Its said that when you go within, you begin to create the change you seek.  Do you believe that to be true?  Do you believe that you have the power to change your reality?

I do because I’ve seen it!  I’ve felt a change within so intensely that it changed my world.

In the not so distant past, when I felt my lowest, I went within seeking answers.  I knew I needed to change my life, yet wasn’t sure how or where to begin.  I searched for answers, read inspiring books, listened to motivational speakers and followed their advice.  What I was missing was the connection to self.  I wasn’t allowing myself to delve deep within to create the change I was seeking.

The word Meditation was everywhere.  I had seen people meditate, but hadn’t done so myself.  I saw how they sat on the floor, hands on their knees, but what do they think about, what do they say to themselves, how do they stop their minds from wondering?  All of these questions ran rampant through my mind.  How do I get to that point?  I wanted to know!

I began to research meditation.  I wanted to know everything!  As I researched, I implemented.  I put into practice everything I was learning because I knew that I needed to teach this fantastic art to others!  I made it my mission to show others how to heal themselves, just as I had done.

When I became connected, I was able to see my world for what it was and how it could be.  I was able to differentiate between expectations and purpose.  I was able to put my soul’s purpose into play.  I connected with a part of myself that I didn’t even know existed.  I became aware of a deeper meaning to life, not just the surface level of what I thought it should look like to others.

I became proud of who I was becoming.

I grew.  I changed.  I evolved.

I no longer looked for validation from others because I knew I was following my destined path.  I no longer worried how others would perceive me or my lifestyle because I knew that I was serving a greater purpose; one that sometimes seemed hard to explain.  I gained a greater sense of self.

Within a short time, I began to feel a difference in my mind.  I began to see how my thoughts shaped my reality.  I began to control my emotions to keep my vibration elevated.

Meditation had changed my life.  It has allowed me to see who I am from a deeper, more intimate connection.

But, it wasn’t an easy process.  It took time.  I was equally intrigued and confused at first.  I wasn’t sure how to go about any of it, or how I was supposed to feel.  I just knew there was something about the peace, serenity and wholeness that I craved.

Allow meditation to change your life too!

She wrote stories of a time she hadn’t lived. She longed for sunshine days filled with the sweet smell of floral markets and pleasant smiles. She remembered the amber pendants hanging from iron columns.

She felt her soul being called backwards; to a time and place that no longer existed.

Some called her an old soul. She felt truth in those words as her soul craved nostalgia. A city that represented love, imagination, promise and romance.

She imagined herself peacefully stolling the city streets. Glistening from fresh rain and moonlight. She believed in the power of memories.

Maybe she had lived here before? As a version of who she was; a renewed sense of being in a modern space.

Yet peace rose from remembering. She grasped tightly to the notion of familiarity. She’s felt this before. She recalls the essence of someone she’s never been, yet feels in her soul.

She clings to her thoughts – allowing them to drift away in a breeze of happiness and romance. This is who she’s always been. This is where she’s meant to be.

A moment in time that’s stood still just for her to become who she’s destined to be.

A city so incredible that she’s become one with it’s presence.

She fell in love with herself once again, dancing a waltz, being among the sensation of enchantment.

You’re not growing if you refuse to let go. You’re not growing if you choose to stay safe. You’re not growing if you don’t accept change.

As I was meditating today, I felt an urge to write. I wrote without thinking, without hesitation.

“I have seen amazing detail in your dreams – so much so that I know what you’re capable of. Nothing can ever hold me back unless you say so. The message I have for you today is that you’re holding yourself back because you’re afraid. Stop doubting yourself. Stop saying NO to your potential – to your dreams. Only you can make them come true.”

“There is nothing to fear – nothing to be afraid of. I am holding you up as you grow. I will never let you fall.”

I’ve learned to listen.. To my body, to my mind, to my emotions and to my angels.

Sometimes we feel the emotions stronger than others and sometimes those emotions aren’t sweet, energetic and loving.

At those times, I turn inward. I listen to what needs to be heard; I allow messages to come through; I learn to grow from each experience and accept the next level of growth.

Our circumstances are created by our willingness to grow, listen and to venture into the unknown with faith, love and acceptance of change.

Today, I declare to you that I will no longer tell myself No. That I will no longer be afraid to grow into the next best version of myself.. and I challenge you to do the same.

With each phase of life we grow, yet you decide whether or not you’ll repeat the pattern or shift into something better.

As I sit at my desk, staring out into the blue sky, I attempt to recall the exact moment when I realized that hurt had become my shield.  I wore it like a crest; majestic and proud.  I claimed that all circumstances were what they were due to the pain I felt in my soul.

Never giving much thought to my own responsibility in any matter, I allowed myself to be a victim.  Standing tall, I spewed words of cruelty and dismay; only to ease the suffering that I was placing upon my own reality.

