Sunday, October 11, 2015

Change the Word and Change the Picture

As I gaze out this window and try to find words to describe what I see, I can choose between two words.  I see either a hill or a mountain.  Choosing which word to describe what I see is important for there is a great distinction between a mountain and a hill.

The words we use matter.

I want to propose a shift in some of the words we use when looking at sex abuse so that we can create a different possibility.
  • Victim or survivor - Typically when we refer to someone who has experienced sexual trauma, we use the word survivor. They haven't survived it - yet.  They got through it.  With much collateral damage done to their sense of self, and their view of the world.  The person is first a victim, and does not become a survivor, until they have done the difficult work of overcoming the impact of the trauma. When we tell someone they have "survived" before they have done the hard work necessary, we leave no room for healing.  A victim can begin to put responsibility where it lies and see the need and possibility for restoration.
  • Story or journey - Story speaks to identity. Journey speaks to movement through. When a victim "tells her story", it conveys a picture that has an ending. It reinforces the false identity created through trauma. The story of sex abuse isn't over until you have journeyed through the impact. Everyone of us is much more than what happened to us.  We all can journey through events, and use events as a process for growth.  If we shift from the word story to journey, we denote process, hope and possibility.
  • public health issue or human rights issue - In order to create awareness and find a framework in which to engage people, the prevention world has called sex abuse a "pubic health" issue.  The use of that framework lulls people into a sense of who ever has this problem can get a quick fix. Actually the presence of sex abuse is a human rights issue.  It is a human right to live in safety without fear of sexual violence.  It is a human right to have the possibility of living up to ones full potential. Perhaps that is the framework we need to utilize. 
  • Advocate or Activist - An advocate has your back. An advocate speaks up for you, perhaps listens to you and offers help.  An activist takes action.  The word denotes radical and active actions on an issue to promote change.  An activist is about doing something; it has a sense of urgency and focus.  An activist is empowered to promote the cultural change we need that will  end sex abuse.
  • Emotional Health or Mental Health  - I first heard this distinction in an ACES blog post written by Penny Payton.  I live in a world of mental health diagnosis.  The system requires an official label to both direct the treatment approach and provide the dollars necessary to give that service.  I believe that many, (not all) mental health issues are actually issues of emotions.  The things we tell ourselves and the behaviors are designed to help us deny or tame emotions.  With the shifting of one word we might reduce stigma and validate the freedom found in healthy emotional expressions.
The words we use matter!

Friday, September 25, 2015

Being Real

Can I get real with you today?  Last week was a very disappointing week for me. Both professionally and personally. Things that I have longed for, worked towards and believed in, fell apart. It has caused me to walk with hesitancy, a physical heaviness and deep sorrow. 

My church sings this amazing song, "I Know Who I am."  It usually moves me to a joyful place of knowing and celebration.  Because I do know who I am, what God says about me and His plans for me. I embrace them and walk in them - most days.  However, the world hasn't read the same memo!  Opportunities are thwarted, people turn away and I'm left with a feeling of defeat.  And I'm not sure how to get up and keep going.

This morning I again listened to the song, "I Know Who I am"; not on purpose, but by accident. It brought me not to the usual place of celebration, but a place of tears. The moment the music started playing, I felt the deep hurt and yes, rejection, that I've experienced this week. Silent small tears escaped and ran down my cheek.

In the moment I knew that I faced a choice and needed to do the hard work of getting back up.  I could easily give up and agree with the messages the world is telling me. I could throw my hands up and walk away from the challenge of living as me. Or, I could choose to again look towards and agree with what I know to be true about me. In spite of the conclusions others come to.

So, I find myself utilizing the very skills I teach - I'm using my power of agreement
This is what I'm doing in this moment:
1. I'm acknowledging and expressing the emotional, spiritual and physical hit I took.  I'm allowing the tears to flow as I write.  I'm playing the music over and over, allowing the truth of it to permeate that place of hurt and help release the pent up emotion. I will do this until I again am at peace with the truth of "who I am."
2.  I'm deciding to take care of what I need today.  Do I need a walk in the woods?  A hug?  Some special treat?  A nap?  A movie?  More music? Writing? I will ask inside and put it into place.  I will honor my needs.
3.  By a choice of my will I will realign with and agree with the truth of my possibility and promise.  I do know who I am, no matter what it looks like and how others react.
4,  Repeat! Repeat! And repeat, until I'm in a better place, equipped to rise up again, keep going and do what I've been designed to do.

