Maya - Defeats

“You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it.”

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Sometimes Walls Can Be a Good Thing

A friend posts today:

"I just found out that a man I admired, a man I've HUGGED and had great conversations with, whose music has featured heavily in my life's soundtrack, has been charged with (and admitted to) possessing child pornography. As a survivour of child sexual abuse who was used in and exposed to child pornography, I stand today for the children whose lives are forever changed by those who exploit them. FU, XXXX!"

and I had responded to her: "Keep your head up. It is disappointing on many levels when performers lead so different lives than the persona that they project towards the public. They are cowards and no one should feel that they should need to continue to support them. I know that I have crossed off many in the past years, and will continue to do so. Pray that they get their just desserts in life. Put your wall up against them and know that you are a beautiful, beautiful woman with much to offer others connected with your life. (((Hugs)))"

There are times that we must put up our walls against people who fail us, let us down, and don't serve for us to be able to move forward in our lives, it is perfectly fine to to put up those walls. We need to be able to keep moving forward in our healing journeys in our lives. When that is your own family member, it is harder to do that - yet, when we have been so traumatized in our lives by whoever abused us, we must be able to give ourselves permission to set aside all the negatives in our lives in order to provide ourselves the best possible environment to heal. A soldier cannot heal while being in the middle of war surrounded with conflict; even they need their space where they can heal properly; why would then would we expect to be able to be healed in mind, body, and soul surrounded by others who are not conducive to being healed.

I have, personally, had to distance myself from negative folks, folks that pose conflict and drama in my daily life, as well as choose not to support performers (and other people/personalities) who choose to be abusive themselves to others (no matter who is at the crux of their abuse). The way I see it, life is much too short and their is nothing condusive and/or healing about being subjected continually to these people. Why should we reward their abusive behaviors by supporting the performances that they do.

True, if that is their means of being able to turn their lives around, they may deserve a second chance -- after all, we have long, long lives to lead; however, that doesn't mean that I, as a survivor of domestic violence and sexual assault, need to accept them into my life. Likewise, if you are and/or have been a victim of abuse, it is perfectly fine for you to put up those walls. Own your healing process and exclude those out of your life who are going to hinder and/or put up barriers to your own healing process. Allow yourself time to heal and be healed, however long that may take. We don't owe them any of our energies that could be better spent on our healing process. Keep looking forward, surround yourselve with healing and positive people, rebuild your emotions and well being, and take of yourself.

Today, I give you that permission to do so!!!

To all abusers:

Please don't expect survivors to appreciate your music/craft, etc. just because everyone else does who aren't re-living and being re-victimized all again knowing that you have been abusive in the past. Bye-gones are not bye-gones. It's not as simple as that. Recognize and know that when you abuse, you affect many who have been affected by the same and/or similar form(s) of abuse that you did to another person. While you may deserve a second chance in life, please prove it by never continuing to be abusive ever, ever again. It will take a long time before anyone can trust you again. If you are truly deserving of a second chance, you will have to rebuild and earn that trust back, and for some that just might be never, depending on how extensive the abused were abused. That's just the way it is going to be.

To all musicians:

Victims/survivors/thrivers need more positive songs/lyrics in their lives. Don't be singing about how you abused your girlfriend, wife, mother, etc. Don't be singing about how you sexually assaulted someone and loved it. Try singing about, meeting the love of your life and respect them and treating them that they are the most beautiful person on earth. Try to begin rethink your life and how what you say will and/or may affect others, possibly re-victimize them, even if they think that they might have been far along that healing journey. To change your life, you must actually lead a more violence free life yourself - and lead by example!

Monday, March 24, 2014

Hard Facts of the Malaysia Plane?

The victims of the missing Malaysia plane have been informed today --

"Malaysia Airlines deeply regrets that we have to assume beyond any reasonable doubt that MH370 has been lost and that none of those on board survived. As you will hear in the next hour from Malaysia's Prime Minister, we must now accept all evidence suggests the plane went down in the Southern Indian Ocean," the message read.
Sad to hear that it was sent via text message. They really deserved to be told in person; after all, I think most of them were staying in a hotel together.

