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GRATITUDE – Written By Doneane Beckcom

This whole summer, since July 4th weekend, has been a downer for me. I have been sick with a chronic sinus infection ever since then, been on way too many rounds of medication, my birthday sucked, my sweet sports car got crunched, I had to have sinus surgery, then Hurricane Harvey decimated my hometown and flooded my house.

Hard to find the gratitude in all of the muck and mire (literally) that has been my life for the past three-plus months, and especially the last 30+ days since we flooded.

I am still living in a home with no flooring, walls torn up at least 2’ from the floor all throughout, some walls totally gutted and ceilings gone, nothing on the walls, and all but the bare essentials packed up and moved into storage. My OCD is in overdrive because of the chaos that is my home.

But it could have been worse. So I am grateful.

While I was sleeping through the storm with my dogs (doped up on pain meds because my sinus surgery was literally the day before it hit), neighbors across the highway from me were fleeing their homes in waist-deep and sometimes neck-deep water. A dear friend called me frantic at 2AM, wanting to know who she should call to rescue her elderly mother, who was now on the 2nd floor of her home and the water was coming up the staircase.

The stories we heard in the next few days were harrowing compared to what we experienced.

The evening that the storm was coming onshore, my husband brought me my rain boots to keep by the bed in the event the water was deeper when we woke up (it was barely coming into the house when I laid down at 11PM). It was over ankle deep when we got up, and stayed that way for over 2 days. While my wood plank flooring floated all over the house, we tried to save what furniture we could. We were moving in slow motion, like zombies in the Apocalypse, not really knowing what to do or where to go, assuming we could even leave our neighborhood.

But it could have been worse.

While we lost a few pieces of furniture and all of our flooring, some neighbors and friends had water up to the rooftop and lost everything. My niece, who is getting married soon, lost her entire house (thank goodness the wedding dress was NOT there). Some people lost their lives.

So after the initial shock of it all started to wane, and I could go a full day without crying hysterically at feeling so overwhelmed with everything (and still feeling horrible from the surgery I was not able to adequately recover from), I had to stop and think.

I am grateful.

I am grateful for the rescues that we watched from our kitchen window, as civilian strangers came and launched their boats from our front yard and got people out of their flooded homes all around us, with just the clothing on their back and their pets.

I am grateful that first responders and military came from all over, leaving their own homes to come and help people here that they do not know. Some of them had flooded homes as well, but felt the call of duty stronger than dealing with their own situations.

I am grateful for my daughter and her fiancé, who dropped everything to come to our house and help us pack up what we could, rip out wet floors and walls, clean up our pool that looked like a lagoon, and worked tirelessly for days to make sure my husband and I were alright. They never complained, never asked for anything, and never listened to us when we said “go home and rest, we are fine.”

I am grateful for all of the mission trips I went on over the last 15 years, helping people who had experienced the same thing I was now going through, helping them sort through their lives, decide what to keep and what to discard, and leaving it all on the curb like trash. Now I know how it feels to be the recipient of that kind of help. And I had often wondered, as I did that work for others, how I would feel if it were me who needed the help. Now I know.

And I am grateful.

I am grateful for the tears that I am shedding as I sit and write this article, knowing that now they are tears of joy and gratitude, and not stress and worry. We are going to be fine. I can cry now knowing that God has truly walked with us through this, and will be by our sides until we are finished rebuilding.

I am grateful because I know that it could have been so much worse.

We could be the people living in the “tent city” in the parking lot of our local Civic Center. But we are living in our home still, even though it is a bit torn up. We are home.

We could be without jobs because our offices flooded or employers shut down and let us go. But we are both still gainfully employed and did not suffer any loss of income because of this event.

We could be homeless. We could be displaced far from our families. But we aren’t.

And I am grateful.