I see the error of my ways now.  Years of darkness harbored over me as I relentlessly tried to succumb to some form of serenity.  Clouds cradled my mind leading me to believe that all of the pain in the world was simple necessity of being human.

I fell to my own demons in time.  They lied, cheated and tortured my life for far too long.  My awakening was one that I didn’t see coming, yet was imperative to stand on stable ground.

Have you felt hopeless before?  As if your world is crashing down and all you can do is surrender to the darkness.  Have you felt the life drift from your sights so that you begin to believe this is your fate?

Our generations are hurt.  They are scarred from pains of the past.  They are held to believe that their future is dependent on their ancestors.  Not seeing that our future is what they choose to make of it.

I held hurt.  I allowed it to sew its cloak of sadness into the threads of my existence.  I thought that generational curses were mine to bare.  I was unsure of how to break the mold to become who I wanted to be; not who I was told to become.

When I stood on my own two feet, grounded to the Earth and prepared to stand against the storm, I knew my purpose was closing in.  I had been the wearer of darkness and the cultivator of pain.  I had been the diminished version of my own identity to walk as someone I was told to be.

The tragic mind that I carried with me had seen a light; new and unapologetic.  Refreshing and resonating in love; I just had to grasp it with both hands.

My life became light, my soul became softened and my eyes began to see love.  I no longer lived under a hardened shell of expectation and fear; I was free to become the passionate, creative person I knew I could be.

I felt it in my core.  Knowing I was meant for more; more fulfillment, more happiness and more adventure.  When I began to see my life through my own eyes, I was able to take leaps of faith, not knowing the outcome, yet assured that I was to be more than I ever imagined.

  1. Get outside! As a creative, we tend to fixate on our creations and forget the little details that naturally inspire us. Smell the roses, literally! Get your feet on the grass! Take deep breaths of fresh air! 🌹
  2. Smile! Oh gosh, do we have to?! YES! Your art shouldn’t be the only beauty that’s seen for who you are.
    Remember to enjoy the path – the bumps and falls – because they too have brought you to where you are today! And, frankly, knowing this isn’t the end, yet the beginning of something amazing is plenty of reason to smile!
  3. Just breathe! As a society of fast paced, fast scrolling people – we rush, we need a quick fix for just about everything that we sometimes forget to just breathe. Not everything deserves our attention, a response, or even a second look. As my mom always says “choose your battles carefully” because not everything is yours to fight.
  4. Step away from the news!
    Ugh. Where do I begin? We all know there’s a global pandemic. We all know there’s a crap-ton of crime. We all know there’s an election. We all know the media is going to focus on whatever scare tactic they can push that day, so just stop. Do yourself the most grand favor of all and stop watching the news.

🌱 Fill yourself with the stuff that inspires your soul.
🌱 Fill your mind with love, positivity and peace.

Because if we want more of this stuff we need to focus on its source to create more!

These are the words that came to me in a deep state of meditation.  I sat there in silence, looking at myself staring back at me when these words were spoken.

“You already are all that you desire”.

I shivered.  I sobbed.  I realized that all that makes me unique and an asset to this world is exactly who I am to be.  Not conformed to unappealing standards like a box; yet to be completely, unapologetically myself.

When choosing to transform my life, I knew that growth would come with discomfort and loads of change.  I was unsure of how much of that growth would allow for staying who I thought I needed to be.  There were times when I felt that maybe I should alter my personality to appeal to other’s expectations, change this or that, only to realize that I already am exactly who I am supposed to be, without bending or tearing who I am now.

My life is unique; beautiful and growing.  I don’t apologize for my past: it has shaped me into who I needed to be and that is more valuable than regret could ever be.

We are created to be more than the conscious mind can comprehend.  We are created to expand, become uncomfortable in order to grow, be more than we see with the naked eye: to be exceptional in every way.

When these words came to me, I was sitting on the floor in my closet (that’s my spot to meditate – its dark, quiet and spacious) in a deep state of subconsciousness.  Every cell in my body was being drawn to the front of my head.  A pull, if you will, to my third eye (pineal gland area).  I saw a version of myself staring back at me.  Flowing, graceful and at peace.  She (I) was saying “You already are all that you desire” over and over again.  She didn’t stop.  In a voice quiet and serene, she continued to recite those words as she slowly came closer.  I never steered from her gaze.  I was mesmerized and in awe.

I began to say the same words and felt shivers flowing through my entire body.

As I said those words, I felt them.  I knew that this message was meant to awaken me from the fear of being fully who I am; to not be afraid of the world, to give who I am to help others truly embrace a deep rooted love for themselves.

She began to fade away.  As I kept repeating what she had said, I sobbed.  Those words struck my core like nothing I’ve ever felt before.

