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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

 

I Have a Plan For You!

Real Life Story Written By Jaime Evors

 

In 2008, God spoke, “You keep trying to end your life. But I am going to keep intervening because I have a plan for you” as I laid that day in a white hospital bed. Everything in my life that took place up until that point, the sorrows and the victories, swam around in my mind as I tried to make sense of the fact that God himself, had a plan for me.

Soon after that hospitalization, I knew I was to go to Oklahoma for Bible College. Without hesitation, I went. I was newer to faith, and still learning the basics of the Bible. I was excited, vulnerable and naive. I grew by great measure in my faith and in all that God did and does. While attending that college, I met a guy. After being pursued and wooed, we began to date. His family and I would talk on the phone for hours. I dreamed of this family I could have and it was enticing. I was warned by my friends and mentors of these red flags, but my own eyes could not see it. Or simply did not want to. I was slowly drawn away from God. A few months later, I was living across country in the south with his family. When we left the cold winter of Oklahoma and landed in the warmth of the south, I felt sick to my stomach. A part of me knew that I had just gotten myself in to something I wasn’t expecting. But, I wasn’t sure and waited it out. After a few weeks, Christmas came and went, and I knew that I did not want to stay. Something was off. But, I couldn’t quite figure out what exactly. As days turned in to weeks, I began to feel like a puppet. I don’t conform well to other people, so when this began, I had some resistance. They would tell me that what goes on within the family couldn’t go outside their four walls. They controlled who I talked to, what I said, and how acted. I desperately wanted to leave, but was coerced to stay several times by means of being slapped, strangled, thrown onto the ground, and even being put in a shower of cold water during a panic attack. One time in particular, the mother held a butcher knife to her wrists to show what I would cause her to do if I left. I dreaded waking up the next day, every day. I went through psychological, physical, verbal, and sexual abuse during those 8 months. I became so wounded and confused. My past wasn’t one that nurtured what is right and what is wrong, so I naturally thought that it was just me, invaluable me.

But God. I could not deny what He has so kindly spoken to me on that day in 2008. I knew this wasn’t the plan He was referring to. I knew that I needed to flee. With one final attempt, I escaped. I left on a lunch break to never return. I grabbed the few items I could hold and left to head north. As I drove with adrenaline surging, tears streaming, and thoughts racing, I had to keep convincing myself that I was doing the right thing. Everything within me shook and by the next day, I wanted to go back. I panicked. What had I just done? Everything I could have gained, was lost. Maybe it wasn’t as bad as I thought it was? Maybe it’s all my fault? Maybe it can change? But I knew with my failed attempts to leave before, with my many attempts to keep peace, that things weren’t going to change. I needed to accept that fact to keep myself from returning to the abuse. I kept my shaking hands on the steering wheel and didn’t turn back. So, now what?

Life got harder. Leaving something horrific, doesn’t always mean that it’ll be easier on the other side. I had burned bridges, lost my identity, my faith was shaken, I had flashbacks, nightmares, and continually wanted to go back to them. I no longer knew who I was without them, as horrible as it was. That’s what abuse does. That’s what manipulation and coercion does. It strips us of our identity to the point where we can barely, if at all, think for ourselves. We think that it would be easier to go back, than to work through the pain.

But, I just couldn’t go back. I couldn’t.  However, with the flashbacks, nightmares, and fear that followed me daily, I stopped eating. I tried to starve the feelings and fell silent. I was crippled in fear from threats to not speak of what took place. Even though I had fled, I was still held hostage in my mind. I took sleeping pills, worked full time, and threw up what I did eat. I punished myself. I took the pain out on myself. I would go for morning runs on the country roads of Ohio, and with each sound of my feet hitting the pavement, I told myself how horrible I was, what mistakes I made, how I deserved this pain, and that I was weak. I would tear myself down so no one else could. I told myself whatever it took to in order to push through the pain of malnourishment. I was tormented, yet somehow, I tried again. I made some calls and sent some emails and found a way to get back out to Oklahoma where I had friends and medical facilities that I knew could help restore me. About six months from when I fled from the south, I made the move back out west. Within 2 days, I saw a doctor. I was told that in 2 weeks I would be dead if I didn’t have an intervention, due to Anorexia Nervosa. Part of me thought, “good.” But God’s spirit in me rose up and I knew I needed to do what it takes.

I received the feeding tube, and picked up my shield and fought harder. I felt as though I was in a desert all of this time. I had secrets know one knew of and at the same time needed to rebuild myself, my identity. It took 2 years of choosing every day to keep moving forward. To keep speaking the truth of God’s Word, to keep spending time with Him by being still or praying, and by spending time with good company. I knew He was faithful. From stories in the Bible, from other peoples lives, and even from experiences in my life. There was no question to that. I guess what I didn’t know, was how. How could I get out of this? I didn’t have a vision, I just had to blindly trust Him every day with every thing and keep doing the next right thing. During that 8 months of time down south, I had met someone and we became friends. Over a year later, after talking every day, encouraging one another, he came to live by me to help take care of me while my strength returned as I was to the point of where I was not able to work. We were best friends. Two years later, we decided to court one another and got engaged. Two months later, we were married. Being that he is the only child, after much time and prayer, we decided to move back south. To that same city, the same area where I was maltreated.