See, I don't just teach restoration skills - I live them!  And they work!
Thanks for listening.....Rebecca

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Head Games

Oh my - The news segment was called, "Head Games" and instantly had my attention. I watched as the reporter put on a heavy goggle headset and stepped into virtual reality.  Immediately what the reporter was seeing was altered.  Instead of a solid room, he saw a plank stretching across an abyss.  When he was asked to step across the plank, his hesitation was tangible.  His distorted view felt more real than the reality he knew was there.

Of course my mind thought of the work I do with trauma.  Events in life, whether sexual abuse, natural disasters or loss can distort perceptions and reality - much like the headset the reporter put on.

I explored the definition of "virtual" and discovered that it meant, "being so in effect, although not in actual fact or name."  Effect is an important word here as well.  Effect is "result, anything brought about by a cause, influence, an impression made on the mind." 

Whoa - The event of experiencing sex abuse makes an impression on the mind that is not an actual fact!  Don't turn away!  Hear this clearly - I'm not saying that the fact that you experienced sexual abuse isn't true.  You know what happened.  What isn't true is what you believe about yourself; the effect, the impression made on your mind!

Much like the virtual reality headset, the event of sex abuse locked your mind in a vise grip that distorts your thinking. You are not what happened to you. You are not destroyed.  You are not shameful.  You are not worthless. The emotions will not kill you.  You absolutely can conquer this. Now you fill in the blank with what that vise grip tells you, because you are not________.  It is your distorted virtual reality.

By the end of the news piece the reporter felt dizzy.  It wasn't until he took off that headset and restored his vision to see the truth about the room he was in, that the dizziness left.

Do the same.  Use the restoration skills and recognize what the head games are saying to you.  What did sex abuse cause you to believe?  Then shift your power of agreement, knowing that what you believe is an effect and not reality, and agree with the truth of who you are.  Utilize the positive feedback from safe people and exchange the effect and internalize the truth of your intrinsic value.

Take off the Headset!

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

4 Myths that make healing nearly impossible

I believe that it is possible to overcome the impact of sex abuse!  I don't have a specific a,b,c of what that looks like; you decide what healing might look like for you.  I would, however, offer for consideration the definition that you have overcome the impact when sex abuse is not how you filter your world.  You have overcome when you walk in the strength and power of authentic identity, no longer accepting the "story of sex abuse" as who you are.

We appreciate the work of Caroline Myss, who offers the term, "woundology" to describe the reality that victims typically redefine their lives around their wounds in a process of accepting them.  These 4 myths come from her work. To help you explore them, we have added our "fill-in-the-blanks" worksheet. 

 Myth #1:  My life is defined by my wound. 

It is virtually impossible not to be influenced by a personal history of emotional or psychological wounds. Sadly, most victims convince themselves that their lives are only a compilation of their wounds and that they feel they can do little to heal, other than to share their stories and manage the impact.

To release the grip of this myth you must take more responsibility for the quality of your life. 

"Sometimes I make excuses for why I am not focusing on doing more positive things in my life such as (be specific) ________________________________.  The excuse I use most often is _____________________________________.  There are times I compare my history of wounds because _________________________________________.  If I feel more wounded than someone else, I often feel more empowered because____________________________________________."

Myth #2: Being healthy means being alone.

Sometimes people believe that once they are healed they will no longer have emotional or psychological needs and therefore all support for what is happening in their lives will be gone forever.  The truth is that whether or not we are healed or are in the process of healing we will always need loving friends and family; a community based not just on wounds or neediness, but on shared interests and emotional nurturing.

"I am afraid that if I heal, my support people will___________________________
When I picture myself as healed I see _______________________________ with me.
Emotional wounds may be a source of bonding with others and healing from those wounds may  mean__________________________________________________."