If you are in a time of your life where you are finding it hard to be grateful, be encouraged by this: God spoke to me loud and clear in the depths of my sorrow and helped me to see His hand in this. A friend came over to check on us and as I cried she prayed over me, and quoted the scripture about how God cares for the tiny sparrows, and how He considers us to be of so much more worth than sparrows. When she went to leave and I opened the front door, the largest flock of sparrows I have ever seen was in my front yard, and the door startled them so they took off in a flutter.  I knew without a doubt that God was showing me that He is with us and we will be fine.

And I am grateful.

Thank you for reading,

Doneane Beckcom


Doneane Beckcom
CEO, Bold Radio Station
Certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist
Fitness Nutrition Consulting, LLC

Gratitude is the Elixir for Suffering – Written By Wendy Hutchinson

Gratitude has been a daily practice in my life and an integral part of my life coaching practice.  It is virtually impossible for me to feel suffering when I am in the space of gratitude.  In April of 2017 my son was involved in a bad motorcycle accident.  I received a call from a stranger from my son’s cell phone at 8:30 a.m. telling me he just saw my son get hit by an SUV, he was lying lifeless in the middle of an intersection and he wasn’t sure if he was alive, he said paramedics were on the scene, then click, he hung up.  He had picked up my son’s phone which flew out of his pocket on impact and dialed Mom.  I was walking my dog at the time and I just started running home.  By the time I arrived, I was absolutely hysterical.  I knew he was dead, I just knew it and I wanted to get to my husband before he left for work.    I raced up the stairs calling my husband’s name and he was just getting out of the shower.  I stood in our bedroom while he held me dripping wet, while I sobbed uncontrollably.  All I could choke out was “he’s dead, he’s dead, oh my god he’s dead”.  My husband was in shock, I was inconsolable.   A police officer called me shortly thereafter and told me that my son was involved in an accident, he was on an ambulance to the hospital.  I knew then he was alive, but no further information.  After many agonizing hours wondering what the damage was, wondering if he was brain dead or if he had suffered a spinal cord injury, we found out his jaw was broken in multiple places and would have to be wired shut, his pelvis cracked like an egg, and his left arm (dominant hand) was broken in 4 places, down to the wrist.   When you walk into the ICU and witness your child lying there literally in pieces, I can’t describe the flood of emotions I experienced. It shakes you to your core.  He went through 3 surgeries in 4 days.  On day 5 he was sent home.

Our lives changed drastically. For months, he was confined to bed or a wheelchair.  He was in excruciating pain, and he had to take his meals through a straw.   He moved back into our home for the duration of his recovery, which was hard for all of us on so many levels.   There were nights where his pain was so intense, all I could do was crawl into bed next to him and hold his hand and just hold space for him.  The doctor forgot to put an ID number on the pain killer prescription so he had to go an entire day without pain meds his first day home.  I can’t describe the frustration we experienced watching our kid suffer and we couldn’t do a damn thing about it except give him over the counter meds until they straightened it out.   I had to remind myself of my blessings and run through my list of things I was grateful for daily to keep myself from going deep into negative thoughts or emotions.  I was grateful he was alive, he wasn’t permanently confined to bed or a wheelchair.  I knew this was temporary. I was thankful I wasn’t planning his funeral.

Some friends of ours had lost their son, who is the same age the month before, so as we went to my son’s apartment to get clothes and his gaming systems and TV to bring to our house, my husband and I felt sick thinking we could be packing his place up because we had lost him. It was intensely emotional gathering his clothes and belongings the day before he was released.  I stepped completely away from my work for 3 months. My life revolved around dispensing medication and making smoothies, helping him get to doctor’s appointments and basically just 24/7 constant care.

Through gratitude I found peace.  Gratitude is almost like a prayer practice for me.  The feeling I get is one of being lifted as if 100 balloons are clipped to my shirt pulling me up out of the darkness.  Gratitude is the elixir for suffering.  It’s so easy to get bogged down in the negativity and stress but I chose to ride the wave, roll over and go to the place of acceptance.  I got very intentional about my gratitude practice. I didn’t dwell in the shadows, I tried to focus on the light.  Some days were harder than others.

