Tag Archives: self-esteem

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!

 

Healing From the Hidden Scars


WomanProfleOftentimes 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?

Think about it. A person whose self-esteem has be 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 needs 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 needs 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.

You have the power to help one who has been made to feel powerless to heal and overcome. Get busy. Someone needs you now.

Why Me?


That’s a question all of us at one time or another has uttered. Ironically It’s 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 your say, “Why Not me?”

Does Love Supposed to Hurt?


With this being Domestic Violence Awareness Month I’ve had this question asked by young and old, men and women. My response to that is, ‘if you love yourself would you harm yourself?”. That’s your answer. 100% of the time your response should be no. Then if you wouldn’t harm yourself and you love you why would you entertain the thought that love is supposed to hurt?

I realize that many of us grew up in dysfunctional homes in which verbal and physical abuse was the norm. Just because it’s what you saw doesn’t mean it’s right. Of course rewiring your thinking will take work but it is worth it. Settling for less than what you deserve is not an option therefore put in the work to uplift your self-esteem. Redefine your boundaries so that you do not allow negativity to dictate your thoughts and actions.

How? Start by letting go of the past and redesigning your future. Easy? Of course not! Doable? Absolutely! You have to take the first step and that step is acknowledging that you are worthy of true unconditional healthy love.  Find a quiet room and sit down with pen and paper and describe your ideal relationship. Be specific leave nothing to chance. Now ask yourself, “Am I in this type of relationship now?” If the answer is no then you have two choices. 1. Have a conversation with the other party or 2. if you already know that it’s a lost cause then it’s time to put an exit strategy into place.

In the first choice there’s the opportunity to make changes that are beneficial for both parties. Lack of communication leaves the door open for misunderstanding, mistrust and unhappiness. Set aside time to really talk. Turn off the radio, video games, sports, news, television and cell phones. Pour a glass of wine or a fresh cup of coffee and talk. I mean really talk. Be sure it’s a 2 way street, this means one listens while the other speaks. Listen intently, give eye contact and have an open demeanor. Crossed arms signals your defenses are up and you’re only half listening. Then acknowledge any areas you may need to improve upon. It could be as simple as having a date night. But it could also mean you may need a third party to help you. In either case the goal is to renew, reignite and rekindle a relationship that’s been limping along. That is if you’ve both decided it’s worth saving!

On the other hand if you know it’s time to leave then be wise and plan your exit. You can find an excellent e-book Exit Action Plan: 10 Steps to Leaving an Abusive Relationship to help you with that at www.transformingjunkintojewels.com. Even if your relationship is not an abusive one the tips inside are still useful. Having a plan is essential for success. Once you’ve extricated yourself don’t jump right into another relationship. Love yourself enough to give yourself time to heal and rediscover the unique individual you lost.

We all heal at different levels so don’t compare your situation to anyone else. You’ll know without any doubt when you’re ready to try again. Next time don’t repeat the same mistakes listen to that quiet inner voice when it signals something is not right. Guard your heart and only give it when you know it will be love, appreciated and cherished. Above all remember to ask yourself, “Does Love Supposed to Hurt?”

 

Stop Looking Through Rose-Colored Glasses


That is such an old saying but it still rings true today. Too often we have a tendency to do just that look at things through rose-colored glasses. Sure it’s pretty pleasing to the eye and any flaws or imperfections don’t look so bad. The problem however is when we wear these tinted glasses and it prevents us from seeing things as they truly are. Things that were we to acknowledge could lead us to a new understanding of our circumstances. This is especially true when dealing with relationships.

Relationships are difficult already so compounding the issue by wearing those rose-tinted glasses can be harmful to you emotionally, spiritually and physically. Why? Think about it you’re trying to get to know a new person and that takes time. Too often women especially invest too soon emotionally before they’ve had the opportunity to form opinions based on all the information.

The first time you’re called by something other than the name your parents gave you and you let it slide you’re setting the stage for other things to occur. It’s a simple thing so you decide it’s not a big deal. But what happens when the next time it’s a very derogatory word?  Will you have the courage to address the issue? Why worry then address it in the very beginning. You set the stage on how you’re treated. If you give the signal disrespect is accepted because you GOT to have this person in your life then you’re selling yourself a bill of goods that stink! I have the privilege of riding public transportation to work everyday and when I see the disrespect our young ladies allow it breaks my heart.  How would you like to be addressed as, “chicken head”, “hoe”, “b….”, c..t” or worse? Do these words instill respect, trust,  devotion, caring or love? I think not. They are looking through rose-colored glasses and letting things slide that can only lead to nowhere good.

Your spirit is more than just talking about faith, it’s a part of who you are, your essence your life force. A broken spirit is a very sad one indeed. How do you live a life worth living if your spirit is broken? A broken spirit is void of hope. It is dejected, rejected and isolated. It is molded by the whims of others so much so that the voice of the owner is lost. It has been covered with so much junk that the brilliance that once resided within is dull. But guess what! It’s dull not totally put out therefore hope remains. There’s a spark of life there and all it needs is tending from the right source. So what makes up the right source? You have to start with YOU. You have to love yourself unconditionally flaws and all. Read Justin Albert’s  Self-Esteem and Self-Love.  If you have a teen daughter and you know she has allowed the opinions of others to infiltrate her self-esteem give her The Self-Esteem Workbook for Teens. You’ll be glad you did. But the greatest example for your daughter is you. So what must you do?