I had heard of being open to receiving message from God, the Universe, Spirit, Angels – whomever you believe, yet I had never experienced anything like this before.

We have the power to completely change the momentum of our lives.  I know, I’m proof.

Being connected to a spirituality that confirms that who I am is all that I need to be is reassuring that my life’s purpose is on-spot and aligned with a higher power than myself.

Trust in yourself.  Have faith in fresh starts. And, ultimately, like I did – if you need help reaching ground again, seek help.

Love yourself for who you are, that’s where new beginnings start.

As you sit here reading this, you’re probably wondering why I’d begin with such a statement. Let me explain. As a relationship coach, and someone who had to go through my own version of hell to realize the detriment of my relationships, I can speak as frank as possible to say: Love yourself first so that you can properly teach other how to love you.

For years, I thought I knew what it was to love myself. I mean, I was comfortable in my own skin, somewhat happy with who I thought I was, and prided myself on who I was “supposed” to be. As I said last week in Embracing Change, I understood what it meant to be who I truly am, not the version of me that I was told to be.

Most of my life I was considered to be a handful of characteristics that, in all, were less than flattering. l was characterized by words such as mean, hard to handle, brutally honest, extremely opinionated, I only see life in black or white (no grey area), independent, strong willed, and that I don’t NEED anyone else. I understand that not all of these words are hurtful or untrue, yet I do rather disagree with the context in which some were used.

When I began the process of diving into the depths of my mind to better understand who I am and where I want my future to go, I began working with what I knew: who I was told I was. I took all of those characteristics and reworded them to be more fitting to who I WANT to be. Each of those words were spun into a version of possibility within myself that the rest of the world would either love or hate; that wasn’t to be my concern any longer.

The key to growth is growing for YOU, not someone else. When you grow into the best version of yourself you embrace a sense of grace for your past self, a humbled point of view for your current self, and pride for who you’re becoming. There is no room for concern of other opinions: YOUR’S is the one that matters now.

We live for validation (I know, I used to as well!). Its unjustified to our being to be inter-twined with someone else’s version of us that we lower ourselves to be who they expect us to be.; when all you need is you!

Look, you’re awesome. You have the ability to be whomever you want to be. You need to love yourself first for countless reasons. But, for fun sake, I’m going to ask you to do something for me..

Make a list of all of the words you’ve been “known” as throughout your life to this point (5-10 words). Next to that list of words, write how those words make you feel about yourself.

If the feeling is anything other than positive, happy or loved, write beside that the word that better suits you and how you want to feel.

Here’s the fun part.. grab some post-it notes and a pen/marker. Those words you decided upon for the YOU that is really who you are, write them on the post-its and put them somewhere you’ll see them each & every day. Then each day say those words out loud. Feel them. Look in the mirror and say them as you look yourself in the eyes.

I want you to begin to appreciate you. The lesson here is simple: You can’t fix any relationship until you fix yourself. None of us are perfect; we have a past and a current, that if we don’t chose wisely will decide for us. When YOU decide upon your future self, you take control out of the hands of others and the world begins to flow in your favor.

There is a lot of mindset changes that will take place if you’re committed. I was! And there hasn’t been a day since that I’m not grateful for the changes and growth that have taken place in my life.

Change can be a challenge because naturally we fight it, yet welcoming it into our lives has tremendous positive effects on our mind, body and soul.

The end result is this: You begin to love you in ways you never knew. You begin to appreciate you for who you want to be, who you see yourself as, and how you want to present yourself to the world.

You are worth every movement, every change, every bit of growth that will come.

Loving who you truly are is the first step to having or creating healthier relationships.

As its been said a million times.. Be you For you.

xoxo

Human nature has taught us many things, yet most of them are wrong.  We grow up in a world that shapes us to believe who we are told we are. Only when we realize we are who we decide to be, is when our internal world really takes shape.

If you’re like me, I had to struggle before I realized that wasn’t who I am.  I had to learn the hard way that all of the years of being told I am this or that, isn’t who I am at all.  I didn’t like the version of me that was implied.  That version lived in a state of constant sadness and strife.  I began to wonder why I allowed this to be for so long.

Here I am, an adult with responsibilities and I’m living in a state of consciousness that didn’t thrive the way I felt I should.  I was existing, yet not living.

It wasn’t until my life felt as if it was slowing fading from my grasp (figuratively speaking), that I knew something massive had to change.  I began to learn how to change from the perception of who I was to who I truly am.  I began to look within, deeply and unapologetically, to understand what my heart was desperately trying to say.

I am not who I was told I am.  I am who I decide to be.  And no matter what age or stage of life you are in, you are in control of who you are and how you chose to live.

You are in control of your beliefs, your feelings, your emotions and your circumstances.

If you are unhappy with any aspect of your life, you have the ability to change it.  You, and only you, can change your life.

