Category Archives: Uncategorized

Healed & Free!


Yes, you are healed and you are finally free! Now What? It took strength and determination to break free. It’s going to take strength, determination and patience to ensure you are recovered from the experiences of an abusive relationship.

Keep in mind that there is not a one size fits all prescription. There’s going to be trial and error as you navigate your way to a healthy relationship. But regardless of what works one thing is important for anyone. What is that you ask? Love Yourself! Let me repeat that…Love Yourself!

This is important in the healing process so that you can begin to listen to the warning signs you previously ignored. You know the ones I’m referring to. Some made you feel special when in reality it was all about control.

Love yourself enough to not allow yourself to be cut off from family and friends.

Love yourself enough to listen to that inner voice when it whispers to you that something is not right.

Love yourself enough to treasure all you have to offer to the right person.

Love yourself enough to take it slow when entering into a new relationship. As a matter of fact give yourself time to truly heal and come to grips with the circumstances you were once in.

Love yourself enough to FORGIVE yourself for past choices and decisions.

Love yourself enough to discover the gifts and talents you have that make you special.

Love yourself enough to give love a second chance once the baggage from the past has been discarded.

Most importantly love yourself enough to be happy with your own company.

Yes, you are finally FREE!

 

Silence Broken through Artistic Expression


Fresh Start for Women LogoOftentimes people hear about or see the evidence and may even be sympathetic to the woman with visible scars from the abuse she has endured. There will be those willing to help if she has become disfigured because of the trauma. A broken arm can mend. A scar from scalding water will eventually heal. A bloody nose can also heal. But what about the scars you don’t see? Don’t they require attention as well? Shouldn’t effort be made to help one overcome those scars?

There are many who believe wrongly that it’s just something you have to get over and move on. This is not an easy task and Fresh Start for Women’s 12 years in the trenches can attest to this statement. Even more damaging is the toll it takes on our young girls before they’ve even fully developed into young women and future leaders.If you have a daughter, niece, granddaughter or even a great-granddaughter make plans to attend Silence Broken through Artistic Expression on October 16th at the 444 Theatre.

Think about it. A woman or girl whose self-esteem has been reduced to lower than dirt needs healing. The woman or child who flinches when a raised voice is heard needs healing. The eyes that look out upon the world without light in them need healing.

The person you observe who never looks you in the eye, speaks softly and shrink within themselves needs healing. The soul, mind and spirit need attention just as much and sometimes even more so. A kind word, a smile, a soft touch all can serve as healing balm. A listening ear without judgment carries a lot of power. Use it wisely.

This year Fresh Start for Women is endeavoring to shed light on the various forms of domestic violence and the impact it has on a woman’s or girl’s life.  Silence Broken through Artistic Expression: The Real Effects of Domestic Violence is a talent showcase that will not only entertain but educate and hopefully inspire you to make a difference.

The arts are a great way to learn in a non-threatening yet caring environment. You’ll be regaled with spoken word artists, singers, dancers and actors. So mark your calendar, get your tickets and come walk the purple carpet, network and make a powerful difference.

Fresh Start for Women believes you will come away from this event with the power to help one who has been made to feel powerless to begin to heal and overcome. Learn more at www.freshstartforwomen.org. Someone needs you now.

Respecting Your Mamas Wisdom About Relationships


womencircle

I know, it’s hard to believe that our mamas actually had a bit of wisdom to pass along to us. It seems that once we reached those teen years suddenly we knew more than she did. Or so we believed.

But if you take time to really examine that perception you know without a shadow of doubt that we were full of ourselves and discrediting the wisdom that resided in the woman who birthed us.

So lt me as a couple of questions and I hope you’ll take time to really think about your answer before you respond. After all the person it benefits the most is….YOU.

First, are you finding yourself repeating a familiar yet uncomfortable cycle in your relationships?
Secondly, when it’s just you and your heart is broken again, do you quietly say to yourself…”Mama Said”?

Remember you must be honest. Besides I will if you will. Over the years as I’ve gone through relationships my Mama’s words have come back to haunt me. Had I taken her nuggets of wisdom to heart I know I could have avoided a lot of disappointment and would not have had to deal with:

Low Self-Worth

  • Low-Self-Esteem
  • Physical and Emotional Abuse
  • Embarrassment
  • Frustration

I can readily admit that when I reached my teen years I suddenly woke up one morning and decided my Mama didn’t know what she was talking about. Besides it had been a long time since she was a teenager. Mama’s advice for avoiding unhealthy relationships was old-fashioned I thought. The rules she lived by didn’t apply to me. How wrong was I!

Mama’s advice for avoiding unhealthy relationships was given because she wanted me to not experience some of the things she had. She wanted me to learn from her…

 Now that I’m a mother and a grandmother, I find myself in her same position. I’m sure my children and grandchildren have those moments when they think to themselves, ‘Mama Said’ or ‘Grandma Said’.

Yes, it’s true that we all have to live our own lives, however, if we take the time to really listen to what our Mamas tried to teach us about avoiding unhealthy relationships we could have avoided so much pain.

Sometimes it seems like we’ve learned from the “school of hard knocks”!

The five nuggets of wisdom that my Mama tried to share and I was too stubborn to hear:

Nugget #1 – Know You Better than Others Do and Know Your Worth

Nugget #2 – Carry Yourself with Dignity & Respect

Nugget #3 – Education is Important for Success

Nugget #4 – You Can’t Change another Human Being

Nugget # 5 – “No” is Not a Bad Word

The interesting thing is that we don’t have to always learn things the hard way. I’m grateful that before my Mama passed she knew I’d learned the above lessons. I hope you’ll acknowledge the wisdom of the Mamas and Mothers in your life. It’s never too late to put it into practice. So go ahead give her a hug and a kiss and say thank you Mama. Hopefully, one day if you’re blessed to have a daughter of your own you too can pass on your nuggets of wisdom.