Myth #3: Feeling pain means being destroyed by pain.

The opposite is actually true:  Not feeling your pain will destroy you.  Pain collected in the body causes physical aches and illness. Identifying and expressing the reality of your emotional pain releases you from the weight of it, and releases you from a constant connection to the trauma.  The pain can feel overwhelming because it has accumulated over the years.  As you move towards owning the pain, releasing it, you still have skills to back away if need be.  Pain will not destroy you. 

"I hold onto my pain because ________________________________________.  If I process the pain and release it, I will lose _________________________________ and I will gain________________________________________________________."

Myth #4: True Change is Impossible

No one particularly likes the process of change.  Yet, healing and change are the same thing.  We cannot heal without first investigating what behavioral patterns and attitudes we need to alter.  Once these characteristics are identified, we have to DO something about them.  Willingness and action bring about change that results in healing.  You have to want it more than you want the "safety of the norm" you think you walk in. It requires determination! 
"I often don't believe change is possible because _____________________________.
It is also possible I am hoping change is not possible so I don't have to deal with 

__________________________ or take responsibility to begin to ________________


Consider checking out our Connections Community online - to get the skills necessary to overcome and the support needed while you change!  
Check it out:

Friday, August 7, 2015

Getting Through

This phrase has been haunting me since I heard it expressed in a meeting last week.  At the time it was used in connection to people who find themselves in life circumstances that appear insurmountable. When we say, "we'll get through", it denotes that there is a destination in mind, that we are getting through to something.  And if there is a destination in mind, there is a measure of expectation to get somewhere. And some won't achieve that. They will always feel as if they aren't making it.

I find that every day seems to have something "to get through."  And I don't think that phrase points to a specific destination.  As soon as I get through one thing, there is another one to overcome. I think "to get through" points to how we maneuver our way through the experiences and challenges of life. 

This week my constant companion, my dog Teagan, died unexpectedly. A huge loss that I have to manage. A dear friend with compassion for my hurt said, "you're a strong women, you'll get through this."  I was puzzled by that statement because, although my friend did not mean this, it felt as if because I'm "strong"my experience of getting through this should be swift and easy. That isn't the case. 

So, I've decided that getting through something is definitely not about getting somewhere. It is not about an end result. It is about being authentic in the reality of the experience. It is about naming and expressing the deep emotional reactions; yes, both the joy and sorrow, the scared, the angry, and the hope. 

Getting through means that you recognize the reality, pass through the emotions and connect to those around you who can journey with you. It's about being vulnerable and honest with yourself and those around you.  Its about accepting help and hugs when needed.  Its about being connected both inside and out.

It is actually when you don't embrace the reality, or express the emotions and learn from the experience that you don't "get through."

So, in my getting through the loss of Teagan, I am feeling her absence; smiling when I remember a special behavior, crying when I sit down and she doesn't jump up, and speaking her name as many times as I need to. 

I'm getting through.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Trauma: Unraveling Truth and Reality

She arrives wearing baggy sweat pants and over sized shirts, and I know she is living out of the "truth" she has assigned to her sense of self.  She is walking in what she believes is her truth. Actually, it isn't true that she is shameful or damaged goods. However, out of the reality of experiencing sexual trauma, she has developed a "truth" that directs the way she carries herself.

Truth and reality get confused, especially for the victim of trauma. 

I define truth as the concepts and thoughts that move you closer to a sense of freedom, hope, purpose and destiny. Truth is about knowing the accuracy in spite of what the reality of events may tell you.  Have you ever talked to a person who is color blind? He often experiences the color red as shades of gray. His reality is that ‘red’ is experienced as ‘gray’. The truth, however, is red is really a different color. His experience and therefore his reality does not have the power to change the color red to gray. The person with color blindness learns to distinguish the difference between the truth and his reality and often seeks help in coordinating his wardrobe.

I define reality as a state of affairs; something that exists independently of things concerning it.  Reality is about knowing what has happened or is happening. Those events that just are.