This has to be hard for anyone that held on to that glimmer of hope that their loved ones had survived. At this time, it doesn't allow for real closure because they don't have the bodies recovered yet, not even the plane really. While they believe that the objects that they see in the Southern Indian Ocean appear to be that of the plane (but 20,000 feet in the ocean). Without physical evidence at hand, it will still be hard for the loved ones to not still have that ray of hope that the airlines are wrong and that their loved one is still alive.

Without a body, a funeral (which helps to bring the closure) won't be possible. Hopefully, they will hold Memorial services for them so that they can maintain some level of closure. Although nothing will replace the full closure, a sense of closure is necessary for more folks as a measure of the end of the trauma and the beginning of being able to move forward.

Some may be able to write letters to their loved ones and hold on to the letter, or choose to burn that letter, in a symbolic gesture of letting go. However they choose to bring closure for themselves, I hope and pray that they find a good means of doing so, so that they too can move forward in their lives. While I lost my own husband to a heart attack over a decade ago, I know that it took me a while to come to complete terms of that. Death is never easy to cope with, even though we all know that eventually we will all die, and although we try to prepare ourselves to that day that the loved one will someday will be gone. We treasure each and every day that we live, and our loved ones live for another day.

It is my hope and prayer that they do find the plane pieces (with no shadows of doubts what their find is), even if they don't find the bodies themselves; it'll at least give them something concrete to have closure with.

How have you dealt with some hard facts that have occurred in your life? How were you able to bring closure to that traumatic event? How were you able to finally take those steps to move forward.


"Then the maidens will dance and be glad,
young men and old as well.
I will turn their mourning into gladness;
I will give them comfort and joy
instead of sorrow."


Sunday, March 23, 2014

The Mirror

Watched the show called GLEE tonight. The phrase out the Michael Jackson (original) song "MAN IN THE MIRROR" that really struck me was:

I'm starting with the man in the mirror
I'm asking him to change his ways
And no message could have been any clearer
If you wanna make the world a better place
Take a look at yourself, and then make that change

What does that phrase mean to you? Do ask the image in the mirror for a change? Are you putting forth the efforts to make the change? What steps are you taking to make the change -- whether it is to make a better place or just yourself?

Sexual Assault Awareness Month - Beyond Words Live!

April is known as sexual assault awareness month (and child abuse awareness month, and a number of other awareness months), and, as such I am having a series of shows that happens to address those issues,and/or are survivors in their own rights.

Make sure that you tune in on any of the following shows to hear more....

APRIL 1st (Tuesday) -- 10a CST

Meet Kathy: Childhood Secrets Need to Be Told

APRIL 3rd (Thursday) -- 10a CST

Nerissa Sparkman -- Imperfect Beauty Project

APRIL 8th (Tuesday) -- 10a CST

David Pittman's Story Leading to Together We Heal

APRIL 9th (Wednesday) -- 10a CST

Open Mic: Stand For Freedom - Global Event

APRIL 10th (Thursday) -- 10a CST

Tigress Tells All Re: Ups & Downs Being a Survivor

APRIL 15th (Tuesday) -- 10a CST

Misty Caron -- Documentary About Intimate Violence

APRIL 17th (Thursday) -- 10a CST

Phoenix Speaks Re: BACA (Bikers Against Child Abuse)

At this time, I have April 17, 22, 24, and 29th available,if you are a survivor and would like to share your story! Just email me at Beyond Words Life Coach and let me know.

PS The links are also available after the show as they are archived immediately after the show.


Whether or not you believe in God, you may likely depend in a higher power of some sort -- a higher power that has more control than you personally may have. It's not something that we can lay blame to, but it is more like someone that may be watching over us and guiding our paths, even if it is a path that we don't understand or feel like we are quaking with shame, guilt, among an array of emotions.

No matter the circumstances that lay before us, the Bible Scriptures offer a reminder in that there is hope ahead, even if we can't see it clearly now. We may not know what we may be destined to do, it is our faith in our future, that keeps us with eyes peeled looking through the seemingly fogs that we may be having at the time to the light ahead. With each step we take, we meet new people in our lives that will have different modes of impact upon our lives.

