The funny thing about life is we don’t realize how much time has passed until we sit back and reflect.
So many moments, opportunities…. and so much life gets wrapped into the lessons.
It is only when we are truly awake that we see all the beauty that has passed before us.
Throughout my healing process, it has been interesting to me to see the same thing or person, visit a familiar place, only to view it differently. It’s as if my eyes have been replaced.
My perception of my surroundings and how I view reality has been modified.
How I handle disappointment.
How I treat myself.
What I am willing to deal with.
What I am willing to accept.
And sometimes, remove from my life.
This past weekend, I was walking down the path to our lake. And another moment hit me.
I recall being here, but not going down to the water for some time because the stairs were not yet built.
It was a rocky, well worn path of dirt down to the water. And I didn’t want to trip.
Or feel pain.
I could recognize that the old part of me was speaking fear to the renewed me, but still I stood at the top, fearing defeat.
The earthiness beneath my feet and the lapping lake down below didn’t hold enough gratification for me to take that first step.
…until I did.
You see, as humans we want what we want.
Mostly, instant rewards and constant acknowledgement.
Just open up Facebook to see what I mean.
The posts about the engagement, the new job, or even just that someone did their laundry and what they made for dinner demand “wows” or likes. And, unfortunately, the same goes for me. I want to feel good. All the time.
After what felt like a lifetime of pain and chaos, all I yearn for is peace and stability, which I realize won’t always be available.
So, I cope.
I use my mechanisms to go beyond the old patterns. The old recordings. The old voices of the past that are hell bent to hold me back.
And I achieve.
I achieve without expectations.
I work hard to be better for the world and for me.
My latest strategy is to tackle and learn about anything that provokes fear or anxiety within me. I address it, jump into it and face it.
And then, magically, all of the power is taken from that uncertainty and built back up inside of me.
The difference in me has been the internal work. The work the world doesn’t get to see. The things I only allow my soul to applaud or sometimes to grieve.
I set boundaries. I set goals. I pray more and worry less, knowing my God has it all under His mighty control.
More often now than ever, I take that first step with much less hesitation.
I smiled freely as I ran up and down that well worn path the last few days.
Getting onto the boat, making memories with my family.
Running down it to sit and admire the sunset from the dock.
And at one time, walk down it slowly to thank God for the lesson.
I realized that hill no longer held any power over me.
Taking the first step when the road may seem unstable can be terrifying.
Believe me…I get it.
You’re unsteady, uncertain and it’s so much easier to stand up on the solid ground.
But what are you missing while doing just that?
You’re missing the adventure, the moments, the things you’ll tell stories about for years! The opportunities,
the gifts the world needs from you….now, TODAY!
Take that first step.
Whatever it may be.
You’ll begin to LIVE louder, LOVE harder, and LAUGH with pure certainty ❤️.
Cheers to you this Labor Day weekend and always.
May you find YOUR bumpy path and walk it with intention 🙏.
It’s been awhile since I could find the words. They seem to have escaped my mind and mouth, although my heart is full of them.
There’s so much I still have to tell her, so many more years I planned to share.
We would talk about growing old and the four of us going on adventures when we were retired.
We were going to travel together once she felt better and cause all kinds of trouble 😉.
She was a rock.
An irreplaceable gift that God shared with me and so many others.
My soul sister.
And the beautiful light in her still shines on.
3 weeks ago, she passed on.
That’s 21 days.
And still, already it has been too long.
I miss my friend.
I miss our morning text messages more than I can say.
I miss the feeling of security and joy she brought to my life every day.
Really, I miss her in every single way.
Sometimes, I pretend she’s on vacation and she’ll be back soon to tell me all about her latest adventure. But, I know that day won’t come.
Death is so final, isn’t it? Like, you won’t get the chance to answer that call or have that moment or…anything at all.
I really hate that.
So, how do you move on when you have this hole in your heart?
When the person you shared your daily pieces of “life” with no longer is here?
I need an answer, because I don’t know.
I just keep walking forward, as she would do.
Even through her illness, she always put her loved ones before herself.
Throughout her entire battle, she always stopped to comfort, love and show up.
Her strength and dignity were astounding.
Whenever she got disappointing news, she kept on. She persevered. She had a warrior’s mindset.
Keep fighting, NEVER give up.
Last week, on vacation, I teared up many times, as I went to send her a picture or a funny experience and then I realized …she can no longer reply…. and I hate it.
It feels so unfair.
We had so much left to experience here!
Grief is such a mixed up emotion.
Some days we’re ok and others, we are a mess. I feel selfish at times for wanting her back.
One moment, we cry and ache inside and the next, feel empowered by the words or memories left behind.
My beautiful girl taught me so many lessons while she was here. Many, I didn’t even know about until she had left.
She did them all.
I always wondered where she found the time or energy to be the beaming light she was to so many.
Her light was from within.
And her energy came from above.
She believed her purpose here was to Love.
To not “sweat the small stuff” as she told my daughter’s and I.
We had a girl’s weekend with her two weeks before she passed.
It was so hard for her, but she insisted we come. She wanted her “girl time” she said.
She fought through so much pain and discomfort that weekend.
And that light she exuded never dimmed.
I feel God reached down upon her that Saturday afternoon.
She had a very tough morning and we were concerned. After a nap, she woke up with an energy we only remembered. She made us her famous bloodies, requested some comfort foods and danced around her living room.
I dislike country music and she had put some on. When I reminded her of that, she cranked the volume and danced!
We talked about our lives, her adventures as a younger woman and played a board game she liked.