Distinguishing between truth and reality can be difficult, but so important in untangling the impact of sexual trauma. Trauma happens and we tell ourselves something as a result - something that may not be truth even when it feels as if it is.  

Consider completing this fill in the blank about something in your life:

Reflecting back on my life I can see that my reality consisted of: ______________________


Which caused me to believe that my truth is: _____________________________________________

______________________________________________________. But if I look deeper I can see

that the truth behind my reality is _____________________________________________________

and not ________________________________________________________________________.

Here is an example that might help you sort this out:
Reflecting back on my life I can see that my reality consisted of sexual trauma.  Which caused me to believe that my truth is that I'm bad and shameful.  But if I look deeper I can see that the truth behind my reality is that something bad happened to me and not that I am bad.

Once you untangle the reality and identify the truth, you make the decision to align your power away from the lie formed from trauma towards the truth that brings freedom!

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Break out Creativity!

Already I feel the stretching in my brain.  This week in our Connections Community on-line, we are talking about Creativity as a tool to overcome!  So, I've been looking at it and trying some of the exercises as designed by Michael Michalko (  The exercises disrupt my normal thinking patterns - and I actually feel the strain in my brain! 

Why try to revive my creativity?  Several reasons:
1. Some of the ways I think and the patterns I live in aren't working for me.  You know that definition of insanity:  "Doing the same old thing and expecting different results."
2.  I have been created with creativity inside. And yet it is submerged. School teaches us to understand things in categories and structures and often stifles creativity. In healing we are instructed to look at our "toolbox" and select the right tool.  And sometimes the categories and tools don't match my needs and don't unleash my possibility.
3.  I've always been someone who pushes the status quo.  I want new solutions to the challenges in my world, because what we're doing isn't working!

It took me awhile to even grasp how this concept of creativity can work in restoration.  It was my creative colleague, Rachel who first pushed this idea on me. I had to push past my boxed definition of  creativity to grasp it - which is the entire purpose! 

Thinking creatively isn't just for artists or photographers.  It is part of you!  And it can be restored! 

As I think about you all uncovering and connecting to creativity I am awash with the excitement of what can happen! 
  • Inside your creativity is the power to overcome the impact of all you've experienced.
  • Think creatively and you might be the one who carries the solutions we need. 
With your creativity unleashed, we can accomplish new and powerful things!

Here's a worksheet for you to explore Creativity! Let me know what you discover! (Click on Worksheet Tab)

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Why do you hold on?

I'm telling you up front that this title is a bait and switch - so you might want to leave right now!  Ha! You may have thought that I was going to talk about how challenging it is to hold on while you work to overcome trauma. 

I'm not.

I want to express my perplexity as I watch people hold on to the things that hurt them.  I see people hold on to their story; hold on to the emotions, the dysfunctional behaviors, and the lies they believe. All the things that keep them trapped in anxiety, depression, and hurtful relationships.  It baffles me.  It confuses me.  And it exhausts me.

Do I sound unsympathetic?  I'm not.  I am sympathetic to the reality of what each person has endured. Do I sound ignorant?  I'm not. I am aware of the atrocities perpetrated and the devastating impact, and the work it takes to shift. Do I sound worn out?  Maybe.

As I've pondered why some people do the work of shifting, and why some remain in the cycle of seeking healing, I've come to the conclusion that it all boils down to willingness.  I know the things we tell ourselves about the "why" we don't make the shifts to set ourselves free.  I know that one of the core forces of resistance is fear. That is a given! Typically, when we hear about people's fear, we either validate it as real, (which it is) or suggest courage as a means to overcome it. But I believe the skill necessary is deeper than that - it takes willingness to engage the courage.  It takes finding the will inside to say, "no matter what," I'm going to overcome.

I was scared when I realized I was losing a 26 year marriage.  I could have allowed the fear of the unknown, or of what people would think to keep me trapped.  I could have put away all that I had learned about myself and settle back down into what I knew how to do.  I had to be willing to turn my world upside down. 

So my question to all of us is:  
Why do you hold on to the things that are hindering your life?