The empathy I have for others has created a deep compassion for their suffering, but also created compassion for myself and my own suffering. I’ve allowed that suffering to bubble to the surface in me and I ask myself, what I am to learn from this experience? Rather than wallow in my pain, I make my list of things I’m grateful for. When I am in that space of thankfulness, I am so focused on the blessings in my life, there is no space for the pain, if only momentarily.  I transcended my suffering by practicing gratitude.  There were days, when my son and I would be fighting.  Both short on sleep, edgy because he didn’t want to be dependent on his mom, me feeling unappreciated, like a cook and maid and nothing more, man tempers would flare. I would have to take a walk around the block with the dog and think “I’m so lucky he is alive for me to get pissed off at”!  It would be like hitting a reset button and I could come back and bear the weight of what was ahead of me.  I encourage you to begin a gratitude practice when you are in a space of anxiety, or stress or anger or depression. 21 days straight of practicing gratitude will change you in a way you never thought possible.   Just a slight shift will set you on a completely new path and I hope that it is a path from darkness to light.

Until next time, with love …….Wendy x


About Wendy Hutchinson:

Alinea Life Coaching

www.alinealifecoaching.com

TEL: 619-246-5948

 

 

Radical Recovery of Rob Decker


Fitness, faith and friends delivered Rob Decker from the depths of despair to the heights of a clean lifestyle. Written by Suzanna Cullen Hamilton Photographed by Shane O’Donnell.

Originally published in Southbay HEALTH Magazine Spring 2017, a publication of Moon Tide Media  http://www.oursouthbay.com/

 


Written by Suzanna Cullen Hamilton | Photographed by Shane O’Donnell

 

Opioid addiction claims more lives each year than firearms or automobiles. Growing up with parents who were alcoholics with opioid and drug addictions presented Rob with an almost insurmountable hurdle. Although Rob now has a thriving career as a fitness instructor—particularly to youth and people recovering from back surgery, his path was riddled with the landmines of addiction and negative messaging.

“It’s impossible to not be affected when you grow up with meth-addicted parents who abuse drugs and alcohol,” says Rob. He started using marijuana at age 16, and by his early 20s he was taking Ecstasy and cocaine. “I was on a fast path, and my father told me that I’d never make it,” he continues.

A life of constant addiction culminated one dark night that could have ended Rob’s life. After a drunken argument with his then-girlfriend that included a call to the police, Rob decided to take his own life by jumping from a building.

“In that moment, I was ready to end the nightmare,” says Rob. Although friends had recently taken him to a prayer service at a nearby church where Rob says he “felt chills on my spine and knew the Lord’s presence,” he wanted to go.

Fortunately, Rob hit part of the building, and it broke his fall. Although he shattered his back, arm and wrist and collapsed a lung, he was alive.

It took five years and $2 million in multiple surgeries to heal Rob’s fractured back and arm, and he had to learn to walk again. “During that time, I learned to understand deep physical pain; the fundamentals and patience required for recovery; and I learned that my faith would deliver me through it,” says Rob.

 

Titanium rods, screws and cages now hold Rob’s body together, while his faith holds his soul together. He’s also eliminated all drug and alcohol use.

Today Rob has a thriving business as a personal trainer at Equinox. “I want to give people hope,” says Rob. He and his wife, Alyssa, live in Torrance, and they welcomed a son, Caleb, in 2016.

When asked what he’d say to his teenaged self, Rob replies, “You can be whatever you want to be, and be the best you can be.” Caleb is going to have a great pillar in his father, and back surgery patients have an advocate in Rob.

Written by Suzanna Cullen Hamilton Photographed by Shane O’Donnell

For more articles written by Southbay, visit http://www.oursouthbay.com/


 

 

 

Belief/Affirmations: Do you believe in the power of prayer?