As God heals us, He gives us new perspectives. I took it as an opportunity to face the nightmare that I had been running from and trying to suppress and began to finally heal. The very time frame where satan tried to destroy me, a new life was being born out of it.

Doing that next right thing, led me to today. I am happily married to that best friend, who I think is a saint. I have 3 beautiful little children, a quaint home, and even a cat. I am a certified Life Coach and consider it an honor to work with others to take the next step. He’s not finished. God is never finished. He is all of our good qualities and more. He never left me. He helped me through one step at a time. There’s character traits and dreams that I would not have, had it not been for that healing process. I’ve learned not to discount the hard work of healing. It isn’t about getting from point A to point B. If we let that season mold us, we will come out of the fire stronger than before we went in. Our thoughts are fleeting, but His are eternal. He has a plan for you.

Only He could know the depths that phrase would follow me to and bring me out of again. Only He could know what lied ahead. At my deepest sorrow, He spoke life. Thats who He is and that’s what He does. He’s a redeemer.

God bless you,

Jaime xx


Jaime Evors. I am a wife, a mother of 3 and counting. I am certified as a Life Coach through THE AMERICAN SCHOOL OF PROFESSIONAL LIFE COACHING, an ICF accredited program and as well have an associates in Ministry. You can find out more about me at http://www.wavesafterwaves.org/

Beliefs and Affirmations- The No Non-sense Approach By Stephen Garrett

Article Written By Stephen Garrett

A lot of attention has been given to positive affirmations over the years especially in this time of New Aged Spirituality. There is a tendency to lean towards the light and avoid the dark at all costs. Well, the cost is actually in avoiding the dark, as that is where our personal power lies and also where it gets all knotted up.

Buried in our dark side are ALL the limiting self-beliefs that are our true magnets – magnets that draw to us those things we want and more those thing we do not want. These dark side magnets must first be re-polarized before any affirmations will have a permanent and lasting effect. If we simply lay positive affirmations on top of these unearthed and unhealed limiting self-beliefs all the laws of attraction will avoid the new lawyer of positive affirmations and instead attract what our core beliefs demand.

Positive affirmations painted on top of negative unconscious self-beliefs is much like applying a coat of paint on top of an ageing, cracked, existing paint job. It looks great initially but over a very short time period the cracks show their true colors and all the efforts of the new paint job were for naught.

If you intend to have a fantastic new paint job last the test of time you must first do the hard work of scrapping off all the old paint and getting back to the original surface of the wood. Once down to the clear base the new paint job will hold true and look as good as new for a long period of time.

Well, if it is true for a paint job it is also true for affirmations. They will not hold to an old cracked belief system not matter how much effort you apply. The old cracked belief system will always show through and the laws of attraction will bring to you what the old paint job has always brought you. You need to scrape away all those old limiting self-beliefs and get down to the base you – your divine spiritual heart.

Once the scrapping has effectively removed those once powerful dark side, negative beliefs the way is clear for new beliefs in the form of affirmations. So do your scraping work! Ask yourself these types of questions and be brutally honest;

  • How do I keep myself small?
  • How do I really think of myself?
  • If I am being honest with myself what are some of my negative identities?
  • When someone gives me a compliment what is my first thought?
  • When I make a mistake how do I really talk to myself?

These sorts of questions get at the negative self-beliefs lying beneath the surface in the shadows of your emotional mind/body. They must be brought into the light of day so you can de-identify from them and free yourself in order that you are able to receive the new paint job in the form of positive affirmations.

Without doing this preparation work; without scraping away the old paint; without getting down to the original clear wood surface you are simply wasting your time doing positive affirmations.

Much Love,

Stephen


Over the past decade I have spoken to groups as large as 1,200 people and more intimate groups from 15 to 200 folks. I have spoken in person at conferences such as IdeaCity, Double D’s Death and Dying Conference, the Ageing and Spirituality Conference in Los Angeles, the Bereavement Ontario Networks 25th Annual Conference, along with numerous radio and television shows.

I currently work with such organizations as hospices, professional continuing education organizations, colleges, communities, and churches creating tailor-made workshops to suit each group’s unique needs and learning styles. Learn more at www.stephengarrett.ca/

Five Steps To Increase Self-Esteem – By Alyssa Cruise

Article Written By Alyssa Cruise

 

When we think of self-esteem, we often see it as something that we have or do not have, rather than a way of being. We hear about having high self-esteem or low self-esteem as if there is a sliding scale of esteem that we must compare ourselves too.