If you discover that ultimately you aren't willing to make the shift, find a safe way to live in what you are experiencing.  Disarm the internal conflict created by seeking healing you are not willing to take.  No judgement!  Just accepting the reality of what you are willing and not willing to do.  Even that will set you free.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

I want to SCREAM!

Tonight on our local news station a report will air about the popular topic, "human trafficking" and sex crimes.  It appears the focus will be on how police are responding and preparing for the upswing in prostitution this summer as a major sports event comes to our city.

I won't watch it.  It upsets me too much.

No, not because I can't mange the issue - but because of how we as a community so quickly pat ourselves on the back because we are "addressing" sex crimes. 

While we ignore the persistent presence of sexual violence against children in our homes.

  • When will we take serious the cries of that young boy or girl who TODAY is being molested by a "trusted" adult?
  • When will we stop trying to equip children to protect themselves and finally challenge adults to stop raping kids!
  • Where is the outrage at the damage being done to the potential found in the identity of that child?
  • Why is it that other causes, that affect far less people, receive the funding?


Let me scratch the denial for you.  This is a glimpse of what is behind the closed door of sexual crimes in our homes:
  • The grandmother distraught as the third generation female is sexually violated.
  • The 23 year old who internalized the disgust of the sexual atrocity perpetrated against her.
  • The 12 year old who, again molested by her father, was ignored by the system when she first spoke of it at age 4.
  • An on-line community for victims closes because there is no money.
  • The crippling cycle of therapists, groups, doctors, lost days of work, paralyzing fears, and repeating dysfunctions that costs our culture billions of dollars.
  • Fact: the trauma of sex abuse is inked to drugs, alcohol and many physical illnesses.

What is it going to take for us to get this?



                   ... and the tears start to flow....

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

What People Pass off for Love is Appalling

I'm always open to go where our support group wants to go.  We were talking about the relationship someone develops with the trauma they experienced, when the discussion took a sharp turn. Our ladies began to talk about the current relationships they have with their parents.  All 5 women present had a deep unmet longing to feel loved and accepted by a parent.  Separate from the sex abuse they had experienced was this unmet need that was crying out for fulfillment.  That cry is hurting them today as it continuously puts them in unhealthy relationship patterns and keeps the trauma engaged.

Imagine the confusion within a child when:
  • A mother says I love you, but the next day abandons her at the side of the road as a joke.
  • A fathers consistent criticism is the basis of acknowledgement.
  • A mother only accepts you if you meet her needs.
  • The child's revelation of sex abuse is met with disregard.
As children we have no choice but to assign the term "love" to what is given to us as a representation of love. Often what is offered in the name of love is not sufficient nor is it truth. The child ends up emotionally malnourished, weakened and starving for what she thinks only the parent can provide.  That leaves the adult child still attached to the frustrating cycle of hope that the parent will love appropriately. 

Now, as an adult, you have the responsibility, and right to recognize the reality of what your parent offers as love and grieve what is missing. It is time to accept the reality of who your parent is and make steps to release yourself from the toxic cycles that occur.

Then, that unmet need of parental love can be filled as you recognize and internalize the safe love of others.  It may not come the way you had hoped, but it absolutely is possible to fill that void.

What was offered as love was appalling.  What's available in healing is amazing.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

So stuck in story.

So stuck in telling story.

So scarred.  So empty.

So not restored.  So not complete.

So hiding impact.  So hiding scars.  So hiding self.

So easily trapped.  So easily complacent.  So easily compliant.  So easily fooled.  So easily dieing.

So busy denying.  So busy doing.  So busy running.  So busy hurting. 

So shut down.  So hopeless.  So dead end.  

So buried. So tragic.

So stuck in telling story.
So not the end!  So much more to reveal.  So much more to gain.

So very hard.

So few who go for it.

So tragic!

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Don't ask me that

I have this pet peeve that has become larger than my ability to keep quiet about it.  When I go to my bank I brace myself for the interaction that comes.  No, they aren't disrespectful.  On the contrary, they act as if they are interested and care.  "How are you today?" they ask.  And I bristle because I know that they really don't care.  And they expect my answer to be:  "I'm fine,"

I have become so aware of how people flippantly inquire about important things.  A friend recently described for me this incident.  While at church, she got in touch with a deep hurt and began to cry. The person next to her asked, "Are you okay?"  And my friend's response:  "Yes, I'm fine."