My life was in chaos.  Most of which I invited in unknowingly.  I was lost in a sea of sadness, resentment and anger.  I showed a façade of happiness and well thought out decisions that ultimately made me sink deeper into my own despair.  I was on the brink of self sabotage, sitting on the edge of destruction before I woke up.

Something had to change.  When I took control of who I am and began to understand my own mind, I knew that no amount of blame or resentment would lead me to where I was truly destined to be.  I could no longer be the person I was thought to be, I was to be amazing, not full of hate, not full of cruel words and unnecessary blame.  I am in control.

I can’t pinpoint the day that I woke, yet I can tell you that I spent months building the person that I am now.  I spent countless hours and shed millions of tears to realize that no one is to blame for the choices I’ve made or the circumstances of my life, I subconsciously chose it all.

Over time I have learned that this journey will never cease.  This is who I choose to be and the endless work to constantly build more positive habits and behaviors is who I want to be.  I am a beacon of light, a light that I never knew I am, yet am happy to embrace.

When you know deep within that your life is to be more than what your current circumstance is, you are the only person that can control that.

Our lives are surrounded by relationships, some good and some bad.  Nothing happens by chance.  We attract what we have based our thought patterns and beliefs on.

It took so long for me to realize that all of these things were at no fault to anyone else, yet the beliefs that I chose to carry with me.  And I chose to change it all.

I took control and made the necessary changes.  I made a lot of changes. And little by little the darkness (we all have darkness; it just depends how you allow it to exist within your life) began to fade to light.

Responsibility is key to existing.  If you want change in your life, you have to take the first steps to doing so.  Blame and resentment, boredom and anger serve no purpose but to hold you down in a state of who you were told you are, not who you truly are.

Begin to realize the difference.  Make the conscious effort to be YOU and live how you choose to live.

If you’ve never been told this, allow me to break the news: living in a constant state of anger, fear or sadness are surefire ways to continuously live life on someone else’s terms.

WHEN you decide that you are far too impoortant to live this way, because you will eventually, thats when everything begins to shift. Your life will begin to change with little effort.

The Law of Attraction steps in and brings all of the positivity that you’ve transformed into reality.  When you fill your heart with light and replace your old habits with better ones, you’ll not only see the difference, but you’ll feel it to your core.

When you embrace change, the things that you were afraid you couldn’t live without begin to fall away because they were never meant to be yours.  When you embrace who you truly are, the people that aren’t meant to grow with you will begin to fade away.  This is all okay!!  You are changing.  You are growing.  You are becoming your authentic self; and no other opinion matters more than yours.

Grow.  Thrive.  Allow yourself to become the absolute best YOU you can be!

THIS is why I do what I do. I’ve been on that side and I know many of you still are.  I knew my life was far too precious to continue that way and I was more concerned with making the change to create the life I desire, to be among healthy relationships and fulfill my dreams than to remain in a state of bored existence.

Some of my relationships faded away, while many others became stronger.  That’s how this works.  What’s meant to be yours (when you become who you need to be for you) will forever remain.  What’s not, will fade from you.

Its natural, its necessary and you are your first priority.

Here’s a story that most people don’t know.  I tell it now, not because I feel anyone needs to know the happenings of my relationships, yet to understand how powerful we are as humans.

We hold the power to change our entire reality; our entire world.

A few short years ago, I felt lost.  Completely lost within myself.  I was a wife and mother, but I felt deep inside that I was to be more.  I was made to be something amazing.  Yet my existence was nothing more than “wife” and “mom”.  As fulfilling as those things are, something was calling to me to become more.

This may seem hard to comprehend, but my world was crashing around me and I could barely breathe.  I knew something had to change, I just wasn’t sure what.

For a long time, I searched.  I searched, I drew conclusions, I made rash decisions.  I thought I knew what I wanted and what was best for myself and the kids.  I allowed relationships to fall apart, threw blame at people in an unjust manner and began down a road of self destructive behavior.  I was utterly lost.

No matter what “conclusion” I had reached, I still didn’t feel found.  I was still going through the motions of the mundane, breathing without actually living, and completely unhappy with myself.  The choices I was making made me feel worse.  I couldn’t find the path to light that made my soul sing.  I was surrounding myself in thoughts of an unsettling and heavy mind.

My darkness kept sinking deeper.

I tried so hard to put on a happy face for the outside world, yet deep within I was dying.

I scrolled through social media, lost and seeking something that made sense.  I had no direction or way out, but after feeling such despair for so long, I knew I needed to dig my way up.

After months of telling myself “no, I’m not the problem”, I realized that I was a major player in the problem.  I needed to change something within myself.  Something major.