And we had our girl back for that special moment in time.
When it was time for her to go to bed, she asked for one of us to tuck her in.
My daughters allowed for me to have that precious time.
Once I helped her get comfortable, we held one another’s hands and cried.
She was so very tired.
I asked her if we could pray together and she said she would love to.
So we grasped hands, so tightly we felt each other’s hearts beating and prayed.
We prayed for renewal, for strength and for His love to forever shine on her and her loved ones.
Whenever we prayed, via text or phone, we’d end with “We Believe “.
And we did.
And I do.
I moved up and whispered in her ear that I loved her. I told her she was the best sister I have her had and kissed her forehead.
She would always say,
“Love you more”.
When we left the next morning, that was my last embrace. And I knew it.
Her poor body was so tired. If it was up to her mind, she would have lived two lifetimes!
I will treasure that time with her for all of my days.
Even though she isn’t here with me, her love will always be a part of me.
I find comfort in knowing that maybe she was here as a great connector. Often times I’ll try to recall how I became friends with someone and remember that she introduced us.
If you knew her, you loved her and whoever she knew…you just assumed they were one of the good ones too.
My soul sister.
Her time here was too short, but what an impact she made.
To live life with the vigor and passion she did,
to give unconditional, abundant love to those she knew,
and to have the unshakable Faith of a mountain.
She showed us all how to be here.
How to “be here now”.
Your light with shine on, Kandice.
We will remember your grace and passion in all of we do.
In the friendships you planted between us all.
In the kindness, understanding and patience you gave so freely.
In the laughter we share for the times gone by.
And, in all the lessons of life you have left behind.
I’ll never stop missing your beautiful face, your infectious laugh and your love.
But I also know you are running with me, guiding us, and smiling with Jesus above.
Thank you for sharing a part of your life here with me.
Love you more, Soul.
“I Believe “💜
Your “fat bottomed girl” Linda
I dedicate this to my soul sister, my sister in Christ, and the best friend I have ever had, Kandice O’Brien Svec🙏
I woke up too late to go to the gym today, so here I sit, awaiting the sunrise so I can go on a run.
The run my body and mind have been craving. Lately, my head has been full and the best thing for that is running through the thoughts.
Funny how God knows just how to care for us, just what to do to expand us further into who we are to be.
The Potter and His clay.
So, this morning, I am His for the molding.
I see it’s been awhile since I have posted. Quite some time since I have had the time to let things stir inside of me.
It’s been a long winter.
A season filled with hope, silence and the secrets of blossoming. Time spent growing quietly, underneath the blanket of snow.
I, too, have been silently transforming.
So many beautiful things have been happening for and to me.
As I walk through each day, I continue to see so much.
I see so much light, darkness, success, struggle and love.
I see those who are suffering in circumstances they may not have chosen.
And I remember being in that place too.
This is my way of giving and letting you know “I see you” today.
I’m giving you some insight that there is a way, if you can stay focused and believe.
It seems like so long ago I began seeing a therapist for my past traumas. I went with the intention of securing my current relationship and clearing out the bad behaviors from a time gone by. I was seeking a fresh start, praying for new hope.
I didn’t realize He was listening and had something greater in store than I could have ever imagined.
He was making me new again.
Once beginning the therapy, we realized there were many unresolved issues lurking. So, the therapist and I decided to dedicate the sessions to me, alone.
To dig deep and rid myself of the burdens I was carrying….for good.
She said it would take work and would be quite unpleasant.
At that time, I didn’t realize what I had agreed to.
We tore off the bandaids and revealed the wounds.
Wounds from a dark childhood, splattered with fears and disappointments.
We uncovered memories my younger mind had blocked.
In the midst of my healing journey, I was instructed to journal, as I felt comfortable.
I found it quite calming and started to write out my emotions and memories every day.
It was a way of cleansing and releasing the “shit”.
So, I did just that.
I counseled, journaled and released.
For almost a decade.
One of the hardest assignments of my entire life was the day we decided that it was time to let my family “pass”. The constant hurt, the pain of yesterday…and the present was more than my soul could bear.
In order to fully heal, my relationship with each of them had to be done.
For myself and future generations.
I realized it was was time to “break the cycle”.
I’m sure you’ve heard that phrase as often as I, but I certainly will never take it for granted again.
“Breaking the cycle” takes a courage you have to find from somewhere beyond yourself. You have to continually show up for the pain, get comfortable being alone, not fitting in, and most importantly….truly love yourself. ❤️
To reframe the future for yourself, your children, and grandchildren takes a love like no other.
After more than a decade, I have risen.
I have let go of my past and have healed from the pain. The pain that I didn’t sign up for, or ask to be a part of.
Now, I am grateful for it all.
My healing journey will soon be revealed.
To be given, in love, to those who need a lift.
To be shared with the other warriors of the world, fighting to keep their head above the muck of their circumstances.
You can rise, too.
Remove one block each day.
Remove it and hold it in your hand.
And then, realizing it has no place in your future, release it.
By releasing the “shit”, it leaves room for all the good!
It allows for Joy to re-enter your life.
It creates space for love and understanding, Patience and continued growth.
My years of journals have become my first book, which I will soon share with the world.
A book of hope, healing and inspiration.
I created space the day I moved my mountains.
My mountains were my childhood, my family, and all of the resentment and pain.
The mountains were replaced with forgiveness, understanding and so much love.
Since then, I feel so much lighter.
What mountains are you carrying?
God will take them.
He’ll help you move them, just as He did for me.