It what we do with the impacts in our lives that will guide us to our destiny. God's (or your Higher Power's) role isn't to lay each step in front of us with written instructions. It is intended that life be a series of lessons for us to pursue and glean from to know the next step that we might be taking. We might take a few misteps in our lives (or life may have detered us with some stumbling blocks), but it doesn't mean that our life is forever destined that way; it merely means that our lives will be impacted by the circumstances, but we can learn from it and know that we can get back on the path, with an increased understanding of humanity, with all its faults and hazzards, which can parlay into a mold for our future roles (even if you cannot see that at that time).
It is my hope and prayer that you will be able to see this soon, being able to take what life circumstances that were your past and reframe that into a positive direction that you can positively impact others.

After all, with our hope that we receive, our hope given to others can be ten-fold beyond.

"Do not forget to entertain strangers, for my doing so, some people have entertained angels without knowing it."

~ Hebrews 13:2

What are the circumstances that are holding you back? What level of hope are you seeing at this time? What are some of the "life lessons" you are struggling with at this time? How has that impacted who you are? How can you turn that into something that can positively impact others in the future?

What is "normal"?

It sometimes irks me to hear things like this, when folks say that they tried to be normal.

Normal is relative. It is relative to the situation and circumstances that one might be in (like a traumatic event changing one's life with a whole new array of emotions). Sometimes, folks have no idea what is considered to be normal because they were raised in that particular environment -- like childhood abuse or a child with parents in a domestic violence relationship. Until they get to know other children and see how their lives are, they don't know any different and/or have any comparison whatsoever.

As we get older, through education/family/friends/Church/etc. for instance, we learn what is considered to be societal norms. One could live in a commune that has a criminalistic behavior within it and that would then become the learned "societal norm", but not fit within the greater society norms/mores/beliefs are truly are. Until they explore outside the commune (if they are allowed access to outside the commune), they will never know any different.

For those that experienced the 911 trauma, or even in todays terms the families that are presently affected by the unknowing whether or not their loved ones are alive or dead, the immediate moment of the crisis because their new norm. Whatever they once knew to be the norm was drastically changed/altered/askewed that very moment/day. To this day, many 911 survivors (including their families/friends) will be forever impacted and the norm that they experienced in the past will never be the same. While they may have moved on, there may be certain triggers that they will experience that will briefly take them back to that moment in time (along with varying degrees of that emotion). The difference in them is now how they handle those moments which will determine how well healed they are in the process and how much further long that they can continue their lives set in full steam motion to carrying on their life as near as possible as they could, had that experience not altered their lives.

A lot of what has helped them to heal is receiving some counseling - victim counseling, coping counseling, etc. When something happens in our lives that shakes up the norm, whether or not they realize it at the time (and/or realize that others norms may not fit into our picture of our present norm for ourselves), it is okay to accept where you are at the time and work through some healing practices to get where you can "forgive" what occurred (although you might never forget), and work on some goals that one has.

It's really important to realize that what may have happened in your life (1) doesn't necessarily define who you will be for the rest of your life, (2) there are some coping skills that you can learn to "let go" of your past to move forward, and (3) it is okay to take your time to grieve and process all that has occured (the timeframe is not set in stone and you are allowed to take what time you think you need). Preferably, if you feel that your norm may not be the norm that should, you should seek help through counselors, depending on how deeply rooted you think that might be.

Acceptance of who you are for who you are is important to the step of healing. Speaking up to some friends/family/counselors can help you to realize what path(s) may be available for you to heal and may lead to some help that you haven't thought of before. Whoever you seek help from should be non-judgemental and accept you for who you are and the place of time you are at; if someone doesn't fall into this, you might need to seek another resource to get help from.

The addage that "time heals all wounds" is true, but only if one seeks the help to guide one to that healing journey. It begins with you, as well as the step of not being too quick to pigeon yourself into what you should be without examining the assests and talents that you do have. Take one step at a time. Allow time for wounds to heal. You didn't get into the "norm" you are presently living in (for the most part, excepting in trauma situations like 911, etc) and you won't likely be able to shake it off in a day, a week, a month, and/or maybe a year (especially without the guidance of a counselor of some sort). Give yourself time to explore what your new norm may look like, and don't be too quick to presume that you can try a new norm for a brief moment in time and not expect to have some uncomfortableness to it.

