How Tragedy + Perseverance = Empowerment

Today marks the 24 year anniversary of my Mothers’ tragic death.  It also marks the 24 year anniversary of the beginning of my growth process.

It truly amazes me how I can remember every step, every motion, every word, and every emotion of that day 24 years ago but I cannot remember where I set me keys 10 minutes ago.  I can still feel the pain as if it happened yesterday…I can remember the blood curdling screams coming from my pregnant 17-year-old body.  I can remember begging and pleading to everyone in the room to just let me see her….which now I am so thankful they did not give into my pleads. My mother was killed in a terrible car accident and I know that the visual of her mangled lifeless body would have changed me in a way that I may not have been able to recover from .

It took me many years to really experience a breakthrough as a result of my Mothers untimely demise.  I went through several years of depression and a feeling of emptiness. Several years of just being lost.  I was 17 years old when my Mother died.  I was 3 months pregnant and I was marrying the father of my unborn child 2 days later.  I think I lost my Mother when a young girl needs her Mother the most.  I had no idea what I was doing.  I, at 17 years old, didn’t even know how to take care of myself let alone a child…and how to be wife..are you kidding me??????  I was still doing homework for crying out loud….like legit….I was a senior in high school.

If you were to ask me 20 some years ago how I coped and found my way I probably would have told you some bullshit about being strong and working hard and being focused….thinking about that now makes me laugh!  Ask me now how I coped and I will tell you it was because of the leaders, mentors, and the people who gave me guidance.  My Father, my step-Mother, my Sister….they selflessly guided me.  Also, my in-laws at the time.  They had A HUGE impact on my life and I kick myself regularly for walking away from my marriage the way I did.  I divorced my Husband and literally just walked away from everyone.  I was young and scared and didn’t know how to handle things.  I have since apologized to them for my actions and have learned an EXTREMELY valuable lesson as a result of it.  I literally ghosted them….I will never do that to anyone again.  If I make the decision to no longer be part of someone’s life I choose to have the uncomfortable conversation as to why.  Not that I chose not to have a relationship with them I guess I just didn’t know how.  I should have told them that and they could have used their life experience to show me.

At the time I’m sure all those people thought I wasn’t listening….in fact I don’t even think I was listening….like I wasn’t really HEARING them. The point is it still got in my brain…just for later use .  It was through the natural evolution of maturity that I started to call upon some of the input my Dad and step-Mother instilled.  Also, through my growing relationship with my Sister (technically my step-Sister but I feel far too connected to her to address her that way)  who has been a beautiful example of the kind of person I want to be.

What I am trying to say here is that I did not get to this place of clarity for many years.  It did not just magically happen.  I think that is how some people see it though….because they did not actually see my process they naturally assume that I was always this way.  They assume they can never get to that place of enlightenment because they weren’t born that way.  I am here to tell you that NO ONE is born that way.  You become that person as a result of you who you surround yourself with and the stories you tell yourself.

I know that you cannot get to a place of clarity on your own.  It is through learning from others that you obtain that knowledge.  The opposite can also be said…you will get to a place of self-destruction, pain, stagnation, and a feeling of failure by surrounding yourself with the wrong people.  By listening to words of discouragement instead of encouragement, by listening to negativity rather than positivity….that will also take you somewhere…but it is going to take you to a dark place…a place where there will be growth but it will be a place where disease grows…where pain grows…where failure is an absolute.

I choose to use the death of my Mother as the birthplace of where I am today.  My Mother was 39 when she passed…It was nearing my 39th birthday that I had that  “OH MY FUCKING GOD” moment of realizing this was all the life my Mother ever lived.  I can either choose to bathe in pain of her tragic death or rise to the top as a result of it.  It is truly a choice.  It is 110% a fucking decision…..in every possible situation you have a choice…you may not like the choices but you still have a choice.

I made the CHOICE when I had that breakthrough moment nearing my 39th birthday to end my very unhappy marriage….that was the hardest DECISION I have ever had to make.  It was a choice though….either way you look at it….it sucks.  I could have chosen to stay in an unhappy marriage and live a very unfulfilled life OR break up a marriage that impacted the lives of a man, 3 adult children, and a grandchild.  IT FUCKING SUCKED!!!  But, I had a choice and I chose to leave so that I could be my very best self to serve those children better….to serve the my grandson better, to serve my team, my tribe, my community, and ultimately myself better.

Persevering through tragedy is ultimately what makes you unstoppable.  Surviving that time in my life is exactly what led me to where I am today….and I am damn proud of where I am today.  I am a very good person…I know this because I WORK REALLY FUCKING HARD AT IT.  I am strong, I am independent, and I am empowering.  And I have every single person that has ever been in my life to thank for it.  The people who had my best interest at heart as well as the people who were sucking me dry.  I thank every one of them equally.  The good ones for the guidance to the light powerful side and the bad ones for showing me what the dark side looks like and serving as a bad example.