I won’t lie, friends. It wasn’t easy. There were days and nights of tears, anger and so much sadness for what could never be.
There were times I wanted to go back because the road ahead was too hard. But, I walked on.
I gave my burdens to God and hiked up that mountain like it was a mound of sand.
Anything…..and, I mean Anything is Possible through Him.
Stay tuned for my release date and until then, take some time to evaluate your life and decide.
Decide if you want to continue on the path of least resistance and suffering OR is it time to take that long journey up the mountain and finally begin to LIVE??
Whatever burden you carry today, know there is Hope.
There is Power.
And there is a way to get to the Top.
Just keep looking up✔️
You have our God ready and willing to carry you when you can’t go on.
May your Monday be blessed and May your heart be at peace today.
I woke up this morning, thinking that I needed to blog about anxiety. I wasn’t clear why, until I realized it was World Mental Health Day.
My mental health journey has been an interesting one. From my family’s experiences, dear friend’s struggles, to my own battles.
I absolutely LOVE that we, as a society, are finally recognizing these struggles as illnesses. Maybe now, those who need the help will feel comfortable enough to seek it.
My journey with anxiety has been a lifelong one.
I’m starting to believe it could be environmental, hereditary and even possibly linked to poor nutrition.
I grew up in a very chaotic home as a child.
Early on, I was diagnosed with IBS, acid reflux, you name it. All because I couldn’t actually eat. I would try, but my body wouldn’t allow the food to be digested. Looking back, I now know, it was due to the crazy high amounts of stress my poor body was forced to endure daily.
I recall trying to go to kindergarten, and my Grandma insisted I eat something before I went. Sometimes, I could get down a couple spoonfuls of chicken noodle soup. Only moments later, I’d cry and think I was going to throw up. Many mornings, I walked to school chewing gum to calm my system.
I remember, as a teenager, feeling my heart beat out of my chest, as I walked home from middle school. I thought maybe I was out of shape, so I began to run the track and play tennis that summer. It helped, but I now realize, the exercise very likely calmed my nervous system and regulated my heart.
My adult life has been an array of “episodes “. That’s what I have grown to lovingly call them.
Each episode takes me to a place I have never ventured into before. But, through my unwavering faith and determination to beat this demon, I have learned so very much.
My purpose in writing this today is to help you or a loved one live with some of the same. ♥️
It’s a quiet battle, and sometimes shameful for some.
I often refer to anxiety as a demon. As it can feel like a monster at times. It seems to come out of nowhere, you try to fight it, but then…it grips you like a snake choking its prey.
And, there you sit, trying to frantically figure a way out of it’s suffocating grasp.
My first real bout with what I refer to as“insanity” was about 5 years ago, after an emergency dental surgery. I had an infection in my wisdom tooth and it had to be removed. I had never been put under before and was literally terrified to do so. I now know so much about my childhood and believe my health related fears stem from the lack of care in my formative years.
I was feeling pretty good about things until I had a reaction to the antibiotic I was on. I literally spun out of control.
I was petrified to live.
“What if it’s something else”, “what if this, that”….the anxiety was so strong, it kept me up for days.
I got better , got over it, learned a lot and moved on.
Until the next random wisdom tooth infection no more than 2 years after. That was worse than the first.
I describe my bouts with health related fear as terror.
I feel out of control, shaky, broken, and disheartened.
It’s like this black cloud that just won’t clear.
I moved through life for many years, healthy and calm, until this past summer.
Like I said, demonic.
It’s as if Satan is watching and knows you’re healthy, strong, empowered and all is well. It’s as if the snake is just watching…waiting to strike.
This past August, I had some unexpected, unexplained female issues that just didn’t add up to me. In following my intuition, I went to my Dr., thinking I was just over exercising. Only to be told I needed a uterine biopsy.
The word “biopsy” in itself caused mania to rise inside of my already taxed body.
Long story short, it came back normal and all is well…my last blog talks in detail about that journey. However, in between working, meeting with friends, grocery shopping, and putting on my best face for the world, there was darkness everywhere.
My husband, children, and in laws are humans I hold in the highest regards.
They know me and more importantly, love and accept me for who I am.
I am blessed beyond measure to have the support system that I do. Along with a few treasured friends whom I can be raw with.
And in total honesty, I am not sure I would I have gotten through this last battle without them.
After losing my Dad, about 4 years ago, I had an awakening.
In grieving for him, to the point of crying on my knees one afternoon, I was able to see why he lived the way he did.
That poor man was suffering.
In his generation, Men were supposed to be strong and not cry or feel, right?
He didn’t have yoga, cbd oil, massage therapy, therapists, a huge support system, or the ability to talk about his demons.
I believe his intense, life altering anxiety drove him to alcohol. For, He needed the rest.
Unfortunately, the anxiety and inability to deal with, and manage it…took away the quality of his life. It destroyed his family, any friendships he tried to manifest, along with his ability to work.
My brother, Alan, also couldn’t take the noise. The kindest, most gentle man. The pain of others that he carried on his shoulders, the constant noise, the fear. Also, no support system, no way to find means to help him…he turned to antidepressants and vodka. The cocktail that he overdosed on one night that ended his young life. For 36 years, he fought the good fight, but the demon won.
After seeing this, recognizing these men’s struggles, even as a young woman…I was determined to win.
I have accepted the fact that this is my battle. We all have one. Or many. I will have to be on top of my mental, physical and spiritual health throughout my life….in order to live it fully.
My last episode, in August, has taught me the most.