What is normal to you? What are your preceived notions of what normal should be? How does your normal fit into an aspect of the new normal, as you continually strive for that healing journey?

Friday, March 21, 2014

Speaking of Warm Fuzzies

When I was in summer camps as a child, we would sit around the campfire and tell stories. One of the stories that was forever engrained on my mind was this story (some folks may have it told in slightly different words):

Once upon a time there was a village. All of the people in the village got along very well. There was kindness, love, compassion, and justice. Every person in the village owned a special bag. It was given to them by their parents at the age of 3. Inside this bag were hundreds of warm fuzzies. Warm fuzzies were soft, cuddly, cottony little puffs. When you gave someone a warm fuzzy, they felt warm and fuzzy inside. People in the village gave each other warm fuzzies anytime they wanted to let someone know they were loved. When someone received a warm fuzzy, they put it in their bag.

One day, an evil sorceress came to town. She saw that everyone was giving out these warm fuzzies from their bags and she didn’t like it. She went up to one villager and said, “Why do you keep giving away your warm fuzzies? Aren’t you afraid you’re going to run out? Here, take this bag of cold pricklies and give these to the people in your village instead, and keep all your warm fuzzies for yourself.” The villager took the bag because he believed the sorceress’ tale. The next time he ran into a friend, he handed him one of the cold pricklies from his new bag. A cold prickly made someone feel cold and prickly inside, like they were swallowing a pin cushion. Soon all the villagers went to the sorceress and asked for their own bag of cold pricklies since they didn’t want to be the only people handing out warm fuzzies if everyone else was going to hand out cold pricklies. Once you had a cold prickly, you wanted to give it away to someone else as fast as possible.

The sorceress was pleased. Her plan was working perfectly. Now the village was in a state of fear and panic. Everyone started avoiding everyone else so they wouldn’t be given a cold prickly. People hoarded their small supply of warm fuzzies and didn’t give them out to anyone anymore. But no one was happy anymore either.

One day a prince arrived in town and almost immediately someone handed him a cold prickly from their bag. The prince, recognizing the cold prickly, refused to take it. The villager was surprised and tried again. The prince handed the person a warm fuzzy from his bag. The villager was surprised, and a little ashamed that he had tried to give this warm prince a cold prickly and instead received a warm fuzzy.

The prince addressed the crowd and said, “Why do you give each other cold pricklies?” One villager said, “Why should we give away all of our warm fuzzies? Shouldn’t we keep them for ourselves?” Other villagers agreed. But the prince said, “Every time you give away a warm fuzzy a new one is created in your own bag. Don’t you see? The more you give away, the more you will have.”

To demonstrate, the prince had everyone put down their bag of cold pricklies and retrieve their bag of warm fuzzies from their homes. He asked everyone to take out a warm fuzzy from their bag and hand it to a neighbor. This they did, but warily. Then the prince told them to notice that they all still had the same amount of warm fuzzies in their bags as before. People started giving away more warm fuzzies and noticed their bag was never empty. There were indeed enough warm fuzzies for everyone.

The sorceress was very upset and tried to interrupt the prince and get everyone to give out cold pricklies again. But the villagers didn’t want to listen anymore. They threw all their bags of cold pricklies into a wagon, set the sorceress inside it, and sent her out of town.

The villagers realized they’d learned a valuable lesson.

When you give someone a warm fuzzy, they in turn will give it to someone else. Eventually, it will come back around to you.

Next time you hear about the "warm fuzzies", you will now know the origination of the phrase.

I know that I tend to carry a lot of warm fuzzy types of things in my purse. It may not be made of pompoms on index cards, but it is usually a type of stone or something to pass to someone. Suprisingly (or maybe not so suprisingly), I always have just enough to pass to someone else that I feel need it that day.

How do you give your warm fuzzies? What is a story of the favorite time that you received a warm fuzzy, or gave one away?

Affirmation Words

What is your favorite word that brings warm fuzzies when you think about it?