I said something one day (before my realization) that brought me to a screeching halt.  I told my husband that I never wanted to marry him.  I actually said those words.  I saw the impact of my words in his eyes.  His heart had literally broken before me.

I had always had a mean streak.  That was something I was known for, like it or not.  I prided myself on being brutally honest.  It became the joke of who I was.  But the day that I said those words to my husband I knew was the moment I needed to change who I was.

This person didn’t deserve my life.  I have a great life and this person was just cruel.

I began praying.  I didn’t know what I needed, but a change was imperative.  I sat.  However, whenever I could, I just sat in a quiet space.  I needed to be alone to figure out why I was acting this way and how the heck to get out of it.  I knew I needed a massive change to be who I wanted to be.

Praying / meditating became my go-to.  It allowed me something that I never knew I needed.  To go within my own mind, quietly without judgement or expectation, and to just be.  I began researching meditation; the how to’s, what to do, what to say, the meaning of it all.  I began looking for answers in better locations, better patterns of thinking.  I wasn’t sure how I got here, but I knew I had hit my version of rock bottom and a light was beginning to shine.

One day it all began to make sense.  I was holding onto feelings of resentment for things that happened years prior; things that no longer mattered.  I was holding a grudge on my husband (and others) for anything and everything that “pissed me off”!  (Which was just about anything).  I had held onto this persona of someone who was defined by the outside world, but never truly felt like me.  I allowed others to decide who I would be, not realizing that this only led to believing I was someone I wasn’t.

None of these things were serving me.  None of them were making me happy.  None of them were getting me closer to the life I wanted.  All of these things held me down like a weight on my shoulders that I was drowning in a sea of darkness, unworthiness, and fear.

I was afraid to be ME.  I was afraid to take down the barrier that guarded my heart.  I was afraid to be vulnerable.  I was afraid to make the necessary changes to myself to be a better person.

I was tired of being afraid.  I was tired of living up to others’ expectations, and not my own.  

I decided to become more.  To allow myself to be who I needed to be.  To be who my family deserved.  I decided to make peace with who I am and enjoy living life in a new way.

I taught myself to think differently, to change my perspectives, to change my reality.  I knew that I may not be the sole reason things weren’t perfect, but I was a big one.  And that wasn’t okay.

I made BIG changes.  I learned the value of self love; the value of forgiveness; the value of knowledge.  I learned that positivity truly does shape my reality, and that the way I react to things has a massive effect on my world.

My “old ways” of doing just about everything were gone.  I found new ways to enjoy myself, to be happy, to be ME!

In time, I trained myself to rewire my brain from victim to empowered.  To stop seeing all things as they’re happening to me, yet instead see life as a lesson – to learn from it and grow.

What can I learn from the circumstances in which I created? What can I change to be more positive, to have a better outcome, to achieve all the things that I want to be/ achieve?

I trained myself to think better – to be better.

I changed my habits.  I changed the way I found happiness.  I changed just about anything that didn’t make me feel like a million dollars.

Then, and only then, is when my life began to feel different.  Happier.  More fulfilled.

You see, far too often we look to others for validation, to make us happy, to be the light that we seek..  without realizing that everything we seek is within us!

We are the source of our own happiness, our own circumstances, our own reality.

We need to work within ourselves, to love ourselves, to take the pressure off of things that don’t truly matter and begin to see life for what it is.. our perception of who we think we need to be for others; not ourselves.

The thing is..  we can’t truly love anyone else until we learn to fully love ourselves.

And then we teach others how to love us.  Be an example, the spokesperson for your life, the one person to define who you are, how you’ll live and the choice to be happy.

Sometimes growth can be scary, but the results (which are ever growing!) are worth it!

You are worth it.  

xoxo

When seeking wisdom to travel through life’s bumpy road, one tends to create scenarios of confusion, rather than clarity.

To become what we are afraid to see ourselves as is often a challenge far bigger than we can comprehend.

To be what we most fear, to be the icon – the beacon – the trailblazer in fancy cloak, we must burn the impression of acceptance and expectation.

The words of your mind wreck havoc on the teachings of your heart. Choose wisely to the one that loves you most.

When looking to the heavens for wisdom, we often shut the door before words can be spoken. Listen carefully for patience is a virtue when seeking life’s greatest lessons.

Seek now and forever hold your peace. No stronger vibration has been felt than that of a grateful heart.

For the love of a child is made of gold; pure, unscathed and unfathomable to the naked eye.

When words escape you, turn inward. The knowledge you seek is within your soul.

Allow me to (re)introduce myself.

I’m Jessi. I carry many titles, all with significant meaning to my life.  I am a mom, wife, daughter, sister, friend, writer, coach and entrepreneur.  With each title comes a chapter of my story that makes me the unique individual that I am.