Now, I know that this person at least acknowledged her condition.  I've known people to totally ignore an emotional response.  And I know that my friend had the responsibility to be authentic in the moment. But, why ask, "are you okay?"  It's obvious she isn't.  In truth, that question holds the expectation that you be okay.  The message is, I acknowledged it, now be okay. We are conditioned to deny the emotional reality we live.

Have you said this: "I've had a bad day, I'm crying and upset."  Why is that a bad day?  Why is an authentic expression of engagement in the reality of life labeled as bad?

I flinch, no I more than flinch, I get frustrated with such disregard for the things of the heart.  Life is hard!  Life is often more than challenging.  If we deny ourselves the process of acknowledging our emotions and completing them, we end up depressed, anxious, resentful and bitter.  And if we, as a people continue to reinforce the stuffing of emotions, we contribute to this hurtful result.

I pity the next bank teller who asks me how I am.  He might get an earful!

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

No Re-wear for me!

You know by now that I don't usually think the way other people think.  I hear a word and it gets my mind thinking in a totally different direction.  So, on Sunday the Oscars were on television. I decided to ignore it totally.  The reasons?  I think movie stars are given more attention and power than they deserve and I grow weary of hearing, "Who are you wearing?"  Who cares, really?

Then I heard Gayle King, (CBS) later remark that she had on a "re-wear."

Hmmmm, odd term.  Re-wear. In the movie star world you never wear an old dress.  Instead you wear a "designer dress", something made especially for you.  It is unique. Has status.  Provides recognition. Something that makes a statement about who you are.

Okay, here's my leap of thought.

All of us have a "designer dress."  It was designed with you in mind.  It shows off your best side.  It has a purpose.  It is beautiful.  It is unique.  It makes a statement.  Provides recognition.  Makes an impact.  So what is your "designer dress?"  It is your authentic identity!  Created by Creator God to define you, equip you and propel you into destiny.

Seldom do we wear it.  For our designer dress gets covered over by circumstances, actions against us, things we tell ourselves and things others say about us.  We walk clothed in a "re-wear."

So, I'm thinking, it's not cool to wear a re-wear.  The people who walk in their designer dress get admiration; even awards! That's what I'm talking about!  Decided: I'm going to continue to do the work of Restoration - to uncover who I was designed to be!

I'm going to wear my designer dress today! And be on the lookout for my academy award.  Maybe someone will even come up to me and ask, "Who are you wearing?"

Thursday, February 12, 2015

The Ultimate Revenge

The Ultimate Revenge
It's a normal reaction and question.  We ask it when someone we love dies.  We ask it when there is a terrible accident.  And the victim of sex abuse asks it in the journey to restoration.  "WHY?"  

Sometimes people are quick to offer an answer.  Things like, "He was drunk", "You were an affectionate kid" or "She was a pervert". None of those answers bring any relief, and actually create deeper harm.  

There is no answer to the question, "Why did he do it?" that will make any sense or bring any satisfaction. There is no good answer.  There is no solid response as to why that will help you feel better.

Focusing on that question will keep you stuck. It's like seeing a mountain in front of you that blocks the view.  It stands in your way of progress. When you continually ask, "Why?", you remain tied to the abuser in a way that prevents you from moving through to processing the real impact: the beliefs born of trauma and the emotional pain.  As long as you stay focused on a question that can't be answered and provides no sense of relief, you remain in the fallout of trauma and the abuser wins!  He or she is still in control!  How?  Because the beliefs, thoughts and emotions hide behind that unanswerable question and control your behaviors and wreck havoc in your life.

You can have the last word!  You can have the ultimate revenge!  That revenge is moving beyond the "why's" to exploring how sex abuse impacted you; take down the destructive beliefs born of trauma, and become all you were created capable of being.  When you do the hard work of shifting beliefs and using your power of agreement, and walk in the freedom of you - the abuser loses control!  