Article Written By Dr. Jane Cox

You might have noticed that I rather enjoy taking a bit of a controversial view on all sorts of subjects. I remember being taught from quite young that there are certain subjects that you just don’t talk about, and those generally include subjects around things like religion, or politics. Well, that was like a red rag to a bull for me. Tell me I shouldn’t do something, and immediately it engages me as something worth taking notice of. I am also often the “devil’s advocate” – I’ll keep the open mind, and always allow for the possibility that what I “believe” at any stage may change, because my current decision or belief may be based on a lack of knowledge, rather than an abundance of knowledge. And for me, ignorance is no reason to structure my life in a certain way. After all, life is about growing and learning, and I think we all have a huge amount of potential for that learning and that growth.

So one of the controversial subjects that has always interested me is the power of prayer. Some people swear by it, some people dismiss it completely. I went and became a metaphysican in my desire to understand it, amongst trying to get a handle on all other things spiritual and philosophical. I found out a lot of things about prayer, but I hope to share just a small finding in this couple of pages that we have together. And maybe it’ll encourage you to test this concept for yourself.

If you believed the nuns that taught me during my high school years, prayers are answered. To be honest, I had a big red flashing doubt sign in my brain when they came up with this concept. I tested it. I would pray for something, put my heart and soul into that prayer, and nothing seemed to happen. I would do the other thing they suggest – always start your prayer with thanks of what you have in your life, and then expand on this concept and pray for what you want as though the prayer had already been granted. Well, I liked the idea of that, but I wasn’t feeling overwhelmed with the success of the strategy.

One of my best friends at school was always worrying about her weight. She tried this prayer thing as well. She prayed to lose weight. She gave thanks for her thinness as though it had already become a reality. But nope. She kept looking much the same and, dare I say it, if there was weight doing anything it was appearing, not disappearing. So for a while I liked the concept of praying but the proof was still lacking.

Then I sat back and looked at what prayer actually was. It was effectively the sending up of energy into the Universe. And of course if there is real emotion involved in anything, it increased the amount of energy attached to that thought or desire. If we think of ourselves as electrical circuits, it makes sense that we exchange energy with the Universe. And if we guide that energy, and set our intentions, and include our emotions, it is like sending a guided missile up into the energy system of the Universe, and it certainly should be weighted in the favour of working, so why did it seem to have so little working proof?

Then I took a broader look at what was going on, and I experimented further, and I can honestly say that it is true what they say: Every prayer is answered. The trouble is that we tend to forget the first half of the statement. The fact is that EVERY THOUGHT is a prayer, and every prayer is answered. Think about it. Over seven billion souls, all sending up the energy of their thoughts. That’s a helluva lot of energy being sent out into the Universe!

So somehow we expect the Universe, that God power, to listen really carefully to all of that energy coming from each one of us. We expect that if that thought is preceded by a “Dear God”, and ends off with an “Amen”, that somehow the Universe will ignore the clutter of all those other energetic signals we send off, and just grant the request or intention sandwiched between those magic words. The more I thought about it, the more ridiculous it seemed.

I listened carefully to my friend. While for a few minutes each day she prayed for weight loss, she spent most of the other 23 hours and 55 minutes talking about how fat she felt she was. How she “only needed to think about a slice of cake and she would put on weight”. And I looked at where her thoughts centred, I listened to her self talk, and I saw where her emotions lay, and I saw how where she placed her attention was what manifested.

I saw myself do the same. I would “pray” for one thing, but believe another. I would ask for one result, and take actions and expend energy into creating the opposite result. Not intentionally, but when I was honest with myself, the pattern was clear. The negative self talk that we indulge in. The times that we diminish ourselves and run ourselves down. All of that energy, all of those thoughts, all sending out their energy into a very busy Universe, and the answering energy comes back. What we believe, we achieve. If what we internally believe is that we are failures, we create failure. If we believe we are incapable, we are. Or in my friend’s case, if we think we are overweight, we become the outward manifestation of those thoughts.