My story began quite simple.  I’m from a Christian family, two parents (still married), the youngest of two children, and, as luck would have it, the only girl in my immediate family.  So, you can imagine that my days were spent playing dolls alone or in the company of my brother and male cousins that I most likely forced to interact in whatever activity I was engaged in at the time. (and by forced I mean that literally.  I was a bit bossy).

I was a typical child, I like to think.  One that would rather play alone instead of doing something I found mundane or nonsensical.  In that, I may not have been typical.  Or at least not accommodating to those around me.  Yet my outlook has been the same for as long as I can remember.. “I just want to have fun”!

Through many trials, falls, bumps in my road, I do believe that I came out on top.  I made my mistakes, quite a few, but I regret nothing because I have found value in every lesson life has taught me.  I never felt my worth would come perfectionism, yet that my authenticity carried my truth. I was unique in my own right. I never vied to be like anyone else; I was content being me.

Fast forward many years, and today I am more comfortable in my skin than ever before.  To be fair, the comfort that I feel at this stage in my life hadn’t always been there.  I was plagued with discontent for a time.  I felt a sense of needing more in every stage.  I allowed myself to fall into a pit of despair, removing the vital aspects of myself that led to self sabotage.  After a period of being at my lowest self, I woke to a new version of myself that was screaming to be heard.  I made peace with who I was, what I wanted, what I needed, and realized through it all that none of it was possible until I learned to love myself, weakness and strengths alike, before I could press on with my future.  Something I never knew was as pertinent as self love, I had never fully engaged in this before.

As each chapter of our stories bring a highlight, this was mine.  I found myself.  I learned to stop saying ‘yes” to everyone except myself, and to start taking care of my needs.  I learned that as an emotionally driven personality, I needed to learn to control my emotions in order to gain control of myself to reshape my world.  I never felt truly comfortable relying on another person to take full care of me, yet I had done so for so long, only to be disappointed when let down because I expected more than others could give; especially when you don’t know yourself fully and what fuel needs to be added to make you light up.

The expectations I put on others was outlandish in comparison to the standards I held for myself.  Because I didn’t understand the concept of true self-love, I couldn’t fully embrace it.  Once I became aware, I fully submerged myself in learning everything I could to break my barriers and completely accept who I was about to become.  I needed to release my ego to begin living life out of love, instead of pride.

The journey wasn’t easy, but, as the saying goes, nothing worth having is.  When reteaching yourself how to react differently than your old tendencies, life becomes interesting.  Its as if you have an entirely new perspective on life with fresh eyes!  Imagine, if you will, being new to a country, unable to speak the native language and the feeling of amazement in everything you encounter.  That’s what it felt like to rewire my brain to see the positive in absolutely everything.  The process was interesting and daunting all the same.  Yet after a few weeks, I realized that my life was seemingly taking better avenues than ever before.  With a new perspective, I was able to let go of the hindering old habits, making way for better responses and a perspective of love.

To say I gained a new outlook would be an understatement.  I gained more than an outlook, I gained a new life.  The old me was mad.  All. The. Time.  I carried a chip on my shoulder that was relentless and unwavering.  I held others at an unworldly standard, one that I didn’t even hold for myself.  I expected more from others than I was ever willing to give.  I had a lot of growing to do.. and that’s exactly what I did.

Now, whether you find significance in zodiac signs and their characteristics or not, I am a Scorpio.  (enough said! haha)  In all actuality, I am very much like what the characterized Scorpio is..  passionate, a thinker, intense, a rough exterior, brutally honest, protective, and incredibly loyal (unless i have a reason not to be).  Although I don’t forgive easily, I can be your absolute best ally if need be.  What I came to understand about myself is that being categorized is unnecessary.  Do I find humor in the fact that the characteristics are accurate, yes, of course!  But, I also understand that there is little need for me to be callus (unnecessarily) in a world where there is a dire need to spread love.  When I changed the way I reacted, changed the way I treated others (out of my own lack of self love), I taught myself and those around me that the importance of kindness outweighs criticism.

Sure, there is a harsh reality for some when doing this kind of work.  I didn’t come from a puzzled past that needs blasted from the rooftops seeking pity.  My past is exactly where it needs to be.. behind me.  It will never define me because I grew from the lessons learned from each choice I made.  I live for today, encapsulated in the moment!

I also believe this is what makes me a great coach and keeps me seeking for better than I was yesterday.  Growth doesn’t happen overnight, and neither will the change that I was created to make in the world.

Luckily, I know the value of patience and perseverance and will continue to share my voice for those needing to hear it.

xoxo

For many years I’ve been concerned with what I’ll allow inside (or on) my body. I conducted my own research to see what exactly was involved in the making of medicines and vaccines. Upon leaving my job in healthcare, where a handful of injections were mandatory, I promised myself that I would never be “mandated” to inject myself with anything again.