In truth, self-esteem is a verb which means; the process of esteeming one’s self.

In other words, the process of boosting our self –esteem begins with us seeing the value within ourselves.

With this in mind, below are five tips to boost our self-esteem to promote a happier and healthier view of ourselves.

 

  1. Believe In Yourself

One of the first steps we must take to boost our own self-esteem is to change the way we think and feel about ourselves. This is a process that does not always happen overnight, and for the majority of the population is an ongoing journey throughout most of our lives.

When we begin to take responsibility for the way we feel, we empower ourselves. We take charge of our own self-concept which includes; our self worth, beliefs about ourselves, our talents, abilities, potential and value.

  1. Celebrate Your Six Biggest Successes

The more we celebrate our past wins in life, the more belief and confidence we build within our abilities.  Sometimes people struggle to think of their successes, and therefore give up on this exercise. However, there is a way for us to contemplate our wins in a very logical and objective structure, which can help us to see how much we have all grown on our life’s journey.

How To Identify Our Successes.

Step one is to split your life into sections. This will vary depending on each of our ages, but for example, 0-15, 16-30, 30-45.

Step two, you will now choose two successes you experienced within each of these time frames.

Step three, once you have discovered six life successes go back, and continue this same pattern. You may find that before too long you have identified very long list of successes, which you can then celebrate, with great belief in yourself.

After this exercise is complete, moving forwards, we can make a weekly or even daily list of our achievements. This will allow us to see our own progression from week to week, and will ultimately increase of self-belief and self-esteem.

  1. Make Integrity a Priority

One of the best ways we can boost our own self-esteem, is to make integrity a priority. Every agreement we make with others’, we also make with ourselves. When we stick to our word, we honour our integrity. If we don’t follow through on our word, we can ultimately lose faith and even trust within ourselves. This lack of trust within causes our self-esteem to plummet. By keeping our commitments and honouring our integrity we increase our self-esteem and sense of personal power.

  1. Take Some Risks

The higher our self-esteem is, the more likely we are to take successful risks. This is not about risk taking in a ‘negative’ sense, but rather risks that lead us greater success and even happiness. When we lack belief in ourselves, we can also lack gumption and drive. This can lead us to feeling deflated and unsure of ourselves. Taking risks, however small they may seem to begin with, can really help us to develop a deep sense of self-esteem.

  1. Demonstrate Your Talents

When our self-esteem is low, we often turn to thinking negatively about ourselves and our abilities. It is important within these times that we go within and remind ourselves of the things we are truly good at, and the things we do enjoy.

For example, if you are good at sport join a local team. If you are good at painting, showcase your work. If you are good at singing, post a video online or make a professional recording for yourself, friends or family.

When we engage in the things that we do well at, we are able to grow and flourish our self-esteem in tremendous ways.

Tips breakdown;

  • Believe In Yourself
  • Celebrate Your Six Biggest Successes
  • Make Integrity A Priority
  • Take Some Risks
  • Demonstrate Your Talents

Much Love,

Alyssa x


 

Why Chasing Success Will Kill You!

Aahhhh the sweet smell of success! The constant reminders every two minutes in our Facebook feeds with sponsored ads flashing out their promises of teaching you how to make 6 figures in 6 minutes and having a freedom lifestyle.

Selling to your heart desires and triggering your emotions by using clever marketing tactics, these ads forget to mention the ball breaking hard work and daily application of what it really takes to build strong foundations in a business that will stay standing for generations to come.

They forget to mention the MASSIVE risks you have to take, the responsibility you have to shoulder along the way and how you have to completely transform your personality in order to transform your reality…..Yeah! They kinda forget to mention the REAL hard work part.

So, instead, people fall hook line and sinker into the ads and walk blindly into what’s about to come. They start implementing what is taught to them and it starts to succeed and they have a rush of success and money, and SUDDENLY out of nowhere like a thief in the night, WHAMMMMMMMM!!! … You are hit with huge blows!

Suddenly you have a tonne of responsibility, you have a payroll to your staff to pay, you have so many people looking to you to make MASSIVE decisions every day in order to keep things moving. The anxiety burns up in your chest and throat, you feel like you have to work bigger, faster, quicker, stronger, longer each week.

I mean, after all, you have a reputation and staff to keep right?…… But then suddenly! You start to feel like you are stuck on this God forsaken hamster wheel, what have you created? This isn’t living your passion! This is working stupid hours each week with tonnes of responsibility and people to lead and answer to and you are making less an hour then you worked in corporate???