But on the flip side, when we catch our negative thoughts and beliefs, and we replace them with positive ones, we start to manifest that too. When we start to genuinely tell ourselves that we can do something, we manage it with relative ease. When we expect a positive outcome, we create a much larger possibility for that positive outcome. When our mind sends out clean and consistent energy, and we take ownership of our thoughts, we take back control over the outcome of those thoughts.

At first it may seem clunky. And quite an eye opener as to how many times we “think ourselves down”. But if every time you catch yourself thinking negatively, you intentionally replace those thoughts with positive ones, you start retraining your brain for positive results rather than negative ones. Every thought is a prayer, and every prayer is answered.

What are your thoughts? Because those thoughts are the thoughts that will become your reality.

Thank you so much for reading,

Jane xx


Dr. Jane Cox is a Human behavioural specialist, success psychology expert and ethno-psychologist. Internationally renowed motivational speaker & trainer. find out more at: https://www.drjanecox.co.uk/

Find a Penny, Pick it Up- Written By Desirée Toldo

Written By Desirée Toldo

 

I believe in a lot of things. I believe that Disney Princess Band-Aids work better than regular Band-Aids; I believe that people are inherently kind, even if at times they forget it; I believe that most things taste better with ketchup; I believe that everything that is lost has a way of finding its way back. This is the story of the moment I found what I had lost 12 years ago.

In 2015, I was a senior in college living with my cousin and our best friend in our small dorm. It was rare to have the room to myself for a night, but when I did I would sometimes wake up from dreams of my grandfather who we had lost ten years earlier. I would wake up and be so sure I could smell his familiar scent, as though the door had just closed behind him—they were the most vivid dreams I had ever had. I struggled to put a meaning to these dreams. My grandmother and mother had told me of spiritual encounters that they had had in their lives, but I never believed that was the kind of thing I could experience. I wasn’t sure if I even believed it was possible. Yet I wanted so badly to believe that there was meaning in the dreams that I was having, that I was being visited by the person I missed more than I could understand.

One Sunday in March I found myself alone for the night once again, and I suppose my grandfather, who we called Papi, decided it was time to make a believer out of me. I fell asleep with a tingle of disappointment that always came with the end of the weekend. Before I knew it, I was walking up the street toward my parents’ house when I heard the engine of my brother’s truck start. I looked up to see Papi smiling at me from the driver’s seat. He didn’t say a word but I got in the truck and we drove away and went to a movie theater. I don’t remember the drive. I don’t remember any conversation. I don’t even remember what movie we went to see. But I remembering walking up to the concession stand and ordering my favorite movie theater snacks (pretzel nuggets, nacho cheese, and a small popcorn). I remember Papi paying. I remember the cashier placing loose change on the counter. And I remember one bright, shiny penny.

Even through a dream, where there are no limits to what you can imagine and what can be done, I knew Papi would not be staying with me in the world, but that he had come back for a day to take me to the movies, perhaps to reassure me that though he had left the world, he was not gone. He did not say a single word but when I asked him if I could keep that one perfect penny to remember the day he smiled. After that it all dissolved. Maybe new dreams came into focus or maybe it was all just black. I woke up alone in my room with a breath that felt like I had just been resuscitated. The weight of what I had dreamt and the emptiness I felt crashed over me. He was gone. I rolled over and made my body as small as I could in my tiny twin bed.

Against my crisp, black bed sheet I saw the perfectly polished profile of Abe Lincoln, shining up at me. A penny lay next to my pillow, as though it had been placed so purposely near me.

In life, Papi had never denied me anything—ice cream before bed (make no mistake, this was just as much a treat for him as it was for me—chocolate ice cream for him, vanilla for me), the little plastic table from the center of a pizza pie to use as a dining table for my Barbies, nothing. 12 years had passed since he died and yet he still didn’t deny me. This time he gave me something to believe in—his proximity, his presence, his attunement to me even after so many years. I had never felt so connected to someone in my life—he had chosen to give me this gift and in doing so he solidified everything I wanted to believe in but didn’t have enough proof of. I wear the proof around my neck at all times. The penny hangs close to my heart always—a reminder of what that dream meant and everything that changed as a result of it.