So, when I became pregnant for the first time, I took on a different approach to my research to ensure the safety of my baby. As all parents, I wanted what was best for the welfare of my baby, and to know that I was making a clear, informed decision.

{{Being a topic of great controversy, I don’t bring this up to enlist arguments for either side of the discussion, yet to simply express my story. So, please, don’t disgrace anyone’s opinion or views based on one’s own.}}

My children are a bit older now and our family’s stance is quite strong. We have not, nor plan to inject our children with anything, nor do we take medication (unless absolutely necessary). Yet recent events have made me more aware of the travesty that is the pharmaceutical push within the US.

A few weeks ago, at a parent-teacher conference for our son, the teacher expressed her feelings about him. He is a sweet boy with great potential. Although he does have a strong dislike for reading, he is enjoyable to have in class. On occasion he will avoid certain tasks that are asked of him (mainly reading assignments), and become “distracted” by any other happenings of the other kids. We discussed this and it was evenly agreed that he is an eight year old who doesn’t enjoy reading at all.

Then, in walks the school counselor. She wanted to express her concern for our son’s lack of reading enthusiasm and willingness to play, instead of do school work. Without using the word “medicate”, she was very clear in her implication of her suggested “fix” to this concern. We let her speak her concerns, as she made us feel that she has great dealings with our son and knows him quite well. (Which we were later made to realize she has NO dealings with him personally at all).

I kept my opinions to myself, as did his father, until she continued to push the idea of medicating our son for “the betterment of his academics”. At which point, I had heard all I needed. I spoke up and said “Our son doesn’t need medicated and it is not an option.” He is a very typical eight year old boy who would much rather be outside playing than sitting in a classroom reading a book. Simply put, that’s not his personality!!

Yet to regard our son as needing medicated because his teacher doesn’t want to be bothered with a playful, silly child that isn’t interested in the same things she is, is absolutely absurd. The school year will be ending in a few short months, he will move forward to a different teacher and classroom, yet a decision like this would potentially affect the rest of his life. (Pardon my language..) Hell no!!

As his parents, we are not here to make his teacher’s life easy. As his teacher, she can, respectfully, do her job and not expect such drastic measures from parents to create a “more subdued” classroom environment.

After the meeting, my mind was rampant with the happenings of what was discussed. The following day I asked the teacher why the counselor was involved in a routine conference. She informed me that her concerns are to be met and addressed by the counselor to the parents. My suspicions were confirmed and the conversation, in my opinion, was over.

Its unbelievable to me that this country has become so reliant of medicating the child-like dependency out of our kids, that it’s become like offering candy.

In my years of research and education on the subject I dug more into how food can adversely impact our health and overall wellness. The government “regulated” pollutants legally added to the foods consumed in the US have been linked to many of the diseases and/or ailments that are questioned to needing medication to survive properly. That being said, if we fed our bodies whole foods, minimally (or none at all) processed foods, less additives and genetically modified products, we could greatly decrease the “necessity” of pharmaceutical use. (I use necessity loosely)

I speak from a biased view on the subject, clearly, yet I strongly feel that if our food supply was governed more for whole food human consumption and safety, and less for profit margins, we could shift the ailments plaguing our nation.

Last August, my eyes were opened to something that may not be new to all, yet was awakening for me. A Plant based lifestyle. After reading testimony after testimony, story after story about the reversal of disease simply by consuming plant ingredients, instead of modified/refined processed foods (and no meat products), I knew this was what I wanted in my life.

The connection between health and food is uncanny. It’s a topic of controversy and ignorance. Many people do what’s been taught to them based on comfort, while others decide to change generational habits and make change based on science and fact.

We are powerful beings; mind and body.

We have the power to be healthy, to be whatever we want, and to thrive for as long as we allow ourselves, based on our choices.

Choice is made by the comfort you place on the depths of your teachings.

{{Again, I speak my story from my platform to express my concerns for myself and my family. This article is not to be misconstrued as ignorance or disgrace to any other viewpoint or choice. As I have been, please be respectful to others.}}

Our son has been struggling this school year. Understandably, he has encountered many changes at home and academically, yet his determination and perseverance astound me.

You see, Brixton struggles with reading intensely. He doesn’t enjoy it, therefore, he doesn’t put forth a great effort. As his mom, and a writer, this is agony to me. From the perspective of his mom, I want to see him succeed and I know full well that he is capable. As a writer, to not enjoy reading baffles me. We’ve had multiple conversations about the importance of reading, and that archeologists (his dream) must be able to read quite well.

Funny thing is, he often shocks us with his ability to read words he sees while out and about, words we didn’t know he’d recognize. He recites words we didn’t know he knew of or could comprehend. (Please don’t take that as we have any distrust in his abilities, we believe he’s more capable than he lets others know).