Let me share…
My work led me into neglect of all the healthy things I know I must do. I said “yes” to a showing, instead of a massage. I said “yes” to a gin and club instead of green tea, in essence, I said “No” to my balance and well being.
The same day I called my Dr., I began a detox.
What I mean by that, is of everything unhealthy for me.
Acquaintances, foods, sugar, my running and intense exercise routine, saying “yes”, and the main detox was of my mind.
I left the hamster wheel for a period of time.
I got back to nature and rekindled my strong relationship with my God. I ate only healing foods, I stripped my life of the noise, and unhealthy friends.
Now, I get that not everyone has the opportunity to do these things. My career allows me to set my own schedule and I am so thankful for that.
However, August was a reminder.
It was a loud voice reminding me that my mental health is affected by multiple exterior elements.
Did you know that certain supplements help ease anxiety and depression? Did you know that just 30 minutes of exercise a day can boost your mood? Did you know that an epsom salt bath allows your body to absorb magnesium, which is a calming factor? If your hormones are off, your anxiety levels can spike? The list of factors that affect it are many!!!
I truly believe it was a wake up call from above and so, I listened.
My God told my body to whisper.
We have this one body that houses our precious soul. Why wouldn’t we put all of our energy, time and money into nurturing it more than anything or anyone else?
So, back to anxiety.
I have still managed, through my delicate diet, yoga and meditation practices, love for self, and protection of my time to avoid medication for my anxiety. I am not opposed to it, it is just what I prefer. I truly believe that our symptoms are warning signals from our bodies that something isn’t right, and I prefer to have those unfiltered.
That being said, I have close friends that have chosen medication, and it has enhanced their quality of life.
It has allowed them to show up, to work, and to get some rest.
I can only live my life with the knowledge and experience I have been blessed with.
I can only pray that those who battle the demons of mental illness realize that it’s OK!!!!
It’s so ok to not be ok!!!
We are human BEINGS….ever changing, growing and sometimes just trying to survive in an uncertain world.
Empower yourselves against the monsters by being proactive with your health!
In all ways, my friends.
My perfect prescription for overall well being is clean nutrition, weekly chiropractic adjustments, bimonthly massages, the proper supplements for your unique self, quiet time, yoga or meditation, exercise, sunshine, a strong support system, and your God🙏
There is power,
And there is Hope when there is God💜
To all of the warriors….
I see you, I send my love to you, and I pray for you to have the courage to fight.
May the world know how incredibly strong we all are and may those who love us offer us understanding, kindness and grace.
I dedicate this blog to my brother, Alan and my Dad.
I miss you , I love you, and I promise to never give up✔️
1. Before I begin this, I want to Give all of the Glory to God, Our Lord and Savior.
From whom all blessings flow♥️
2. Ladies, I want you to find a support system, an amazing Dr. that will actually LISTEN… and I want you to listen to the whispers.
Our bodies are always talking to us.
Did you know that?
From the tinge of pain, the occasional headache, the sleepless night, to the anxiety.
It seems that the busier we get these days, many of us are not listening and that can cause problems in so many ways.
I sometimes picture myself, sitting in a circle of chairs with a group of women, ADMITTING…
“My name is Linda and I am Perimenopausal.
Who’s with me?!
I am 47 years old. A successful business woman, mother of 4, wife of a rockstar, and sometimes…
I think my body is attacking me.
I had a conversation with my youngest son some time ago. We were discussing health and supplements. Somewhere in the discussion, I said, “You know it’s not normal to be in pain…right?” Yet, so many people move through life in a cloud of Tylenol and Ibuprofen. Supplements include caffeine, Red Bull, or whatever gets them through the day.
Ladies and Gentlemen….this is not ok.
My menopausal journey has been pretty quiet. A few irrational days, a few extra products, a bit more emotional (although my husband may choose different words), and not much to “hear”.
I consider myself a proactive person in regards to my health. I attribute my all encompassing protection of my body to my childhood; as back then, my own health and fitness was the only thing I could control.
It’s gonna get a little graphic here, so if you can’t handle it, turn back now….
I had been telling my husband for a couple of months that I felt “off”. My emotions were out of whack, my body was extra tired.
I have been training for a half marathon I planned to run in September and therefore, running 13-15 miles a week, along with 2-3 heavy duty weight lifting days on top. My job has been out of control for many months. Long hours, hectic schedule and all that good stuff.
Somewhere along the line, I stopped listening to her…she, my greatest treasure…the one who houses my soul.
The 2-3 cups of coffee weren’t kicking in, I wasn’t recovering from the workouts and the runs?….why wasn’t I improving? It was like I was always running uphill!!
A couple months ago, I started having “issues” after my weightlifting workouts. Breakthrough bleeding is what it is referred to. It is common for someone competing or really pushing their body to the limit, but I can assure you…I was not.
It happened a few more times. But, I had to keep training and so I pushed on.
Why, oh why do we do that ???
A couple weeks ago, it happened again and her whisper was loud.
Not only did I have that, but I felt as though I had gained 10 pounds overnight, had a headache I couldn’t shake and had the potential need for a bigger bra.
What on earth was happening?
Normally, I would push on and push it off onto menopause.
Google Perimenopause and you’ll find all those symptoms.
But, I chose to sit for a moment that Tuesday and just listen.
I called my husband to let him know what was wrong and we decided it was time to call my Dr.
I gave the nurse the rundown and was gently prompted to set up an ultrasound and a thyroid test
I just have some breakthrough bleeding…I don’t have time for this.
And worse, could something be wrong????