Everyone needs a spark of a reminder and a reason to smile, no matter the circumstances of the day, the struggles one may be having, and/or what has occurred in the past.

The picture is of some magnets I made to be shared with others... paying it forward to remind others of some positive words to enlighten their day. If you were to make your magnet today, what would be a positive word that would describe your emotions?

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Creative Journaling Challenge

One of the first things that your therapist may ask you to do is journaling because it has some intrinsic value to your healing journey, and can reveal much about yourself that you may not know how to readily express in person. Throughout my childhood, I wrote journals because I loved to write and I loved to do research and write creatively based on some knew things that I learned.

Everyone has a process, even if they don't know what that process is at first. To begin journal writing, sometimes you just have to dive on in and create your own style -- whether is it involving singular words written randomly, random drawings, random lines and circles and/or spirals/mandela looking things, and/or actual combination of sentences (whether or not they are telling a cohesive story). It's encouraged that you just "go with it" and allow your emotions to pull through. SOME DAY (not necessarily required activity though) you may want to look at the prior journals that you have done when you are more healed than you are at the present day; however, if it is something that you are afraid that someone else may get hold of them and use them against you, you may want to hide them for safekeeping and/or destroy them after a period of time. The most important part is to get your thoughts on paper so that you have a frame of reference to measure how much you have come along on your healing journey.

Some will choose to blog their thoughts on a private blog; however, if you are being controlled by an abuser (like an abusive husband), they CAN (not necessarily are) be monitoring your computer as well. Don't panic. Just make sure that you are doing so from a safe location and computer before you do. Just a caveat to be aware of. We always would like to know that you are safe when you are journalling.

Another option....

you can practice journaling aspects/techniques (not necessarily your own story and/or anything related to your direct feelings) through writing creatively through a number of free contests.

One of the ones I like to do is the ones through what is called National Novel Writing Month (aka "NaNoWriMo"), which is usually in November of each year; however, they stage many other contests like the one that is coming up in April called "Camp NaNoWriMo". They have many genres to write in, and this year they have added a few more, including poetry (in case poetry is your forte). It isn't so much a contest in the greater sense of the word but it is more of a challenge to challenge yourself to meet your personal best. They are rallying up the interest and many "campers" are returning (virtually) to put themselves to the challenge again. Sometimes, it is just to see how much you can write; sometimes, it is just to see if you can meet your goal at all. Sometimes, it is just from the sheer excitement of the idea that you can push yourself towards reaching a goal -- a goal that is usually within 30 days versus the types of goals that we set for ourselves to accomplish in a year, two years, or even five or ten years from now. It is a much easier accomplishment to obtain, one that you can receive gratification in this one month, rather waiting for the outcome that may or may not come to fruition in the future year(s).

If you are up for the challenge to practice your creative side of the brain, jump on in. Click on the photo below to their website and sign up today:

Camp NaNoWriMo Registration :)

If you choose not to do this challenge this time, make sure that you tickle your calendar to sign up the next time around.

Warriors In Us

One of the things that I enjoy so much about doing the radio shows ( throughout the years is that I have met some incredible people who are survivors who have insurrmountable strength demonstrated through the journeys that they have taken - whether it had been physical and/or emotional and/or on some other levels of abuse and/or adversitites. Today, on the show, we will hear about Tiffany Howe, who has had Lymphedema since she was born. I can, personally, identify with some of the trials and tribulatons that she has had since I have also had Lymphedema (albeit only for 10 years and not since birth).

Lymphedema, as defined on "A condition in which excess fluid collects in tissue and causes swelling. Lymphedema may occur in the arm or leg after lymph vessels or lymph nodes in the underarm or groin are removed. It usually causes painless swelling."

It goes to further describe: "Lymphedema is swelling in one or more extremities that results from impaired flow of the lymphatic system.

The lymphatic system is a network of specialized vessels (lymph vessels) throughout the body whose purpose is to collect excess lymph fluid with proteins, lipids, and waste products from the tissues. This fluid is then carried to the lymph nodes, which filter waste products and contain infection-fighting cells called lymphocytes. The excess fluid in the lymph vessels is eventually returned to the bloodstream. When the lymph vessels are blocked or unable to carry lymph fluid away from the tissues, localized swelling (lymphedema) is the result.