Brixton has worked with a reading specialist for a few years. This school year he is working with someone new, someone his father and I know very little about, yet have a good relationship with.

This afternoon I received an email from his reading specialist to say that she is blessed to be working with him. That his personality and demeanor will take him far in life. She goes on to say that she has no doubt that he will be successful with his reading as he grows.

As any parent, its easy to feel despair when our children are falling behind or having difficulty in an situation. To be uplifted by such a message from this lovely woman has made me realize that our work as parents has been anything but failing.

We try so hard to make them what we want them to be, sometimes losing sight of who they are.

This amazing boy has once again rose above and made positive waves in his future.

I am one insanely proud mom!

A few years ago, I made an immediate decision that I was unprepared for, and quite frankly, unsure of. I spoke of something I had no knowledge of, but was sure of deep within my heart.

On the day our daughter was born we were told, in an abrupt manner, that she has Down Syndrome. We were shocked and had no idea how to process the information, let alone how this would affect our family.

As the days passed, I cried. Not tears of sadness, but tears of confusion. My love for this child was born of my soul, so pure and unwavering that nothing could change it. My precious gift from God was going to be uniquely beautiful; diagnosis or not.

When I spoke to my mom a day or so later, she asked me why I was crying. Without thinking of how to answer, I immediately said “because I don’t want the world to treat her differently”. I knew that no matter what I would ensure that she was treated for who she is.. just a girl. That a diagnosis would never define her.

My heart was full. Our family was complete. I may not have known at the time what our world would look like, yet I knew that God had his hands on us and we would live as normally as possible. This has been a decision that I’ve never questioned.

As the years have passed our family has stood by her; learning together, enjoying our differences, and celebrating our similarities.

There has been bumps in our road, many that I’ve written about, but not one that has ever led me to feel burdened or saddened by our life. On the contrary, we are insanely blessed!

A family dynamic is a glorious combination of personalities and unique perspectives.

As Ingrid grew, we were faced with an aspect of life that we weren’t used to. Advocating. As something I had little experience with, I knew I had to follow my instincts.

Being that I had made a very deliberate decision to not have Down Syndrome be what defines Ingrid, I had mixed feelings regarding advocating.

Of course, my daughter, my precious little girl would know that she was created by God to be special, but not in a way that is conventional.

She, just like each one of us, has a story that is all our own. No two people are the same and our differences should be celebrated, not shunned.

Alongside much controversy, I made the decision to decline all advocating. This will never be who she is. She is Ingrid. I am raising my children to see the value in human life, not because one person is this or that. Each child needs to feel honored, loved, and supported for who they are, not what a piece of paper says about them.

I fight for my kids. I speak up when necessary. And I make it known that I will always be there for them no matter what the situation is. As with any parent, my kids are my life. I will always and forever be their person.

On that note, I refuse to accentuate a negative image upon my child. I refuse to paint a picture of a difficult life for her; her life is her creation – however big and beautiful she chooses to create it! I will not glorify a life of struggles and hardship, when she is capable of amazing things. I will not create dramatic scenes of displacement to regard her as incapable. And I will never allow anyone else to imply that she cannot do anything she chooses.

Recently, I read a quote by Mother Theresa and it reminded me of exactly why we feel this way..

I want to create a world of love and peace for our children to grow and learn from. By advocating, I would be calling upon more judgement, darkness, separation, and sadness. A path I cannot be part of.

Sure, life has changed. It’s gotten better!

Our family is constructed of love, hope, peace, abundance, and adventure.

We choose to live life in light. To celebrate our differences, to be proud of who we are, and to love one another for our own special qualities.

We have taught our kids what Down Syndrome is. We have also taught them to treat others how they want to be treated.

They have not, nor will ever be taught to value (or otherwise) anyone based on differences, race, color, or anything that is not of a pure heart.

Each human being, no matter how big or small is a valuable part of our world, and deserves to be loved for who they are.

Enrich our lives with love, peace, unity and compassion.

Some days you know you can conquer your dreams, while others leave you breathless with agony.

For the days filled with agony and sorrow of yesterday, remember who you are today.

A memory isn’t always to be remembered as it felt. To preserve your now, remember yesterday for who you were then.

When it hurts, breathe in peace; for you are stronger now. The scars of the past have faded and the strength that you are is immortal.

Your soul deserves purity of the heart. It sees more than your mind can accommodate. Refuse to be burdened with what is not of today. You have grown. You have changed.

You may not recognize yourself now. Forgive what you didn’t know then. Truth has released the pain you were buried beneath.

Life is simple, serene and full of amazement. See it for what it is; a place of temporary comfort, a place full of love and grace.

Keep your heart as you would want your children to see you ~ beautiful and gleaming, as a gift from above. Pure and free, as you want to feel.

Release the past for it does not deserve you now.