Nobody mentioned this in the course I signed up for??????…. Nobody mentioned in their shiny Facebook advert that I would be freaking and pulling my hair out by the end of the year! How the f**k am I suppose to handle all this? .. (then your immune system takes a beating) and before you know it you are hit with many illnesses, sometimes one after the other or all at once. What the f**k happen on this journey? Why did nobody warn me about this? Why does it same like one thing after another is against me? …. I JUST DONT GET IT! THIS IS NOT LIVING YOUR PASSION, THIS IS SLOW DEATH TORTURE!!!!!!!

Yes, I hear you! I hear every single question you are asking, why? Because I was that person. I totally experienced the above (and a whole load more) on my journey of building my international publishing company. Within 10 months I was riding my way to 7 figures, had a full team and assistants for my every need and was working with TV personalities, award winning film directors and News readers to help publish and market their books to best seller status. I helped over 350 clients hit the best sellers list in under 3 years and had 18 best selling books of my own under my belt, along with bad health, declining passion and a human body that had turned into a robot that was running a hamster wheel and shouldering masses of responsibility that was wearing me down to zero!

Was I really doing this for others? Or was I feeding my big fat ego to feel like a somebody? To feel important and to be idolized? … Was I really seeing that my business foundations were built on chasing success rather than building a legacy?

I was so BLIND! I was chasing success and it was killing me, far from softly! It was killing me harshly every single day! .. I had NOBODY telling me in every training course I did, in every program I signed up for, in every book I would read, and every session with every coach I had, I had NOBODY teaching me the powerful grounded principles that I would need to learn in order to build strong foundations that will build a legacy of a life time. Nobody shared that with me when they were taking money from my credit card…. NONE!

It’s something I had to learn myself and it came to me one day 2 years ago and hit me like a gigantic piece of wood around the head! SLAM! … There I lay in bed with a bad infection in my lungs and unable to climb the stairs without practically coughing up a lung watching a speaker on a Youtube video, I have no idea why I was drawn to her that day, I just decided to watch this particular video and her words hit me. It was in that moment my eyeballs opened wide and I said OH MY GOSH! I had been doing it WRONG for so LONG!

She repeated the same sentence twice, and each time my hair stood up on end and my goosebumps doubled in size on my arms. This was a massive revelation! I could see for the first time in years what I had been doing wrong. Why I was knackered, ill and completely drained! Why all this stuff was happening to me, and what I had to do to put it so right.

Within 24 hours of watching that video, I made the biggest decision in the world, that was to walk away from the publishing company, let my team go and place myself and my health first. I took 5 months away from the online industry and spent that time just being a mum, wife, grandma and spirituality student. I studied daily and continued to look after myself and my health started to improve along with me gaining my strength back daily.

I woke up one morning to the vision of creating an online digital magazine, I had zero clue how to create it or make it happen and no idea how to design a magazine, let alone have a team to hand to do it. I just knew I had to create the vision that God had planted in my mind… So I did.

The Missing Piece Magazine was born on January 17th, 2017, it has saved people’s lives, help people move forward from even the toughest of situations and it has a team of 31 amazing coaches from all across the world who write and create articles on a monthly basis to help others. We have grown from strength to strength and have over 14,000 followers on social media and subscribers who love our content so much! Because it changes lives!

So what really did peel me back up off that floor when I needed it the most? What did that woman say on that YouTube video to enable me to be the tower of strength?? .. What was it?

Her words were “So humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and at the right time he will lift you up in honor.”
~ 1 Peter 5:6

BOOM! There it was! … We can chase success as much as we like, but until HE decides you’re worthy, you will be going around in circles for centuries. Until YOU really start to understand strong spiritual principles and live by them, study them and become them every single day, then you will be STILL going around in circles for centuries.

Now, before you start with the “She is a religious nut job” judgement, I spent my childhood growing up in a pagan household, made a tonne of mistakes in my 20’s and was a drug addict and self-harming by the time I was 25. After I stopped taking drugs at 25 I hit the bottle and depended on alcohol for another 10 years, which lead to 1 domestic violence relationship after another. Until I took my journey to self-discovery and faced all my demons of my past abuse in childhood and adulthood. I thought I knew quite a lot considering how far I had come on my journey of self-discovery and my success, but the truth was I knew SHIT, and I had YET MORE to learn.

The past two years have been truly an amazing growth period and I have learned what it REALLY takes to succeed in business to leave a legacy and what it really takes to equip others with the true principles of building a strong foundation in your life and business… I am living proof!

Next year (2018) myself and my business partner Kim B.Smith will start to teach these principles to people in events all across the globe and hosting a powerful retreat once a year!

I am so excited for what is to come and to finally shine a beacon of light upon all the business owners in the world, who like me once upon a time felt like they were drowning and have zero clues why?

It’s time for this to be taught, it’s time for people to build legacies and love every minute of it!

It’s great to be back from vacation after marrying my awesome partner! And thank you so much for taking time to read reading this!

God Bless, your friend for this journey,

Kate xx