In the two years since Papi came to visit me in my dorm, I have had other similar encounters—dreams that seemed just slightly more than dreams. I sometimes wish I could summon both of my grandparents like characters in a science fiction movie, just to get their reassurance that they’re watching everything. But it doesn’t work like that. I don’t know how it works, but I believe in it. I believe that when I need them most, they appear. I believe that the cardinal that sits on my windowsill despite my cat’s numerous attempts to pounce on him through the closed window is Papi saying, “hello, I’m with you.” I believe that the dragonfly fluttering around my car as I eat my peanut butter and jelly sandwich on my lunch break is Gram telling me that peanut butter and jelly is not a filling lunch and I should eat more. I believe that though they were lost, they are always hiding somewhere waiting to be found. It doesn’t make me miss them any less, but it makes the spaces between visits less difficult. Most of all, it gives me hope that there will always be another sign, another visit, another reminder of just how strongly they are imprinted in my soul.

Thank you for reading, with love

Desirée Toldo xx

 

Affirmations, do they really work? – By Kim B. Smith

Article Written By Kim B. Smith

 

I am a healthy person; I am strong and focused; I am loved; I am a shining ray of beauty…

I am energetic and productive to arrive through my day!

These are just a few samples of positive affirmations, something a lot of people do not believe in. Our belief system here is what we “buy” into, what we are told to by others.

First, I would like to talk more about affirmations. To be affirmed, affirming and more.

Here is the definition:

1, The action or process of affirming something or being affirme

“He nodded in affirmation.

2,  Emotional support and encouragement.

These affirmations are powerful – they work. For me personally, they help me calm my nerves and anxiety. I take three deep breaths before stating my affirmations. However, I have clients that insist that they don’t work or that it is just too simple! Really? Why does everything have to be so neck breaking hard for us to receive love and desired results? Crazy, huh?

Affirmations need to be visible. I find placing mine in my journal helps. I write them on Post-its, and I keep them in my car, on my mirror and around my monitor of my computer. Places where I can see them and be reminded.

I let myself get creative and use sharpies and different color Post-its. At one point I used to teach a leadership class to high schoolers, we did the eliminating of negative beliefs, we taught them how to take their negative beliefs and turn them into positive, supportive ones by using the Post-it method. One of the students shared with the class that she decided to place her Post-its on her bedroom ceiling so she could see them first thing in the morning and last at night! Brilliant! We saw a shift in this young lady’s personality.

These affirmations change our beliefs about ourselves, AND THEY WORK.

Yes, affirmations work, I know this because we live in a total affirmed world. A very negative world that affirms with fear and negativity.

How many times have you been given a compliment and affirm with a negative comment? How many times do you negatively put yourself down? “I am fat, I am a loser, I am a failure.” We have all done this at one point in our lives. And we buy into this, don’t we? Aren’t these affirmations changing our beliefs?

Affirmations work, positive or negative. Humans have been walking around for years affirming things.

“I am ____________.” You chose, power-filled and positive or knock-down, fear-based, and negative. But I will tell you, they work. Affirmations have worked since the beginning of time, it’s just that we as a race have been trained to use them negatively. So changing all of this up, feels strange, abnormal, and very different. Indeed, and it will until a new routine is started for yourself.

Practice is the way to change, and practice doesn’t get you to perfection. Practice supports us and allows us to be Human.

Begin today with three positive affirmations, place them around you on your mirror, monitor and such. You got this!