My panic set in as I wondered what I missed. What did I do wrong to my poor girl?
Did I not love and care for her the way she needed me to?
Long story short, the ultrasound showed something that got the Drs attention and he ordered a biopsy of my uterus.
My thyroid also came back messed up.
Ladies, do you know how many hours I have spent on google the last few weeks and what that will do to you?!
But, I’ll tell ya what.
I also read an amazing book that I had recently pulled out of hiding. A book that my beautiful daughter shared with me years ago. But, when she gave it to me, I was feeling level and good, so why even read it right?
It’s called Woman Code.
And it was a gift from above.
Before my appointment, I read the whole damn thing.
It was incredibly eye opening.
I realize I am also experiencing adrenal fatigue…and if you hold a job, live a life, or are breathing and in your 40s, well, you may be too.
My point is we have to listen.
We have to love and respect the house of our soul.
Did you realize that what you are doing TODAY, for example, what you are putting in your body, how often you move it, and how you handle stress determines your future health?
So why are so many of ignoring the whispers?
She is talking to you all the time!
I am so grateful for my intimate relationship with my body. For my intuitive nature and for being proactive.
It’s been a long few weeks, my friends.
From the full day crying in my bed, the brain fog, and the dark what if’s.
I’m 47 and for the first time in my life, I was truly afraid.
I’m sharing this all here as I want to bring awareness to women all over.
Ladies, we have to slow down. We have to give our bodies what they need.
We have to remember that we know ourselves better than anyone.
And we have to listen to her whispers.
To double back, my biopsy was healthy and Clear. No precancer or cancer. Just some Perimenopausal ovaries short circuiting and confusing my body.
Praise you, Lord Jesus.
It was as if a heavy black curtain was lifted off of me.
And, so, that is where I have been.
In my head, under the covers in my bed, drifting through the present, and the what if’s.
I also was deep in prayer.
Sitting alone with God.
Walking with Him…literally.
Trying to find the lesson the Master was showing me. In His wisdom, so much gratitude and appreciation was brought to light.
For my husband, my health, my children, my beautiful friends and support system, my dog, my in laws and my mom.
For the friends who prayed with me, had lunch with me, and were open enough to share their stories with me.
And my Doctor.
He is one of a kind.
Listens, acts quickly and with compassion.
God is Good🙏
He may take us through some troubled waters, but never without His hand.
I also spent hours researching, reading, reaching out to other women, and thanking God for bringing me to fitness and running.
Who knows…maybe my workouts saved my life.
When my normal workout recovery was suddenly different, I heard her call.
I acted fast and my Dr did too.
Ladies, if you are over 40, get the check ups!!!!!
Take the time.
Do the research on adrenal fatigue and how it raises cortisol levels and suppresses progesterone.
Do the research on estrogen dominance.
Do the research on why your thyroid is off.
Why the irregularities?
It can just be Perimenopause, but man, oh man….what else could it be?
Through this, I remembered to allow myself Grace.
I give it to so many others. Why not me?
My plan is to go forward with gratitude, healing foods, lighter fitness goals, and float through my menopause journey with God as my pilot.
For He will direct my path 💜
God is Good, Ladies.
All the Time🙏
Check in with “her” today and again tomorrow.
Ask her what she needs, how she feels, what she’s missing.
And love her. Love her like she means everything to you. Because she is everything 💜
I’m not sure if you are familiar with Saturday Night Live and the legendary Chris Farley. A skit of his comes to mind as I begin this blog.
He’s finishing up and they have him on some contraption that suspends him above the crowd. He’s being hilarious and keeps saying, “I’m Flying, I’m flying”.
Recently, I have found my wings.
I woke and wanted to share empowerment this morning.
It seems like so long ago, but in the realm of a life, it really was just a moment. A little over a decade ago, I’m fairly certain I had a nervous breakdown.
I had recently divorced, had been in the midst of a custody battle and had distanced myself from my entire family.
I spent most of my days angry, envious, sad, and tired.
It was this kind of exhaustion I had never felt before and pray I never do again.
Then, one morning, after the kids went off to school and my husband to the office, I broke apart.
I still remember lying on the living room floor, screaming in tears, while my dog licked my face. I must have lied there for hours, sobbing and releasing years of pain.
You know how you have those times in life when it’s almost as if you’ve been punched in the stomach and the wind is knocked out of you?
You can’t breathe, but are suddenly calm. The blow happened so fast, you didn’t see it coming.
And suddenly, out of nowhere…..you are awake.
When I reflect on that morning, I refer to it as the day I answered the “call”.
I got up, made an agreement with myself and God….and everything started to change.
The last ten years have been a shedding process for me.
I came across a quote recently that was picture worthy and has made it to my bulletin board.
“We go through life, we shed our skins, we become ourselves “
It has been a process like no other.
I have found that once you make a decision, the universe, God, and all the guardian angels show up, ready for the battle ahead.
As I have shared in earlier blogs, I made a promise to myself to dig deep, get to the root of my suffering, and change.
It began with my counselor and confronting demons I had only covered up. I felt all the feelings and am only left with the scars now.
Then, I joined a gym and found fitness was this amazing release for my anxiety and anger. It was a healthy habit, unlike alcohol or food.
Then came running, clean eating, self awareness and accountability.
Shortly after my Dad passed away, forgiveness stepped in the door.
I had 2 coaches that were strong and brave enough to deal with me.
And the biggest influencer in my life, standing strong…my husband. This man is a rock and I truly believe, he was sent to me from above 💜
It’s amazing what resources and support can do for another human.
