new beginning 2016

A NEW BEGINNING

A NEW BEGINNING   Today is the final day of 2015. Will you spend this evening looking back at the previous year or years? Are you willing to let go of what was? Are you willing to not dwell on what wasn’t?  Isn’t it interesting how many of us make resolutions for the upcoming year? In reality, each day is a new beginning. As a culture, a new year does represent a new beginning for each of us. It is the time to reflect on the past year and to make plans for the future. How will you make 2016 better?  Do you want your life to be different in 2016? What are your dreams and desires for this brand new year? Have you repeatedly attempted to change the same problems? Are you stuck? Does fear holds you back from making real change occur in your life or within yourself? A friend sent me an e-mail that contained a quotation that may be attributed to Thomas Jefferson. I had never heard of it. Since then, I have seen the quotation in several places. It is funny how that works. Synchronicity, I wonder. “If you want something you've never had, you ...
peace

PASSION for PEACE

PASSION FOR PEACE   It may appear obvious that I have a passion for peace! My e-mail address and my website title contain the word “peace”. I write of seeking silence within myself. It is in that silence that I am able to reach a deeper and more intense level of peace. The depth sometimes carries over to my everyday life. Where did I get this desire for peace? Was I born with it? As a child, I hated when voices were raised or when anger was apparent to me in the silent actions or facial expressions of those around me. I became an excellent detector of a person being upset. As a little girl, I soon found I could not soothe anyone’s anger or frustration. My best bet was to become invisible. I did not take on a caretaker role or a co-dependent role of trying to make it all better – not overtly. I became as quiet I could. It seemed best not to draw any attention to myself. My skills used to being invisible became quite good. Nothing mattered though. Invisibility did not work. I was still used and abused. Peace only existed when I was able ...
silence and solitude

SILENCE and SOLITUDE as SELF CARE and SELF COMPASSION

SILENCE and SOLITUDE as SELF CARE and SELF COMPASSION   The past week has been emotionally-charged. My mind and heart seek refuge in silence and solitude. As a survivor of trauma and a life coach for survivors of childhood sexual abuse as well as other forms of abuse and torture, I know to be aware of my past trauma experiences possibly affecting my present daily life. This awareness helps. Retreating into silence and solitude when needed is a form of self care and self compassion. A question I ask myself is, “Would a person who has not suffered serious trauma react similarly?” In other words, is my reaction a “normal” one? As my healing process progressed and the Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) symptoms lessened, I discovered I reacted and acted in a healthier manner. In fact, I handled last week’s emotionally-charged challenges with calmness and finesse. Oh, I was not perfect! That is okay. I am grateful for my reactions and actions to last weeks’ stressors. It shows me how I am thriving! Life’s difficult experiences occurred to those around me. I, as a witness and team member, supported others. My strength and calmness benefitted them. It was a ...
single life after domestic violence or abuse or torture

SINGLE LIFE as a SURVIVOR of DOMESTIC VIOLENCE and OTHER FORMS of ABUSE or TORTURE

SINGLE LIFE as a SURVIVOR of DOMESTIC VIOLENCE and OTHER FORMS of ABUSE or TORTURE   Are you now living the single life as a survivor of domestic violence and/or other forms of abuse or torture? How do you view the single life? Are you afraid to enter into a romantic, loving relationship with someone? Are you jumping from one romantic relationship to another (even though these relationships are not healthy ones for you)? Are you afraid to be alone? What are your fears? This topic was brought to mind because of the deep loneliness I feel at times. A friend and spiritual mentor sent me a few quotations on loneliness in response to an e-mail I sent her. These quotations were: “Music was my refuge. I could crawl into the space between the notes and curl my back to loneliness.” – Maya Angelou “The only time we waste is the time we spend thinking we are alone.” – Mitch Albom, The Five People You Meet in Heaven “There is the solitude of suffering, when you go through darkness that is lonely, intense, and terrible. Words become powerless to express your pain; what others hear from your words is so ...
Christmas Wish List

A SURVIVOR’S CHRISTMAS WISH LIST

A SURVIVOR’S CHRISTMAS WISH LIST   When I was a child, I would write a Christmas wish list. This list would include gifts I wanted Santa to bring me. My mother would order most gifts from catalogs which provided fodder for a child to dream which presents she would prefer. The majority of the gifts under the tree were clothes items that were definitely needed. I do not remember many of my childhood presents that were not clothes. Chatty Cathy was a gift one year, as well as Lite Brite. My heartfelt wishes though were to be loved, cherished, and protected by my mother and others in the household (and outside of it). Unfortunately, abuse continued year after year; and, I would end up with a demeaning, abusive marriage that lasted for decades. This marriage included decades of domestic violence, extreme abuse, human trafficking, and no everlasting real love. Fortunately, I am free from abusive relationships and situations. I am on the road of freedom which includes the gifts of peace and joy. Today I found myself writing a Christmas wish list. Whether Christmas is a religious holiday to you or a secular one or nothing to you, thinking of ...
questions - changes