Peace, Kim xx


Kim Boudreau Smith is a multi-talented CEO and business leader with a legacy of empowering thousands of women. From a corporate background in sales and marketing and over 20 years of experience in the fitness industry, Kim has gone on to become an #1 International Best-Selling Author with the book being one of the best-selling on Amazon for 2015! Kim also has become a multiple International Best-Selling Author Business Consultant and Speaker. Kim combines her expertise with a passion to motivate and inspire other women to become “top producers in their lives”. As CEO of Kim Boudreau Smith Inc.& Founder of Bold Radio Station her international speaking and consulting work has enabled thousands of women to benefit from her inspirational and empowering work. Find out more at www.kimbsmith.com

 

REAL LIFE STORY – Blindsided by Donna Davis

REAL LIFE STORY – Written by Donna Davis

He seemed so very charming. Or was it easy for me to be so distracted because my heart was recently broken in a recent break-up. Misery makes it easy for predators to ease right in. I never saw it coming.

He always had time for me. He smiled a lot and was adventurous. He seemed to know exactly what to say and when. We had fun together and things seemed great. I didn’t know he had a temper and a short fuse.

It started the night that he was teaching me how to drive. I hadn’t had the opportunity before so it seemed wonderful to have the chance to learn.  I started out doing well and then at one point drove off the curb, by accident of course, and watched him turn into a monster. He started yelling and cursing and then hit me. What?!  What’s happening?  I’m sorry it was a mistake! The car is fine. We’re fine. What’s the big deal? He later apologized and I thought it wouldn’t happen again. Unfortunately it did. Over and over again for a ten years. No rhyme or reason. Half the time I couldn’t even figure out what the trigger was. It seemed that I was living in hell.

Prior to being with him I never really knew how painful and destructive anger was. I had never experienced it. If he was angry I would get hit. If he was angry I would get punched. If he was angry I would get raped. If he was angry I would have to listen to hours of yelling and threats while I was cornered in the bathroom.  I didn’t dare question him or answer back and had no idea of how to stand up to him. Year after year it went on and on.  I would subconsciously walk on eggshells afraid of relaxing because he could “blow” at any time. We would have patches of okay existence and even some seemingly happy times and then out of nowhere I would get backhanded in the chest or punched in the head. My belief about anger became:  if someone was angry-especially a man- I was going to get hurt!  It would take me years to have this conscious awareness and several more years before I confronted the fact that this was a lie.

That experience taught me many lessons. It allowed me to see how strong I had become, even after years of feeling so weak and helpless.  I found out what forgiveness was. The surprise-and gift-of that was learning and understanding that forgiveness sets me free. It doesn’t justify what happened or excuse his role in the abuse. It allows me to move on and find peace and live life fully.

The dark memories do come to visit from time to time. I’ve learned how to deal with them.  I acknowledge that they happened and I rejoice that I’ve found a way out. It seems like so long ago now since I was able to put it all behind me.  Each day is a victory, another chance to make better choices for myself and make sure NOONE ever does those things to me again.

I sit here today listening to the Kesha song; “Praying” and smile at the thought that somewhere, somehow, perhaps he has found forgiveness for himself, and maybe has a more peaceful life. That is a wish I can send his way.

I get silent and say a prayer of thanks and ask God what to do next: I hear “Your celebration of life IS your release, IS your reward and IS your freedom.”  I dance in those thoughts with a happy heart, a smile, and a sincere hope that many who find themselves in a similar situation can one day be free as well.  There is a way out.  NEVER give up!

Thank you for reading!

Much Love

Donna xx


About Donna Davis:

As The Menopause Fairy I now help other women fine tune their lives as they discover their “A-HA MOMENTS” and discover happiness and pursue their true purpose. Over the years I have had the honor and privilege of helping women all over the world get clear on their dreams and goals while helping and supporting them as they found their balanced hormonal health and peace. Find out more at: http://themenopausefairy.com/

Money and Budgets: Do I have too?

Article Written By Ellen Rich, Holistic Life Coach and Founder

www.act2.expert

“The budget is not just a collection of numbers, but an expression of our values and aspirations.”

~Jacob Lew Read

 

People have different approaches to money.  Rich or poor, perception of money changes with context.  Each financial group from billionaires to the homeless evaluate groups they are not a part.