It's the ultimate revenge!  Become who you were created to be!

Friday, January 23, 2015

You are in your Suddenly

I caught a news clip this morning about a country band that is having its “suddenly.”  The band members started their suddenly journey when they were 17; they are now in their 30’s!  And suddenly they were nominated for a Grammy.

It started me thinking.  My first thought was:  “I’m still waiting for my suddenly.”  My second thought:  “I have had lots of suddenlies on the way.”  (Is that a word?)

I think this speaks to the challenge of making goals.  I’ve been taught to create audacious goals to set the course.  The guru’s of success talk about setting goals.  I have to write them for my not-for-profit and for the people I serve.  I see the value in them.  Goals are great, because they help keep me focused.   However, what I’m thinking this morning is that they also set me up.  Because I’ve described what the ultimate “suddenly” would look like – I’ve overlooked the suddenlies on the way.

I can recall the day I knew that I could no longer be what that person needed me to be.  It was a suddenly – that had been developing for quite awhile. 

I can recall the day I knew that my parents were not safe people for me.  It was a suddenly – that had been unfolding in my awareness for years.

I can recall the day I knew that I couldn’t go back to old thinking or behaviors.  It was a suddenly – that had been brewing for quite some time.

We all want a “suddenly.”  My thought for you:  you are in the middle of one!

This morning I celebrated the “suddenlies” of my journey – knowing I will get there – suddenly!

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Bold Transforming Power

I started this year with a challenge to my OneHealth/Vivarae community.  Don't make a resolution that will only result in guilt when you can't accomplish it.  Rather, come up with three words to guide you throughout the year.  I realized I hadn't given any thought to create my own.  So I sat down this week and made a stab at it.

This is what I came up with:  Bold Transforming Power

I'm excited to embrace these words as it reflects my passion to shift the status quo in which I live.  I embrace change and know the value and potential found in new solutions. Thus, I dedicate my life to pushing against traditional answers to how we heal from and stop sex abuse.  

In our culture new technology is embraced swiftly.  People don't resist the latest i-phone. Actually they stand in line to get it.  Will it impact their life in a positive way?  Perhaps, perhaps not.  Yet, we change and adapt to technology without much resistance.  

But present a new mindset and call for a cultural change in our thinking - when it absolutely would result in positive things - and the resistance is loud and vocal. That's why I'm embracing Bold Transforming Power as my mantra for the year.  

Here is my first installment for you.  It's time to move beyond traditional prevention thinking.  It's time to shift into Primary Prevention of Sex Abuse - meaning do something to stop it before it happens.  

Let's play Jenga - Let's take out the foundational cultural mindsets that contribute to sexual assault and topple this atrocity! Some examples: 
  • Call out those who by their comments create a sexualized environment.
  •  Get involved in shifting the disparity in gender equality.
  •  Identify and challenge masculinity stereotypes and disrespect of women and children. 
We are not powerless to change perceptions! It's time!

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Be your own Hero

Over the holiday I watched a movie (twice actually!) called, "The Four Minute Mile" that reflected the paradigm about authentic identity that I breathe and live.  In short, it is about a young boy in a difficult family dynamic who loves to run and aspires to be great at it.  He connects to a coach who sees he has been trying to run the wrong race and helps him grasp that he is designed to run the mile, not the 400.  He calls forth identity in this young man.

As the young man is training and attempting to connect to the ability to run the mile, the coach says to him:

      "You got something so deep in there.  Face that fear and beat it.  If you face that fear
        it will change your life.  It will be the hardest thing to do.  There will be the moment
        you can't breathe. Push through it!  It's beautiful!"

Oh my!  This is the restoration journey!  Finding what you were created to be, identifying the obstacles, and pushing through to the beautiful place of "being".

This week at Connections we are looking at being your own hero.  That's what it means!
A hero is someone who goes through a great change!  Reconnecting to authentic identity is that great change!  Facing whatever is in the way and plowing through it is the key!

As we start this new year my deep desire for us all is that we become our own hero!

Let's journey together and do it!