Tag Archives: fresh start

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.

The Burning Question… Who Are You?


On this Fresh Start Monday, I have just this one question…Who Are You? Now before you begin to answer this question let me set the scene for you: You’ve just entered a room full of very interesting people. Everyone is smiling, laughing and talking animatedly about a variety of subjects. You stand there observing as you’re trying to decide which group you’d like to join. Of course there are butterflies in your stomach and you’re fighting the urge to run and take flight in the opposite direction. But you hold your ground.

You tell yourself, “I can do this. I can make conversation with anyone.” Right before you take that next step you spot the way to the ladies’ room and quickly make your way in that direction. Once inside you stare at the person looking back at you. You think back over the last 20 – 30 years of your life and wonder where did all the time go? In your mind’s eye you see your children from the moment they were placed in your arms until the day you saw them off to college, the military or just across town to their own place. Fleetingly you think about the son or daughter you witness get married and begin a whole new life with another person. On that day you were filled with joy and dread.

Joy, because you’re so happy to see your child all grown up and beginning his/her own family. Dread because now you wonder, “What shall I do with all this time I now have on my hands”? If you’re blessed to still have someone to share your life with you still have that same question, “What are we going to do, now that the house is empty except for the two of us”?

Does this scene sound familiar to anyone? I’m sure it does, I know long before that time arrived I made a decision that has served me well. I decided that though I had a responsibility to my children and of course to my husband. I also knew I had a responsibility to myself as well. This meant I couldn’t totally wrap myself in the lives of my children or spouse for when the day came and they weren’t around what oh what would I do with myself.

Finding interests or hobbies outside of your immediate family takes work and it’s a process of trial and error. You don’t know what truly fuels your imagination or fill you with wonder and amazement until you try it. So you have to have an adventurous spirit. For me I discovered that I love to read, I like running, I love puzzles and I like acting. Not a whole lot but enough that I tried out and participated in a few plays in the drama ministry at my church.

In the back of my mind I also knew that still wasn’t enough. I needed just a bit more. It was then that I looked outside of myself and found my greatest fulfillment! Helping others gives me the greatest joy and when people ask who am I I can readily answer in any number of ways depending on the circumstances.

The point I’m making on this Fresh Start Monday is that each of us should know who we are. Not who others think we are, or base our answer on what we think we should be but exactly who we are. The best way to answer that is to ensure you don’t become stale and bored with yourself. If you’re bored with yourself, I promise others will be as well.

 

For me being a wife, mother, grandmother, sister, sister-n-law, aunt and friend are just a small part of what makes me who I am. I’m a complex individual with likes and dislikes as anyone else may have. But I’m unique to me. I can be happy with just my own company or I can be relaxed and comfortable in a room full of diverse people. I have opinions about the world around me and I have causes that are dear to me. I’m a writer, published author, speaker, workshop/seminar facilitator, evangelist and life coach. Together it all makes a whole me.

So what about you? What makes you tick, what fuels your passion? Do you have a cause that’s dear to you? Have you taken your life lessons and developed them into a new chapter filled with opportunity and promise? Have you ventured outside of your comfort zone and made new friends and developed new relationships based on mutual respect, trust and understanding? If not are you ready to? Do you need a little coaching and encouragement to make that transition? If so you just may be the perfect candidate to join a group of like-minded individuals participating in ‘From Adversity to Passion, A Guide to Your Divine Destiny and Joy’. If that’s the case visit the Fresh Start for Women event page and sign up. You won’t be disappointed.

Come on join the movement so that the next time the question is posed you can answer without hesitation. ‘I am ….’

Happy Fresh Start Monday everyone!

 

Be Like the Butterfly


 

Those four words make you wonder doesn’t it? After all what’s so special about being a caterpillar? Think about. From the caterpillar began its life as a very tiny egg. yet thanks to God and nature it will transform into something beautiful. You too are a special work and transform as well. Let’s take a closer look. Once the egg hatches it becomes a caterpillar. It is during this stage that the caterpillar begins to prepare itself by first eating the leaf it was born on. Once it has reached its appropriate length and weight it begins to form themselves into pupa, also known as chrysalis. of course from the outside it looks as if the caterpillar is resting, but inside the caterpillar is actually changing. if you could peer inside you’d see the stubby looking caterpillar begin the metamorphosis of becoming a butterfly.  When it is ready to emerge from its chrysalis it will be a full grown butterfly.

Now take the same stages and apply it to you. You’ve experienced some heart wrenching moments. They be physically, emotionally, spiritually or a combination. In either case you’ve been blessed to survive it. So now what? Good question. Let’s examine your options:

  1. You could stay stuck in the past. Not a good option for it will cause you to miss out on some wonderful adventures. This could include meeting new friends and experiencing new things including a new relationship rooted in respect and love.
  2. You could carry the hurt with you into the next relationship. Again not a good option. Eventually you run the risk of not even enjoying your own company.
  3. Or, you could reap the lessons from the experience and move forward confident and ready to move to a happier and healthier existence in which you spread your beautiful wings and soar.