Family and culture play a huge role in how you approach money and budget.  A large family that lives together may need less money and can stretch a budget. A single person living on their own, however, may not be able to do this as well.  Money and budgets are not good or bad.  The key is determining what you have now, what resources will come into your possession, and lifestyle.

 

What’s mine?

Whomever you are living with, someone or living on your own, you need to decide how money is consolidated or kept separate from others.  Expenses are split and money allocated depending on each person’s contribution and perspective.  Bills need to be paid and a monthly budget plan put into place.

 

Debt: most of us use it.

Many people stretch their lifestyle by borrowing money (banks, friends, family, investment accounts and credit cards). * closed parentheses  added. There is always a price to pay for borrowing money.  The budget may be met, but the emotional price and financial impact depends on your particular situation.  Emotions can (fly) RUN HIGH when discussions about income, spending and debt arise.

 

Danger, danger and more danger!

If you borrow or lend money, beware that the long -term outcome may not work out as agreed.  I know of someone who lent a “friend” $1,000 and never saw it again.  Even landlords or the tax collectors may impose rules on you that you didn’t anticipate.  Think about what could happen and plan accordingly.

 

What is your money make-up?

How you view money can impact budget decisions.  Even if your current situation looks strong, spenders and savers often clash.  Situations can change (layoffs, death, illness, children, etc.).

 

Money usually creates financial “power” issues

This issue can be traced back to how much money you have and can impact issues that you never experienced.  A loss of a salary can change the entire household.  Additionally, your salary negotiations fall into this category. Applying for a loan or government financial aid also can impact you due to the loss of your power. Whoever has the money has the financial power.

Children

Children are expensive.  It is estimated by CNN.com that it costs $233,610 to raise a child to until they reach the age of 18.  And colleges are very expensive?  There are student loans, community colleges, trade schools and government subsidies.  Your choice is based on your financial commitment to your child.

Sometimes children over 18 want to continue to live with you to reduce their expenses.  You need to consider how much money you will use to support adult children.  It can help if your adult children decide to support you or can contribute financially to the household. I became a caretaker to my mother for 8 years when she was in her 80’s.  This impacted my job, working part time, salary, siblings and inheritance.

Extended Family

As your parents or elders age, their ability or desire to earn income falls.  Most seniors may want to live alone, but can’t afford it.  They may also be sickly and need help with healthcare and day-to-day activities.  Outside, home health care is very expensive.

Where will your money going to go?  Is it going to you, your household, relatives or parents?  These decisions may impact your savings and lifestyle.  The good news here is that your extended family may help you out in ways you never considered.

Solutions

Communication is the key to financial challenges. Dealing with debt is essential in understanding your ongoing plans.  Bankruptcy or wage garnishment may be just around the corner.  If married you are responsible for your partner’s debt.  Don’t shy away from pre-nuptial discussions or a contract when setting up a household with others.

Divorce is quiet common and over 50% of marriages are impacted.  Without understanding the laws in your state, province or country, this can be devastating from a financial standpoint. Go online or visit a divorce attorney to find out what you may be responsible for.  Good advice to keep you on top of your money is, “Never a borrower or a lender be.”

Why do I need a budget?

A budget is a plan that allows you to compare the amount of money you have with your expenses.  Budgets can be developed for any time period, but a monthly review is a good idea to see if you are on track.  Budgets are flexible and can be changed based on circumstances.  Budgets are critical in making big purchases.  They can help you decide whether to make a purchase or not.  With budgets you remain “in the know” of your resources so there are no surprises.

Thank you so much for reading, much love

Ellen xx


After working in the corporate world for 30+ years, Ellen started a Holistic Life Coaching program.  Called act2.expert (www.act2.expert), it is a Holistic Life Coaching Program that allows the client drive the process in a safe and comfortable environment.  Ellen has a BA, MBA, many certificates and has attended Wisdom of the Whole Coaching Academy.