Lymphedema most often affects a single arm or leg, but in uncommon situations both limbs are affected.

Primary lymphedema is the result of an anatomical abnormality of the lymph vessels and is a rare, inherited condition.
Secondary lymphedema results from an identifiable damage to or obstruction of normally-functioning lymph vessels and nodes.
Worldwide, lymphedema is most commonly caused by filariasis (a parasite infection), but in the U.S., lymphedema most commonly occurs in women who have had breast cancer surgery, particularly when followed by radiation treatment.
It has been estimated that worldwide, there are 140 to 250 million people affected by lymphedema."

This definition is good for basic knowledge, but isn't true in a lot of cases. For example, my lymphedema was caused 10 years ago when my knees hit the steering wheel in an auto accident. It can be quite dibilitating overall and discouraging as there is no known cure for lymphedema.

Tiffany Howe, though will be coming forward today to share with us her story, which she brieflly describes as:

"My name is Tiffany Howe and I was born with Primary Congenital Lymphedema (Milroy’s Disease). After 27 years of struggling with this ailment, I was given a choice of losing my left leg or undergoing the Charles Debulking procedure. The choice was difficult and very challenging to make. I chose the Charles Debulking procedure and could not have guessed the life-changing experiences which would result. Full recovery took a year and included me learning to walk again.

For the next five years, I used my training as a Registered Nurse to research and study any available information about my disease – general knowledge, management, and care of Lymphedema patients. Research ultimately led me to the conclusion that Lymphedema patients are in need of support for this currently incurable disease. Support includes education and advocacy. I represent Virginia as part of the Lymphedema Advocacy Group, which is a patient-centered group, raising awareness. Our mission is to get passage in Congress for the Lymphedema Treatment Act.

Lymphedema has caused many trials and tribulations in my life. However, I now understand that regardless of my condition or situation, my life is still beautiful ! One thing that motivates me is knowing that my testimony can help someone else triumph. Despite the negativity, depression, worries, tears, loneliness, and fears, I believe that I can keep moving in the right direction with the help of my family and friends near and far. Deborah Martin, who is a MLD therapist and my friend, has spent countless hours helping me maintain the health of my leg and by encouraging me to keep moving, not giving up on finding good care and compression garments. Cindy Anderson has assisted me in finding a garment which fits my leg shape which has resulted from the debulking procedure. My quality of life has improved so much by having a well-fitting garment which fits inside my custom shoes. As a result of having well-fitted garments, I am able to take my daughter to football games and see her cheerleading and take her to ballet practice every week. These are things that I couldn't do before! Gone are the days of slipping compression garments or bandages too bulky to fit in my shoes. I am Tiffany and I Keep Moving toward a better life!"

I hope that you will join us today as we discuss her story, as well as her advocacy journey with the Bill currently in legislation to help make a difference for all lymphedema patients.

To join our show today (10a CST/11a EST), simply click on this link: You may also click on that same link at any point in time after the show, as all shows are recorded and archived for listening by others on an ongoing basis. During the show, we will also have the live chat open for you to ask any questions at any point in time during the show as you are listening to it. Feel free to share this widely with anyone you know that is affected by Lymphedema and/or your legislators so that they too can hear the importance of this Bill being passed.

I am hoping that you, too, see how she demonstrates that strength and perseverence she has had throughout these years, while forging ahead; an example of a warrior that we can all learn from, no matter our challenges that lay before us. What are your thoughts? Do you have a warrior in you, working towards to a newer you?


Monday, March 17, 2014

Happiness Dock

In the prior post yesterday, we spoke about happiness (and peace). Sometimes, they go hand in hand; however, some people are thriving and happy as a lark in more "chaos" (active and bouncing lifestyle) than other people. This doesn't necessarily mean that they inherit the same sense of happiness that the more deliberate folks do. Happiness can, in a sense, be relative and subjective to one's preference of things that they do which bring them a sense of great happiness.