But the biggest game changer in the journey?
Believing in yourself allows you to take on this whole other world. Huh, who knew?
Who knew that through the pain and suffering, I’d find myself.
All those years ago, all I wanted was to feel better and be better. I had no idea that trusting in Gods plan and allowing Him to guide me into where I needed to be and accepting who He brought into my life would lead me here.
I just kept saying “yes”.
Life is phenomenal and limitless if you let it be.
There are so many opportunities and so much happiness to be found.
The shitshow of 2020 gets all the credit for my latest evolution.
I can’t tell you how many times I have been told this in the past year.
At first, it startled me.
Like, “oh gosh, what have I done?”
I’m different? Oh no!
Will I lose friends, clients, my identity?
Yeah, I make myself laugh.
The silence of 2020, especially, around June and July, brought out a familiar form of me.
I recognized that the envious, angry, helpless Linda was emerging.
I watched as my clothes got tighter, from the crap I was filling holes with. I watched as my heart became harder and….you know what?
I stopped it.
I took action.
I went into my garage and began to lift weights. I fell back into the time when I was my healthiest and refused to become lazy in my pursuit of my best life.
I recall asking myself out loud, “ what if this is it?”
For a time, 2020 took away everything that really mattered to me and that was an awakening.
I also realized it cleared a path for me to be strong enough to weed my life garden.
I chose to only allow back in what would bring me closer to my life purpose.
I found this sense of calm…..This child like belief in myself again….and I remembered to LIVE.
That may sound very strange, but many of us are not alive.
We are muddling through each day, waiting for the dreams and the happiness to come to us.
I chose to find those things, even in the midst of the chaos.
I made a decision to be proActive in living happy and chasing down the dreams I had been waiting for.
Since last July, I have never been so fulfilled, felt so much power and am “healthy”.
Tony Robbins says we are either living in suffering or living in health.
Every day comes with challenges and how we decide to accept and address those challenges determines our “state”.
To live a life of health is not easy.
It comes with discipline, it involves difficult decisions and sometimes the hardest part is the shedding. The shedding of people. The shedding of limiting beliefs. The shedding of the shadow you once were.
We are not born to sit in a sedentary state. Just as a planted seed is determined to blossom into a flower, so are we!!!
Growth is uncomfortable for sure, but so very worth it.
I made my a promise to myself over a decade ago to make sure I lived a life of purpose.
I wanted to ensure that the pain I lived through as a child, all the lessons I had learned and all I went through was not in vain.
Growth is messy.
A blog isn’t the place to share the mess.
In today’s society, everyone wants the magic pill. The quick fix, the answer.
My first coach taught me that true change comes from within. Coaches, counselors, mentors are just facilitating. You must do the work.
And statistics show that when the work gets too hard, or in the way of the picture you have painted to the outer world, humans quit and go back to being who they were.
I kept looking for more opportunities for growth.
My second coach and I were working out one day and I was telling him about my “goal”. He flat out told me that he was “excited to hear my words.”
Essentially, he called me a fraud. A poser.
I talked about what I would do but then never did anything.
He taught me that in order for true change to actually occur, one must take Action.
Anyone can SAY they are going to do something. But it takes a brave, determined soul to actually fucking do it.
So I did.
My latest coach is still teaching me.
He is showing me how to show up for opportunities, how to say “yes”, be bold, authentic and patient.
And, I am. 🐺
Here’s the thing, friends.
Change. Evolution. A piece of sand becoming a pearl.
That shit doesn’t happen because you have announced it on Facebook or told a few friends.
You don’t lose weight because you “said” you wanted to.
You don’t get the promotion because you “thought “ about it.
And you don’t run across the marathon finish line because you bought the awesome running shoes!
You must do the work.
Can I be real for a moment?
Shits only fucked up on the outside because of the garbage on the inside.
Give that bag of trash to God and start over!
A caterpillar doesn’t develop its wings for a very long time time.
They make a plan, prepare and go into seclusion alone to make the change.
And, when they emerge, they are majestic and beautiful.
The success is in the mess. That’s where we learn the lesson.
That’s where we find ourselves.
I am nearing the corner of the greatest part of my life.
I am ready to grow, empower and Fly.
For the first time in 46 years, I’m leaving the parachute at home because I finally believe in my own Wings.
You wanna know a secret?
If you make a promise to yourself today, and do the work, you’ll grow wings too!!
Have a blessed day.
Dig deep, find your shit. Address it. Find the support of others. Learn from those who are already where you want to be.
And most importantly?
In the midst of it all, LOVE and LIVE like it’s your last day.
A picture came up on my Facebook timeline this morning of my mother in law and I at the grocery store at 6am.
It was the first day of shut down in our area and we were making sure we had enough of everything.
The uncertainty that morning was haunting, causing my insides to tremble.
I was trying to find humor and positivity in the midst of a strange time, and I did for a moment.
I don’t think my mind, heart or soul was prepared for 2020. I’m not really sure any of ours were.
My husband and I thought maybe we’d be shut down for 6 weeks. Maybe 8…but then life would go back to normal and we’d all talk about the “shutdown” of 2020.
….little did I know.
Like many, 2020 was life altering for me.
I went into the pandemic fearful.
I was so paralyzed by the fear of losing my family or friends, what the virus could do, where it was, how we got it.
There were so many unknowns.
Living with ptsd and severe anxiety, last year could have leveled me.
So, I made a decision the 1st day the state closed to take control over 3 things in my life.