QUESTIONS FROM A TRAUMA LIFE COACH

QUESTIONS FROM A TRAUMA LIFE COACH   As a life coach, I ask you questions. Have you noticed that I often ask questions in my blog posts? Do you, as a reader, answer one or more of them in your head? Do you ever find yourself pondering your answer during the course of your day? Does the question lead to an answer that causes you to act? Does a small change occur within you? Have you noticed that most of my questions do not ask you to reflect on the past? The past is past. The past (good and bad) is important. It formed who you are today. Most of my inquiries are to encourage you to look at your present and your future. Do the inquiries cause you to probe deeper? Do the answers you provide ever contribute in a small way to performing better at work or in your personal life? Are you finding yourself welcoming silence or even meditating for short times? Do you seek to listen to a piece of music that resonates deeply within you and almost imperceptibly changes your mood? What we do and think today helps to form our lives tomorrow and in the future. The process of transformation may ...

THE CONCEPT OF SERVICE

THE CONCEPT OF SERVICE   What is your concept of service? Whether you receive payment or not, "serving" another can still be the main focus of our action or actions. Twelve-step programs focus on recovery, unity, and service. Service in these programs may include attending meetings, being a sponsor, setting up chairs and/or coffee, joining committees, and/or attending the group’s business meetings. When I was unemployed, I chose to volunteer. Volunteering helped me to not isolate as well as helped those I served. One avenue I chose was to prepare and serve food to the working poor and homeless. It was rewarding. Serving others can be a gift to the giver and the receiver. Not all of us choose to delegate a portion of our time in that manner. Life gets busy. Our careers, families, and our personal lives take time and energy. Recently I had the opportunity to help a couple pack their household goods to relocate. It made me realize how much I miss serving/giving in that way. My life has become filled; and, I have neglected that type of service. Service changes my focus. The spotlight is not on me. I put my attention and focus on ...
Halloween - Holy Days - Mortality

HALLOWEEN AND HOLY DAYS (Meaning for Survivors & Thoughts on Mortality)

HALLOWEEN AND HOLY DAYS (MEANING FOR SURVIVORS & THOUGHTS ON MORTALITY)   Halloween and holy days, such as All Saints’ Day, All Souls’ Day, Day of the Dead, and changing our clocks all occur within the next several days. Halloween has been a topic of conversation lately with a few of my friends. It is a secular holiday now ... one of candy and costumes. As a child, I liked Halloween. It was fun to dress in simple homemade costumes and to be free to roam the neighborhood with my friends. Receiving candy was great! My mother did not make a big amount of money in her job. We did not lack for food. Candy and sweets were limited due to financial constraints. As a kid, owning all that free candy was icing on the cake. In the Catholic calendar, All Saints’ Day is on November 1, 2015, the day after Halloween. All Souls’ Day is on November 2nd. Day of the Dead is also celebrated on November 2, 2015. I use the word “celebrated” because it is a Mexican tradition to celebrate the dead on that day. It is a joyous occasion. The Catholic Church has a tradition of ...
chaos or peace

SURVIVORS OF ABUSE, DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AND/OR EXTREME ABUSE: DO YOU SEEK CHAOS OR PEACE?

SURVIVORS OF ABUSE, DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AND/OR EXTREME ABUSE: DO YOU SEEK CHAOS OR PEACE?   Ever wonder if you seek chaos unconsciously? Did you grow up in a chaotic household? Were you a child in a home filled with domestic violence? Were you the adult in such a household (or are you now in a domestic violence situation)? Was physical and/or sexual childhood abuse part of your disruptive household? Did you suffer extreme abuse, ritual abuse, and/or torture as a child and/or as an adult? Did you adapt? Did you learn to deal “well” with chaos? Is it what you became accustomed to as a child and/or as an adult? Do you find yourself in a job that is high-paced and contains a sense of urgency? It does not need to be an emergency room-type job. Barista jobs can contain an element of urgency as well as can other types of employment. If you enjoy a fast-paced, multi-tasking job and excel at it, there is no problem. If you suddenly realize that you are exhausted and burnt out from the fast-paced environment with its element of chaos, what do you do? What choices do you have? Do you want to ...
Gratitude

GRATITUDE

GRATITUDE   The past week or two have been rough ones for me ... and, when times get hard, I remember gratitude! We all have difficult days or periods in our life filled with challenges. Survivors of abuse and trauma may sometimes fall into old habits that do not work for us anymore. Or maybe life starts to seem like one big challenge after another when you add the healing journey and the pain that entails. Yet, the healing path also contains joy and freedom. Sometimes we do not notice the positives; or, if we do notice, we push them gently aside as not so important. Also, there are times when dealing with the pain is a positive in itself! Going through the hard times, the pain, and the challenges make us the strong, resilient, compassionate survivors that we are today. The first time I gave serious thought to the subject of gratitude was when I began attending 12 step meetings for my alcohol problem in December, 2002. Gratitude and gratitude lists are important aspects of recovery. Believe me, when your thoughts are concerning your next drink and you are dealing with huge life stresses, gratitude may not be first ...