DO NOT WASTE THE PAIN YOU ARE EXPERIENCING RIGHT NOW…It is your catalyst to greatness…it is the fuel that is going to take you to exactly where you want to go!

I please ask that if these words spoke to you in any way or you know someone who could benefit from reading them PLEASE LIKE AND SHARE THIS by clicking here.

It is my mission to help show everyone just how powerful they are. I need your help in spreading this!

This is what happens when you share your story

Today is one of those days that I will remember as one of the greatest I have ever experienced.  You know those days????  When you can reflect on something that happened or someplace that you went and it changed you forever.  Today was one of those days for me.

It began with a breakfast meeting with my very first “professional” mentors.  Stephen and Tricia Wake who own Focas Salon in Saint Charles IL.  They taught me so much!  So much more than how do to kick ass hair.  They taught me how to be an amazing human being.  They opened my mind to a whole life I didn’t even know was possible.  A couple of weeks ago I had this moment where I had just realized what a profound impact these 2 people had on my life.  I had always known it but I saw it differently at that moment for whatever reason.  I knew immediately that I had to contact them!  I had to let them know how wonderful they are.  As a fellow small business owner we hear criticism on a regular basis and it is so rare that people go out of their way to share the good stuff.  I knew that I had to let them know what a positive effect they had on my life.  I knew going in that 2 things would happen as a result of it #1.  It would give them the extra boost of confidence that comes from knowing you impacted someones life and it would keep them moving forward in helping them build their team.  #2.  It would allow me to work on my vulnerability and story sharing.  What happened though was so much more than that.  It became a collaboration of minds.  3 like-minded people traveling the same path in life sharing our “secrets” to success with one another to help empower the other.  It was beautiful.

Next, I was in-between appointments and I was starving.  There is a whole lot of eating involved in today I am realizing.  Anyhow, I decided to check out this new restaurant in town called Craft Urban in Geneva, IL.  Holy shit is this place incredible…1st off…talk about a visually appealing environment.  It’s wide open, brightly colored but not obnoxiously, everyone has an edginess to them but not in an intimidating kind of way, and oh my god…the kindness…the genuine kindness.  SO amazing!  That is what I noticed just while walking in.  Now, you get to the menu…simple, to the point, unique selections, OBVIOUSLY INTENTIONAL in every possible way.  I struck up an amazing conversation with the bartender and the owner.  This place is special.  Not to mention they have a Friday and Saturday late night Ramen menu….what?????  Every Friday and Saturday they have a new ramen selection.  Taco Tuesdays serving different tacos every week…YUM, but I digress.  The point is I learned their stories and it was beautiful.

Lastly but certainly not least I went to a new place for my pedicure today.  Lisa Clark at Lacquered Up in downtown Geneva, IL.  This woman….oh my god this woman.  She is the most beautiful soul with such an amazing story not to mention she does some killer nails for a super super reasonable price (side note). It was because she shared her story and truly engaged in mine that I made a connection with this beautiful human being that I will never forget.  I am truly and I do mean TRULY a better person as a result of talking to her for an hour.  Her insight on life, love, perspective, intentionality, and her spiritual mindedness changed me!!  Listen to what I am saying…..if she hadn’t allowed herself to be vulnerable and true that connection would have never happened.  If I put up a wall and didn’t engage with her we both would have missed out on a connection.

Remember that is the whole purpose of life...connection.  That is why we are here.  There are so many people in the world that would say “oh it’s just nails”, or “it’s just hair”, or “it’s just bartending”…the list goes on of occupations that are snubbed but think of it this way…we sat eye to eye, there was actual physical contact which means there was a transfer of energy…we engaged with one another…we allowed ourselves to be vulnerable.  If that is not some powerful shit I don’t know what is.  Not only did Lisa give me the confidence that comes from looking my best….I feel great when my feet look good!  She also touched my mind and my soul.  Because of that PEDICURE I am a better person.  I grew as a human being.  Thank you Lisa Clark!  (630) 277-2555 for all you local people….you won’t regret it 😉

Here is my point….it was through actual real conversation….REAL CONVERSATION that I was able to connect with people on a beautiful plane today.  Imagine what I would’ve missed out on if I would’ve just been on my phone the whole time.  What if I hadn’t reached out to Stephen and Tricia because I was to embarrassed about what they would think about me contacting them out of the blue.  Imagine if I would’ve been to self-conscious to dine alone and didn’t go into Craft Urban today.

No matter who you are…no matter what your path in life is…you have so much to offer!  You are so powerful….you have the ability to change someones entire life but ONLY if you allow yourself to be your true authentic self.  Embrace every facet of your existence…whether you came from a life of tremendous abundance or horrible scarcity.  No matter if you are a brain surgeon, a CEO, a nail technician, a hairdresser, a server, or a student…..YOU HAVE THE ABILITY TO CHANGE THE WORLD…I beg you please do not pass that opportunity simply because you were too afraid to put yourself out there.  GO BIG….show the world exactly who you are!