Sure there will be setbacks along the way. The key is to persevere and stand rooted in the knowledge that you know how valuable you are. Like the butterfly you are able to bring joy to others as well as yourself. The events of the past don’t have to define who you are today.

So spend time with you and allow your experiences to mold you into something just as beautiful as the butterfly. Now soar!!

 

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.

 

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!

Unmasking the Face of Domestic Violence One Step at a Time


maskOftentimes people feel as if there’s nothing they can do to make a difference in an issue they may feel passionate about. Today I want to remind you that is not the case. Think of it as filling a 50 gallon drum with water using a tablespoon. One person can definitely fill that drum, it may take them a good while but can can be done. On the other hand if you had a thousand people with tablespoons that drum can be filled a lot quicker and in the process those thousand people have an opportunity to get to know each other, laugh while filling that drum and encourage each other to finish.

Now replace the drum with an organization dedicated to making a difference in the lives of women affected by domestic violence and replace the tablespoon with $1.00. No matter how you look at it filling that organization $1.00 at a time is going to take a very long time but a collective group of people pooling their $1.00 can fill a need that organization has in order for the organization to meet the needs of the people they serve.

This was never more evident than when Fresh Start for Women does what it does ii\n the community. 2015 is our 11th year in existence and we have been fortunate enough to have made a positive impact in the lives of more than 500 women and teens. It’s rare that an all-volunteer small nonprofit is can still claim to be an important link between success and failure for those brave enough to take a step towards a life free from domestic violence, abuse and sexual assault.

This year we invite you to come out and help us to Unmask the Face of Domestic Violence with our Masquerade Ball and Live Auction. There will be food, fun, music and several items up for bidding. Money raised will help us to continue to provide our services to those in need at little to no cost. Remember domestic violence affects more than just the victim. Children, other loved ones and the community all suffer. Come make your voice heard by standing up for those in need of an encouraging word or helping hand.

Get your tickets now and be a part of something good. https://www.eventbrite.com/e/fsfw-masqueraade-ball-and-live-auction-tickets-16806625068

.

New Year’s Resolution or Commitment?


cup-of-love-full-of-hearts-wallpapers-1024x768[1]2015 has arrived with an opportunity to experience new things, refine others and live in the moment. It is also that time of the year when everyone decides to make a ‘new year’s resolution’. However each year, although they are made with good intentions accomplishing these resolutions usually fall by the wayside within 30 to 90 days.

So how can you increase your odds for success?  I’m so glad you asked! While loving myself with a hot cup of coffee I thought about my own resolutions. The first thing I decided was to steer clear of resolutions and instead concentrate on making a commitment.  Resolutions don’t seem to hold as much power as making a commitment. Think about this when you get married you’re making a commitment to another person as well as yourself. And although marriages fail ever day that commitment forces a degree of stamina and drive than making a resolution. After all you wouldn’t make a resolution on your wedding day…would you?

Something else about resolutions –  you usually make them to yourself, rarely will you let anyone else in on your secret. And it’s because if you fail no one else knows. But a commitment demands that it be shared and by sharing you gain supporters and a team of encouragers to see you through the difficult times when you’re ready to let go and try again ‘Next Year’.

For 2015 I’d like to offer these 10 Steps to making ‘Successful Commitments’

Write it Down – Goals are specific, measureable and time bounded. Write your goals so that they reflect all three components.

List Your Personal Benefits – Identify exactly “why” you want to this goal. List all the ways you will benefit personally.

Analyze Your Current Position – Success is information dependent, You need integrity in your information. Identify your specific strengths, weaknesses and opportunities as it relates to achieving this goal.

Identify Obstacles and Risks – List everything that could possibly prevent you from achieving this goal.

Identify Investments and Sacrifices – List everything, including time, money and any other sacrifices that you can anticipate.

Knowledge Requirements – Identify what additional knowledge you need to acquire or have access to.

Get a Support Team – List the people, groups and organizations you may need help from as well as the specific role each one plays.

Develop Your Plan – List in chronological order each activity and their corresponding target date for completion. Use all the information gathered in previous steps to develop your plan,

Set a Deadline – Determine on what date you will achieve this goal.

Reward and Celebrate – identify your reward for the achievement of this goal. You deserve it!

After determining my top three  I shared them with four people I trust to help hold me accountable. Now I’m making you my reader the fifth member of my team. Throughout 2015 I will keep you posted on my progress  in the three goals I’ve set for myself and what I do to get back on track should I stumble.  What are my three goals (commitments)?

1. I am committed to getting healthy physically – I have 125 pounds to lose. This means I must lose an average of 10.5 pounds per month.

2. Get healthy financially – by December 2015 I want an additional $3,500 in my savings.

3. Write book number three and have it published by September 2015.

These are my three main goals. I will repeat the ten steps listed for each goal I’ve set for myself. I am excited and look with great expectation to succeeding!

I wish you all the best in achieving your own goals and sticking to the new year commitments you make. I’d love to hear from you. Start today  and plan your steps to making 2015 your best year yet!