Your Best Self Revealed in 2016


In 2016 I want to encourage you to make a genuine effort to let your best self be revealed for all to see and especially you! All of us have different sides of our personalities. There’s the kind and good person. There’s the dependable and secure person, there’s the insecure, need a helping hand person and so on. But in spite of all those different sides of us there will always be a dominant side. So how do you determine what your dominant side is? And if that side is not the side you’d want to be the dominant one is it possible to change it?

My philosophy has always been that for me if there’s something about me I don’t like then as long as there is life in my body I can make a change. First of course you have to be certain that it is something that requires changing and in the process of changing  please be certain you’re not doing yourself or anyone else harm.

I believe that if I hold the candle to myself and see all my imperfections then I will be less likely to try to hold a candle to someone else. After all if I’m busy bringing the best me in 2016 to the forefront then I can’t possibly do that if I’m trying to help someone else be what I think is their best self. Did you catch it? Did you catch the key phrase in that last sentence? Just in case you missed it – trying to help someone else be what I think is their best self. Write this down and never forget it. It is not for us to determine what another person’s best self is. That is theirs to do, you can offer guidance and support if asked, otherwise keep your focus on you. So here are a few statements to ponder over this week as you begin to plot your journey to your best self being revealed in 2016.  And not just ponder them, answer them. No worries it’s not a test to be graded but it can serve as a guidepost along your journey to your best self.

For each of the statements below write yes if it applies to you. Write no if it doesn’t apply to you. But if when you read the statement it’s not a clear yes or no statement then put a question mark by it. I am easily misled by others in order to be accepted. I depend on others to satisfy my basic needs. I spend more time with people who define my self-worth. I spend more time dwelling on the shortcomings of others. I am comfortable standing up for what I believe is right. I react to situations based on what others think of me. I satisfy the needs of others before dealing with my own needs. I try to control others as a means to feel good about myself. I spend time trying to adopt standards others have set for their lives. I have something to offer that can help someone else. When people disagree with me, it only means they don’t like me.

Now look back at your list and ask yourself, “Do I need to make an adjustment in me in order for the best me to come to the forefront?” Be really honest with yourself and decide for yourself, if you need a little extra guidance to get started to your best self being revealed.

If you believe you can benefit from a little extra guidance then perhaps you’d be interested in a six-part series that Fresh Start for Women is offering to jumpstart 2016. This series is entitled, ‘From Adversity to Passion: A Journey to Your Divine Destiny and Joy’. This series is being offered in two formats. The first is as a guided online course that you can embark on at your own pace. The second is a live course which will commence on Saturday January 16th from 9:30am to 11:30am. The live course does require you to register in order to receive the pre-course materials and meeting location. You can register here. Either way we at Fresh Start for Women wish you well on your journey to Your Best Self Revealed in 2016.

 

Two Big Words – Why Me?


That’s a question all of us at one time or another has uttered. Ironically, it is rarely if ever done so when good things happen. So why is that? Have we somehow convinced ourselves that we should be insulated from tragedy, discord, unhappiness, strife or change?

Before I matured I counted myself in this group as well. There were times I wondered why did I have to endure the pain of rape, shame, betrayal, divorce, loss of my parents and other loved ones. Now that I’m a mature individual (not age but understanding) I get it.

All of it has combined to play a significant role in the person I have become. I’m more patient, empathetic, giving, trusting, forgiving and nurturing. In addition I’ve become outspoken on issues I hold dear to me. This not only includes domestic violence but also cancer (breast cancer), child abuse and healthy living just to name a few.

As I think of these I can recall an incident in my history in which I was personally affected by them and these experiences molded me to be the person I am today. As much as there’s a part of me that wishes I had not had to go through them the other part of me is grateful, for it has given me a reason to be vigilant and think about others instead of thinking the world revolves around me.

If you dig deep enough you too can find meaning, lessons and uncover a passion as a direct result of your experiences. As long as you’re a part of this big world called the human race instead of lamenting, “Why Me?” let today be the day you say, “Why Not Me?”

FREE to LOVE After an Unhealthy Relationship


Yes, you are finally free! Now What? It took strength and determination to break free. It’s going to take strength, determination and patience to ensure you are recovered from the experiences of an abusive relationship.

Keep in mind that there is not a one size fits all prescription. There’s going to be trial and error as you navigate your way to a healthy relationship. But regardless of what works one thing is important for anyone. What is that you ask? Love Yourself! Let me repeat that…Love Yourself!

This is important in the healing process so that you can begin to listen to the warning signs you previously ignored. You know the ones I’m referring to. Some made you feel special when in reality it was all about control.

Love yourself enough to not allow yourself to be cut off from family and friends.

Love yourself enough to listen to that inner voice when it whispers to you that something is not right.

Love yourself enough to treasure all you have to offer to the right person.

Love yourself enough to take it slow when entering into a new relationship. As a matter of fact give yourself time to truly heal and come to grips with the circumstances you were once in.

Love yourself enough to FORGIVE yourself for past choices and decisions.

Love yourself enough to discover the gifts and talents you have that make you special.

Love yourself enough to give love a second chance once the baggage from the past has been discarded.

Most importantly love yourself enough to be happy with your own company.

Yes, you are finally FREE!