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About me

The Gift of Body Hatred

I have had chronic pain almost my entire life. It started between the ages of 12 and 13. It has been over 30 years.

I was sexually assaulted the first time when I was between four and five years old. I went on to be sexually assaulted multiple times as a young teen and as an adult I was assaulted by an acupuncturist after he had all the needles in place. I trusted him and believed he could heal me. In fact, I trusted each person who assaulted me.

Being that there are other women in my life, I can say that I grew up hearing lots of so-called “harmless” body judgement. It’s just the way life was. It’s just what women did. It wasn’t unusual to watch the Miss America pageant with my cousins while judging the contestants bodies, hair, clothes and makeup. We were pretty skinny kids back then. It wasn’t long before I was saying the same judgmental things that we would say about the beauty contestants to myself. I was comparing my worst to the beauty contestant’s best. A best that we picked a part looking for flaws.

It’s not surprising that I grew to hate my body. From such a young age my body caused me mental and physical pain. I blamed my body for my assaults. I grew to a point I blamed my entire being for my physical illness and pain. I thought I deserved it. All of it. The assaults. The incurable disease. The pain. The struggle.

So why in the world would I see this as a gift?

It seems cliche’ to say that this path has brought me to where I am. It’s the truth, though. The experiences have brought me to a place in my life that I know how to follow my path. I feel purposeful. I used to be like a pinball in a pinball machine. I was shot out into the world and reacting to or bouncing off of the walls and obstacles I would run into. I didn’t ever actually make decisions. Where I ended up was just based on what walls I bounced off of.

Had it not been for the place I ended up in life when my disease and pain had gotten so bad that I was barely able to work and function, I wouldn’t have found myself searching for alternative answers to fixing my pain. The search for something other than drugs brought the discovery that I hated my body. I would have never discovered how disconnected I was from it. I was helping people connect with their own bodies on a daily basis as my profession. How could I be so disconnected myself? The people who knew me the most in my life would have described me as connected….mind, body and spirit.

So many discoveries came along with the realization of my true feelings toward my body. Today, I know I couldn’t have the relationship that I have with my own body without the journey I have been on. I have a deep sense of compassion for women who struggle. Especially women with the impermeable wall. That wall is very familiar to me. I believed that wall served as my protection for a significant part of my life.

Without suffering from the deep dark hatred of my body related to my childhood sexual abuse experiences, I wouldn’t have the drive that fuels my work with childhood sexual abuse prevention today. I have the motivation and passion to change the world for children of the future and child and adult survivors who suffer in silence today. I won’t let anything stop me. Without the body struggles, I wouldn’t have the confidence. Without the years of suppressed anger, I may not have the fuel.

Without all that I have been through, I wouldn’t have the level of intuition that I have today. My intuition continues to grow. If I ever question that, one of my clients will remind me during a training session. It isn’t unusual for me to hear, “That’s exactly what I needed today.” after a session. That, to me, is the greatest gift.

What about you? Any surprising things that turned out to be unexpected gifts? Comment below. I love to hear your stories.

General

Happy No-resolution New Year’s

If you have been following for any amount of time, you know I can’t stand new year’s resolutions. I won’t get into why other than that they don’t work and they generally make people feel bad about themselves pretty quickly.

What I do believe in is looking back on the year and reflecting on what went right and what you have accomplished. Spend some time with the things that make you feel good about yourself. Then, what didn’t go so well? What mistakes did you make? What lessons did you learn from them? Is there some area of your life that you keep getting in your own way? If you aren’t sure, is there an area that you keep making the same mistakes or you just feel stuck? This is a good area to enlist help in. Do that in 2015.

I don’t think this should only happen annually, though. Especially if you have a vision you are working toward. I like to check in with myself on Sundays before I start the week. How I did the week before is my key to what needs attention the next week. Keep it simple and shut the critical voices in your head up while you are doing it. Don’t let them have a say in what your next week is going to be like.

There is one thing I like to do every year for the past five years. I like to pick a word of the year. I learned this from Christine Kane. She’s a genius. You can get the tools to pick your word of the year here.

In my looking back over the year and the things that went right, I may not have relished in them or enjoyed them as much as I could. I am a recovering perfectionist and I tend to look at what’s next. I tell myself, “Okay, I did that. It was no big deal. What will be a big deal is when I do _______.” I end up focusing on what I will do next instead of being proud for a few.