1. I will continue to run.
2. I will continue to work.
3. I promise to LIVE through this.
Those 3 promises saved me.
They brought me back to center when life was swirling out of control.
I ran in my favorite park, on my favorite trail. I said hello, smiled and wave to those I passed by. I showed up and took care of my mental and spiritual health.
There were some days I was nervous to show up. In my line of work, I show homes. Going into others spaces was a big step. Respect was at an all time level. I didn’t want to put my clients, the sellers, or myself at risk for the virus.
Early on, if you recall, they didn’t even know how it was passed. But, still I showed up.
My clients zest to go on with life, dreams and goals allowed me to be stronger. I am so blessed by them.
Now, friends, this was the hard part. Like, really hard.
I can’t see my children, my mom, my in laws, my dear friends. I couldn’t go out for a gin, I couldn’t go to a movie, out to dinner or do the “normal” things my life was made up of for 46 years.
There was one day, I was about to shower and I broke.
Like someone hit me with a club behind the knees.
Fell to the floor and screamed.
Why get ready?
What am I showing up for?
That morning, I lost the most important tool of human life.
It had been a few months and the world just seemed darker.
I was still running, but now, when I passed by another, they turned away. No one waved or said hello anymore.
My business was still good, but one has to find more in life to look forward to then work and chores.
That’s when I decided there was MORE.
More than the day to day grind.
Before the pandemic, I feel like I lived a very full life. In the midst of it, I asked myself what it was full of.
Was I truly LIVING or just SPENDING TIME?
What if this was it?
The last day, week or year of my time here?
Was I happy how I LIVED it? Was my time here spent well?
With those questions in front of me, I made a decision.
Growing up in an alcoholic home, I lived in FEAR and uncertainty. Chaos was a daily vitamin.
I decided that day, somewhere in July, to move past the fear.
If this is it, how can I make the biggest impact with the time I have been given?
I’ll tell you how…
I became Present.
I took more time with my loved ones and truly engaged.
I became grateful for every crisis, broken water pipe, flat tire, and every moment. I realized it’s all part of the lesson we are here for.
I chose(which is a huge word for me) I CHOSE to be authentic and raw.
I shed people and places and THINGS.
2020 was a release of everything in my life that was still clinging to the old me.
The old recordings,
the people I shrunk for,
the expectations of society,
and I finally was freed up enough to be ME.
I don’t think I really knew how to be.
My husband and I moved twice in the midst of the pandemic. Once to a tiny home, where I had to donate and give away most of my things.
Then, after 8 months, we moved to a more suitable space where our family could gather and we could spread our wings.
A funny thing happened in that transition.
I gave more “things” away.
I had grown so much that I no longer needed to fill space.
“Filling space“, meaning; with people, material items or noise.
I found solace in the gratitude of living my life.
There’s an older song (probably a classic now) by Nickelback. “If today was your last day”.
Give it a listen today.
I have it on my running playlist as a reminder to live for today.
If there is anything at all that 2020 gifted me….
It is to LOVE deeper, be GRATEFUL for everything and to just fucking LIVE 💥
We get this one, big, beautiful moment here.
Why the hell would you ever play by someone else’s rules?
Anyway, thanks for reading.
I hope 2021 has brought you clarity, respect, health and peace.
I pray the storm of COVID-19 came to clear our path♥️
I have found that once you start being grateful for every little thing in your life, something changes.
It really does.
Like, this veil lifts off of your eyes and you see absolutely every human, animal, day, and act in a different light.
Ever have a day when nothing seems to go right?
Oh ya, we all have.
Most seem to dwell on the spilled cup of coffee that morning, the flat tire they walked out to after work, or all of things NOT going right in their lives.
But, what if ???
What if you flipped your perspective to see these slow downs, the unplanned, the “problems” as gifts?
What if you gave thanks for virtually every occurrence in your day?
Now, reflect about this…..does the day tend to improve or decline even further?
How would that change the outcome?
Do things always just seem to go wrong for some?
“So and so” just seems to have the worst luck”….sound familiar?
What if your negative thoughts are actually shaping your life?
And if they were positive, would that promote positive change?
I came to ponder this in the past year.
And, I found the answer to be…
When the shutdown happened, I became very distraught. Wondering how I would get through it, concerned for my family and friends, and just feeling helpless in general. To get out of my funk, I decided to find 10 things each day that brought me JOY. They were sometimes very small, but allowed me to see the GOOD that still existed in my life.
It could be something like a phone conversation with my Mom, the sun shining, the squirrel outside the window, or just the fact that I awoke to live another day.
One day, while on a run, I began to tear up, wondering how life had gotten so full, that I had taken those gifts for granted.
That’s when my life began to change.
When I was growing up, God blessed me with the gift of gratitude.
I grew up in an alcoholic home and we seemed to always be struggling to get “air”. Whether that be food, clothes or normalcy.
I seemed to somehow navigate through those early years. Looking back, I realized it was my daily gratitude that allowed me to survive.
No matter how difficult the day would be, I grabbed a piece of positivity.
The extra slice of pizza at lunch in 6th grade, the new friend, a package of Oreos….and all those “small” gratitudes seemed to keep me afloat.
My Grandma(Groom, as we called her) helped me find the Bible at a very young age.
I didn’t always know what I was reading, but I recognized how it made me feel.
Grateful, Safe and at Peace.
As a young adult, I also found the silver linings in all that “went wrong”.
Now, I realize, it was going so very right.