Please pass this along..  I would be humbled and honored if you would share this with someone in your life!

7 things that will keep you head over heels in love with your partner

After making the decision to live an intentional life one of the very first things I did was divorce my Husband.  I spent a lot of time thinking about what had gone wrong and I how I could avoid making the same mistakes in the future.  What I figured out is that is was all about communication.  Not only the way we were communicating but also what we were not communicating.  I had realized that we spent a lot of time avoiding the difficult conversations that we were supposed to be having as partners.  When you are married and raising a family together there are so many variables at play.  Children, home, finances, careers, in-laws, and so much more.  At the end of the day juggling “life” can be so damn exhausting that when you get home and see that your expectations were not met you become aggravated.  The biggest thing we don’t factor in though is often times we don’t even tell our partners what our expectations are!  Then we get pissed off because they didn’t know what we were thinking.   Think about that for a moment.  We got pissed off because someone didn’t read our minds.

I am so grateful for the lessons I have learned from my past relationships because I am putting them into full play in what is the greatest relationship I have ever known.  What I have come to realize is that fate brought us together but that is not what is keeping us together.  It is us making an effort everyday to make sure that it is great.

Whether you are in a new relationship or are celebrating a lifetime together these are 7 things you can make sure you are doing consistently to keep the flame alive.

#1.  They are not trying to hurt you that is just how you feel

When your partner does something that makes you angry remember that it is not what he/she did that needs to be addressed it how that thing made you feel that needs to be talked about.   We often times get angry and start pointing fingers saying “you did this” or “you did that”.  This causes your partner to get defensive and shut down.  Instead, allow yourself to calm down before addressing the problem and then begin with “when (insert offense here) happened this is how it made me feel”. Your partner will also have an opportunity to speak his/her feeling on why they did what they did.  The two of you will have a clearer understanding of each others feelings which will be a game changer for the long haul.

#2 Keep the games for Monopoly night

When you begin dating someone who is when the groundwork for the relationship is laid. Unfortunately we play these games and then things get to a rocky start.  An example would be after you meet someone and you are super excited to contact them but you practice the “3 day rule”.  You know, waiting 3 days before contacting them so you don’t see too eager.  That is so ridiculous.  If someone waited 3 days to contact me I would assume they weren’t interested.  Then I’d start questioning their intent after they did finally contact me.  If you are excited to contact someday….CONTACT THEM.  If that person gets scared off because of your eagerness it is safe to say that person is not for you.  If you find yourself saying “I don’t want them to think __________”  you’re setting yourself up for failure.  You have no idea how a person is going to react to anything.  Go through with what you want but do it intentionally.  The less games you play the less chance you have of losing.

#3 Learn their Love Language

In the book “The 5 Languages of Love” by Gary Chapman he explains that most relationships start to change course after about 2 years.  He believes it is because we are not speaking to them in the correct Love Language.  We tend to show our love the way we would want ours to be shown but that doesn’t work for everyone.  The languages Gary talks about are words of affirmation, quality time, acts of service, physical touch, and gifts,  If you receive love through someone telling you how wonderful you are but your partner receives love through physical touch it would be important to know that.  You would have to make it a point to show love not in the way you would want it shown but instead in the way your partner would want it.

#4 Dont Assume Your Partner Knows What You Want

You get home from a long day of work and all you are thinking about is spending some time with your partner.  You have this vision in your head that when you walk in the door they will greet you with a hug and kiss and sit next to you conversing about the day.  When you walk in that is not what happens and you get angry but don’t tell your partner why.  You hold your partner accountable for expectations that were never verbalized.  This happens so often and escalates to a point of no return.  Instead of being angry when those expectations are not met let your partner know what it is that you want.  It is unfair that we hold our partners responsible for knowing what we want in our heads.

#5 The Little Things are the Big Things

When we begin a relationship we are our best selves.  We go out of our way to send little texts, leave little notes, prepare surprise meals, and so on.  After some time we do less and less of that until it’s not happening at all.  Make sure that you are always doing the little things.   A note in his/her lunch is such a great way to show someone you are thinking about them. Sending a random text telling them you love them or that they are on your mind. Those are the things that leave the biggest impact.

#6 Talk About Your Favorite Memories Together 

We all have those days or nights with our partner that will forever be engrained in our minds.  It is important to talk about those favorites!  The more you talk about those things the more likely you are to keep creating wonderful memories together.  When you reflect on something that made you really happy you tend to try to do those things over and over again.  You tend to keep things new and fresh as well as exciting.

#7 Don’t be Shy 

When it comes to how we like to be touched or kissed we usually don’t tell our partner how we like it and then risk never experiencing it.  You then begin to feel unfulfilled and things go awry.  When they do something you really like it is important that you let them know so they keep doing it.  The trickier part is when they do something you don’t like.  That is when you put a positive spin on it and let them know that one thing that they do that you really love.  You are able to change course without hurting their feelings and you get to experience what you really like!