If you have followed any of my previous posts, you may know I struggle with a chronic disease. I have to be much more present than most in caring for myself. I have to check in with what’s going on with how I feel regularly. If I don’t listen and give my body exactly what it needs, I pay the price BIG time. And though I have come a long way with this, I have a hard time with it sometimes because of the expectations I put on myself and from others. So because of these things, the word I chose this year is “Be.”

For me, I need to spend a little more time just BEing in 2015. How about you?

Check out Christine’s Word of the Year tool, choose your word and come back here and let me know what you picked. Here’s to 2015 knocking our socks off in the best way possible.

invisibleillness
About me

30 Things About my Invisible Illness

In some of my earlier blogs, I have alluded to having a chronic progressive illness and I had promised to write more about that at a later date. To be honest, I have been avoiding it. It’s sort of hypocritical of me, because I talk about how important authenticity is, yet, I find myself a little scared when it comes to sharing this with you. I read plenty of blogs of women who suffer with the same disease as me. The truth is I find myself feeling sorry for them and that’s the last thing I ever want is for someone to feel sorry for me.

I recently ran across this campaign to raise awareness of invisible illnesses which I think is a great idea. Then I found their 30 Things post and figured that participating in it was probably the best way for me to share right now. So, here you find me answering their 30 prompts about my illness. I hope this helps other people who like to suffer quietly and unnoticed. Continue Reading

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Endometriosis

The Summer of Self-love

If you read my last blog, I Hear the Secrets that you Keep, you might be wondering how I got my mojo back and started living life again. If you haven’t read it and you struggle in silence with anything, go check it out first.

I had really hit rock bottom back in January last year. My health issues were raging. I was struggling with work because of it, but, I was also just uninspired to keep growing the business that I had been building for so long. I was feeling like a fraud. I was preaching healthy living and the benefits that would follow, I was living it myself, yet I was suffering every day. I worked when I could and would push myself to get through as much as I could so that I wouldn’t have to cancel on any clients… until I couldn’t. My body would physically not allow it. I would repeat this cycle over and over. You know the definition of insanity? Repeating the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. I may have been temporarily insane. I finally had enough and decided to try some things differently. I decided to have a very different kind of summer this year. Instead of taking advantage of the extra light and being able to take clients workouts outdoors (meaning fitting in MORE sessions), I decided to chill. It was time for some true self-love and the only way that could happen is with some big changes. Here’s a little snapshot into the big stuff that changed: Continue Reading

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Mindset

Loosen the Death Grip

Things don’t always happen as we plan them. Nothing is guaranteed. Anything can happen at any given moment. All things we say every time the unexpected happens, yet we still call it the unexpected. 

Yesterday started out as a good day. I had sessions with clients I enjoy very much. I worked on and made progress with an issue I’ve been having. I had a great evening session with a client that is just fun to be around. I had plans of exactly what I would accomplish when my session with her was complete. Mother Nature had other plans.  Continue Reading

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Endometriosis

I hear the secrets that you keep…

HAH! Sorry. I don’t really hear your secrets. That’s just creepy. I do however, keep hearing the popular 80’s song by The Romantics every time I sit down to work on this blog and try and come up with a name for it. I figured it was a sign. Hence the name.

Some people we know on a professional level. Some people we know on a social level. Some people we know intimately because they are family or we share our space with them as a spouse, partner or a room mate. Then some people are mere acquaintances or even less, we follow them on social media. But, how much do we really know the people that we “know”.

Everyone is fighting a battle that you know nothing about. We all face them every day. It’s just part of being human. You know the people that you compare yourself to? They struggle too. You know the Facebook friend who’s life seems like a freakin’ dream? The one that makes you feel like your battles will never let your life measure up to theirs? They have their battles too. People don’t post the ugly stuff. Well, there may be some drama mongers that do. I know there’s a whole lot more to my life than what gets posted on Facebook, though. I don’t think people omit the ugly because they want people to compare and feel bad, but, it is human nature to compare and that is what we do whether we realize it or not.

Comparison is a killer. It kills dreams. It kills creativity. It kills hope. How do I know? I am just like everyone else. I have my secret battles and I have done my fair share of comparing and it sure seems like there are a lot of people out there having more fun than me that have less struggle standing in their way. In weak moments I have compared myself to people personally, professionally, athletically, aesthetically, intellectually….probably even spiritually. The moment you are aware that you are comparing, even in the slightest way, you’ll be able to live your life a whole lot happier, more creative and definitely more purposefully.

Continue Reading