My ask this Thanksgiving is for every soul on this earth to find just ONE thing to be THANKFUL for. ♥️♥️♥️♥️♥️♥️♥️♥️♥️♥️♥️♥️♥️♥️♥️♥️♥️♥️
Thank The Universe, God, whatever you believe…for who you are, what you have been through, and for what you have.
Someone, somewhere, has less than you. Someone, somewhere has more.
But, just maybe, for one day, you can be happy with where you are at.
Meet yourself there.
Open your damn eyes and SEE ….
And then, wake tomorrow and LOOK for the GOOD again. And the next day….you get the point.
Things will be a little different for many this Thanksgiving day.
But what if our Gratitude for the simple things could bring us all to the same table for the day?
A pandemic, a worldwide shutdown, a virus that is devastating lives, and so much uncertainty.
I don’t know about all of you out there, but sometimes, the days are very heavy.
Hopelessness creeps in, anxiety, and all sorts of other debris that takes me over.
This past week was very heavy for me.
It’s an uninvited emptiness that overstays it’s welcome.
Tony Robbins talks of the 5 Basic Human Needs, with Certainty being one of those. If there is anything that I have come to accept in 2020, it is that I crave this in my life. And, as most of us have experienced, there really isn’t much of that at all this year.
Except, there is.
In God. ♥️
This past week was like a loaded gun that held all the bullets until it decided to go off all at once. Friends reaching out in sadness and despair, the virus creeping closer, feelings of helplessness, and more unrest.
It was a rough one for sure.
And still, He remained…close to me…ready to envelope my heart and calm my fears.
I had an interesting encounter that produced a strange reaction in me.
I was sitting at a stoplight the other day, maybe a touch close to the line, but not at all too far out. As I sat in my car, an older man began to walk across the crosswalk. Both hands in his pockets, glasses, all seemed ordinary.
Until he stopped, turned to scowl at me, and kicked my car!
It all happened so quickly, I was taken back and just muttered something and waved.
I didn’t know what to do.
My afterthought was to honk my horn, or roll down my window and give him a “sign”!
But, as the light turned green and I drove away, I realized I had tears streaming down my face.
That man was hurting.
And that made me sad.
He was in some sort of pain and I would not mirror his behavior by throwing more hurt into his pile.
That day, I listened to my heart and chose Love…..
When I arrived home, I just sat in my driveway and cried.
A phrase from “Titanic” came to mind.
If you’ve seen that movie, you may recall Kathy Bate’s line when she was scolded for trying to fit more people on the boats…
“I don’t understand a one of ya”.
That’s been me the past couple of weeks.
There are so many times this year, I stand in awe.
There is so much disconnect and anger in the air, not just this virus, my friends.
I realized in those moments, that I am more afraid of what the last 6 months are doing to the hearts of the world…. than Covid-19.
We have to try to rise up and live each day in Love.
As I run, very few people make eye contact.
Very few smile.
And almost no one engages.
The day of my half marathon, an older man was walking alone on the trail. Coffee in hand, along with some leaves he was collecting along the way.
He sheepishly looked up as I ran by, clearly not expecting a connection.
So, I smiled and wished him a good morning.
And, then, I heard him still talking to me so I turned around and we chatted briefly about the colors and the beautiful day.
His eyes lit up.
Human interaction and some form of normalcy!
Giving someone your time.
That’s a form of Love and it’s free to give to all.
I haven’t written in awhile as my soul has been weary. And I usually only write when I feel the “call”…
I woke this morning at 5:30am, and well, here we are.
I feel very strongly that the healing of the world will begin if each of us could just look inside.
If we could find the courage to confront our demons, take accountability for our actions, and stop trying to control the outcome.
If we could just learn to Give it to Him.
I read a book, many years ago, titled “Give it to God”. It was simple, yet life changing for me.
In one chapter, it had you visualize yourself carrying your burdens up to Him. I shared what I “saw” with my children all those years ago. Myself, dragging a big, tattered garbage bag up to the top of a mountain and handing it over to my Lord…and then falling to my knees in absolute relief.
Pretty detailed, I know.
However, that analogy has served me well….many times.
So, again, I share…..
The photo up above came across my screen the other day and it instantly calmed me.
We must try to remember this…..
“Lord, you are the only one who can”
He can move mountains, walk on water, raise the dead.
He can cure the sick, take away the anger, and carry these burdens for us, my friends.
We just have to Ask.
As I took some time yesterday to come to my mat to calm my mind, I asked.
I asked for Him to hold the suffering close, place His protective arms around us, and heal this world.
I believe He can.
We have all had a deep wound some time in our lives.
The initial injury, the blood, the pain.
Then, there’s the cleansing of the wound, the healing and the newly formed skin.
That is 2020, my friends.
We have been shaken to be awakened.
We must open our eyes to who we are inside.
We must become aware of how our lives impact others.
We must accept the changes and Grow.
There is still so much love and beauty to be shared, seen, and accepted.
If we could just give all of our fears and doubts to Him and see each day, each human, each lesson…
Through the eyes of Love ❤️.
There’s the elderly lady filling the book box with food, the teacher giving everything she has to her students, the doctors/chiropractors/nurses, law enforcement, the parents learning to teach their children, the families learning to be together, and the transformations all around.
There is light.
Where there is Love, there is Light.
And we can never, ever lose sight of that.
Even on the darkest of days, He will shine his Light upon us.
Never lose faith in that♥️.
As I say to my clients, children, and friends….
We must continue on.
Be a Light in the Darkness.
And, live a life of Love 💗.
If you remember just one thing from this blog, let it be this….