Start by letting her see you in action. Let the man come to the door to pick you  up for a date. Let her see him open the door for you, let her see you smile in appreciation and hear the words please and thank-you in your conversations. Let her see and hear you answer to the name your parents gave you. Let her see and hear you praise her for doing well in school and making wise choices. After all you’re her number one example. Let her see you with a man who wears his pants the way they should be worn, not hanging to his knees but clean, smelling good and about a future not a quick way to make a buck. Let her see you put emphasis on the character of the man. She’ll follow your example. Let her know that you’re looking at life clearly and not through rose-colored glasses.

Instill those positive attributes in yourself and cultivate them in your daughter. I know there are many fathers out there being the head of the household, let your actions, thoughts and deeds be an example to your daughters and your sons. Each will pattern after what they see and hear. Don’t allow the outside world to have more influence than you. You’re the head, act like it! Show them you have your priorities in order. An important factor is your faith and belief in something greater than yourself. it guides your every decision, your actions and responses to the trials you face. Show them you face them with courage bending but never breaking. Fathers, dad you are powerful, you have a lot to give don’t be absent for you are more than a paycheck and mothers let respect fall from you so that your daughters and sons will know what it means to have someone who has their back and loves them unconditionally. Even in those instances when your relationship with the father has failed don’t let the relationship between father and child fail. You owe them that. It’s not about you it’s about them. This brings me to another subject if a man you’re considering to allow into your life mistreats your child SHOW HIM THE DOOR!!!!! Enough said.

if you fail to do so and continue to look through those rose-colored glasses the possibility of physical harm becomes a greater possibility.  In more than 15 years the statistics have not changed much.

  • Every 9 seconds in the US a woman is assaulted or beaten.
  • Around the world, at least one in every three women has been beaten, coerced into sex or otherwise abused during her lifetime. Most often, the abuser is a member of her own family.
    • Domestic violence is the leading cause of injury to women—more than car accidents, muggings, and rapes combined.
      • Studies suggest that up to 10 million children witness some form of domestic violence annually.
        • Nearly 1 in 5 teenage girls who have been in a relationship said a boyfriend threatened violence or self-harm if presented with a breakup.
          • Everyday in the US, more than three women are murdered by their husbands or boyfriends.
            • Ninety-two percent of women surveyed listed reducing domestic violence and sexual assault as their top concern.
              • Men who as children witnessed their parents’ domestic violence were twice as likely to abuse their own wives than sons of nonviolent parents.

These are just a few things to keep in mind. All the more reason that it’s imperative that we all take an active part in not looking at life through rose-colored glasses. The alternative can be devastating. Prevention is key especially for our teen girls it’s one of the reason’s that Fresh Start for Women developed the “You Are a Precious Jewel” program for teen girls 13 – 17.  Our goal is to instill in them the desire to  become great students, daughters and leaders of tomorrow.

This life we live was never meant to be easy if it were we’d never be able to appreciate those precious moments were it not for the trials and tests we endure. So live life, live it fully but please STOP LOOKING THROUGH ROSE-COLORED GLASSES.

 

 

 

 

 

What is Your Divine Destiny and Joy


After much prayer and sounding off to friends, family and women in general I have finally embarked on a new venture. It is simply a continuation of what I’m passionate about but on a more personal and intimate level. On October 15th I will launch a new online course:  From Adversity to Passion: A Journey to Your Divine Destiny and Joy. You’ll learn more in the next few weeks but I thought I’d give you a small introduction.  Women who sign up for the course will have to answer some hard hitting questions. They include:

What are you hoping to achieve by completing this course (your goals)?

After completing this course what top 3 things do you want to put on your Loving Me Now and Beyond list?

This course will require a lot of writing and revisiting some unpleasant situations, however the end result, a life free from the past is worth be uncomfortable for a while After all true transformation can be painful.

  • Before the transformation can begin you have to be honest with yourself. It doesn’t matter if you’ve lied to others in the past and now believe the lie yourself, it’s time to be really truly free from your painful past. Honesty is paramount so let’s answer three questions regarding those things from the past.
  1. When you travel through your memories of the past do you feel as if you’re right there in the moment?
  2. Does your heart race and you have the feeling you’re about to hyperventilate?
  3. Are you unable to have a conversation about the past without emotional tidal waves hitting you full force?
  4. If you’ve answered yes to two or more then you’re the perfect candidate to receive the gift of release from God. So, here are the next three questions:
  1. Do you want release?

2. Are you ready for release?

3. Are you willing to do the work?

This course is by no means an easy course; so to assist you in the process I have some questions you’ll need to answer in order to determine whether you’ve reached where you need to be in order to take full advantage of this course. (questions are part of the Overview)

This is going to sting a bit as you travel down an old path. Keep in mind however that the destination is much more important than this journey you’re about to travel. Why? It’s because the journey is what has led you here. So be appreciative of the journey, scars and all. However, look with anticipation for the destination. It will bring you to a place you only dreamed of; and it will lay the ground work for something worth more than money, rubies or gold. So hang in there.

The first thing I want to be clear about, this is not an opportunity for man bashing, blaming or self-doubt. It is first and foremost a real opportunity to look the past head-on and then glean from it the lessons to be learned and release the rest. To help facilitate this is the reason for the questionnaires you have been asked to complete. Don’t worry the questions are for you. There’s no grade involved but you must be as honest as you possibly can.

Have I piqued your interest? Want to learn more. Visit www.transformingjunkintojewels.com and register so you’ll be in the loop and just to thank you for registering you’ll receive my free E-book – Exit Action Plan: 10 Steps for Leaving an Abusive Relationship.