story.
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11) Tough convo with another mentor about how I’m not pushing my material.
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12) My Dad watching my kids so I can finalize presentation.
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13) Family listening to presentation.
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14) Day Of: So much Support sent in, in laws watching kids, Hubby all in, amazing set up gals, so much!
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I wanted to give up on 👇 17 mos ago. Yes, it took 17 mos from the very first mention, a year for me to say YES, and 5 months of healing-searching-mentoring to speak.
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Never give up. Ever. Push through the hard. It will feel like walking in mud at times, do it. You will 😭 , grab a tissue. Questions and doubts will arise and crash down, only speak life AND take action (even if it’s cleaning your house or working out 😉).
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Today I share with you what I truly believed was impossible. Now I know IMpossible forever because I never give up.

How to NOT tackle a big project

A week ago I was laid out on the floor exhausted. Bone weary and soul sapped. I was quite shocked by this. I had carefully laid out my plan to the previous week for life and work. The boundaries were set, expectations aligned and meals planned! When you go into a big project, does it get any better than that?

Oh…and I finished 2 weeks ahead of my deadline because of this careful planning and extreme focus. Now I ask again, does it get any better than that???

I sure hope so. The physical, emotional and mental exhaustion that set in the week after almost shattered me. None of the work and effort had seemed worth it. I was not the best version of myself, let’s be honest, I was an extreme combination of Claire (Modern Family) and Eeyore (Winnie the Pooh). Can you even imagine living with THAT person for a week? It’s as exciting as you’re thinking….

Maybe that’s the ebb and flow of mompreneur. Maybe this is the life I’ve signed on for being a business owner.

I sure hope not. Here’s what I did wrong and the 3 tweaks I’ll make in the future to ensure a better mental-health state at the end of a project.

1. Community is vital – Connect with the 5 people who are closest to you during project mode. Whether it’s a vox chat, text message, phone call, coffee or dinner, make sure you CONNECT! During my project creation mode I decided to laser in and focus, which meant my only human contact was with my children whom I stay at home with. So, there I was, pouring out my brain and heart in a project and the ONLY interaction I had was with a teething one year old, spirited toddler, and blossoming 4 year old. WHAT?!? No wonder I was ready to throw in the towel and live in my bed for the next 5 years.

Lesson: Yes, it’s good to focus and cut off distractions. Identify the 5 people, must be able to hold an intelligent & encouraging or uplifting & giggle-provoking conversation, you will connect with during creation-project mode.

 

2. Your Tribe is fuel – Do not go radio silence with your tribe. If you have a FB Group or other forum, be present for 15 minutes a day during project mode. When you stay at home or work in a silo, like me, and you regularly connect with your tribe….and then you decide to go into radio silence mode for one week….your relational side will go into shock. I gave my people plenty of notice, they were supportive, and it was a bad call! For my personality, the way I connect with my tribe, I needed to stay connected a little bit.

Lesson: People become part of your life and your source of fuel when they’re involved in your everyday life. Channel their energy and relationships as motivation and encouragement during project mode, it’ll pump you up when you least expect it!

 

3. Personal Development is CRITICAL – I decided to apply a method I’d heard from an industry leader. During creation-project mode cut out all personal development as long as you have a coach. I do receive inspiration and ideas when I do my personal development, so this approach made a lot of sense so I didn’t “squirrel” the whole time I was supposed to be creating. Well. That was not the right move for me. I’d lost the third source I’ve come to rely on heavily for pouring into my head, heart and soul. There are key people I listen to weekly, if not daily, to motivate & encourage me.

Lesson: Be selective on what type of personal development you listen to during creation mode. Now I have 4 podcasts and 2 industry leaders videos I’ve selected for creation mode.


It’s no surprise I was Claire one moment and then Eeyore the next. As I picked myself up off the floor and tried to find the will to continue being a mompreneur (yes, it was that bad), I decided cutting out Facebook, emails, texts, voxes, and more was almost the right solution for a productive creation mode.

3 Tips for next time:

  • I will have my 5 key people identified to connect with during my creation mode. Probably one a day so that I don’t get too distracted!
  • My tribe…I will connect daily for a short amount of time. I enjoy those relationships, conversations, and checking in on their lives; taking one week off was a serious shock to the relational side of my soul.
  • And last, but not least, I’ll continue personal development, just change who and what I’m taking in.

Here’s to hoping the extreme versions of Claire & Eeyore are gone until my kids hit puberty!