Jim Hunt, a cartoonist that I have been following over the course of the years had this cartoon posted on facebook the other day, with a quote by the great Andy Rooney (from 60 minutes on CBS fame):

This becomes ever so important when discussing happiness, especially with respect to discussing surrounding relationships. Take a moment to examine your here and now. Where are you happiest? Is it at home, or elsewhere? What makes you happiest when you are at your happy place? What is making you happy there? Likewise, take a look at the place that is making you unhappy and take notes on what is making yourself so unhappy?

If that unhappy place is your work or home, it makes it harder to just walk away from those locations because you have other factors that are involved with those locations. In your home it would be your family/roommates that would be living with you; at work, it would be your co-workers (etc), including the paycheck that helps you to pay for your rental or mortgage where you live. Now, I don't always advocate that you must leave that behind you; however, if that location is a place where there is someone or something that is producting some harmful effects on your body/health (even if it isn't physical and "just" emotional), one would probably need to take a look at whether or not it is a good time to leave. Sometimes, leaving a harmful relationship can be more volatile that staying; or, at work, you may want time to get your paycheck(s) to save up for monthly living expenses and/or just try to see that you can get a transfer to another department, for example, where the danger would be less present for you.

There are so many decision making possibilities that one can take on one's life journey at that point in time and I would be happy to discuss those possibilities with you more in depth to help guide you with that process. (Just set up a consultation appointment by pressing the SCHEDULE button to the right to make that happen.)

For me, the cartoon also reminds me how sometimes I find myself sitting in my recliner (keeping my feet elevated, especially after a lot of activities that wore me out) and looking out the window. I envision that a huge cruise ship is passing by my window with folks on it laughing and dancing and shouting with glee, while I am still sitting in the recliner. I find that I get frustrated by the limitations that I have these days with my lymphedema condition, but, when I see that cruise ship, I'm charged up and my mind begins spinning and wondering "What's next?" in my endeavors.

Today, seeing that cartoon, I'm looking at myself and wondering at which dock my "cruise ship" (that keeps passing by my window (figuratively)) that ship will be docking upon. Where is my life heading to next? That's when I do my check-ins and assess and re-assess my goals and ambitions and determine what my future may possibly look at. I've reach my 5 year goals that I set for myself 5 years ago. What about you? Are you where you had envisioned yourself? What are some of the things that you can do to make that happen?

Hoping that you are having a great morning and start of the new day/week ahead. Think about the dock today. Are you heading towards it or away from it? Will you get off at that dock, even if it does stop briefly there, or will you be continue to head to the next destination? And, if you opt for the next destination, is that really going to make you all that much happier than if you got off at the first destination?

A lot to think about, I know. Let me know what your are thinking!

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Symbolism of Peace

At the end of the ceremonies yesterday, they (the grandchildren) released some doves that they had been raising. I was anticipating that the doves would fly up in the air so I had my phone camera poised for the sky (symbolic of a release of a soul and peace); yet the unexpected happened.

They didn't fly up in the sky (or I had missed them doing so). Instead, as one flew up in the sky, this pure white dove did so only mid-way and had come through the trees towards me and landed ever so briefly on my arm from my left side. It startled me a little, but even so, I think I was more amazed as I reached up and was able to brush my fingers down his back and off of the tail feathers. At that very moment, I felt like the bird lady in the Mary Poppins movie where this lady was sitting and had many, many birds flying around her, with the image of one being on her arm and her looking up at the bird. Of course, that was how it felt like, although there was only one bird on my arm ever so briefly. Afterwards it flew down on the ground in front of me and walked around on the ground for a bit until a couple allll-most stepped on it because they were walking without looking down to the ground, where it flew off to the area behind me. The sensation was so much similar to that only folks who have had pet birds land on their arms could understand -- especially in a world where most of us have cats or dogs show such love to human beings.

Am I reading much more into it than I should? Well, it is my own feelings that I own, even if for split moments of time, that seemed much longer in a timeframe than they weren't actually. Who could possibly deny me my own feelings?

In real life, there are those that seem to strive to take that joy away and seem to bent on making sure that you feel as much sorrow, pain, hurt that they are themselves experiencing, effectively saying "if I can't experience happiness, then you won't either". Pastor Joel Olsteen from the Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas, always preaches about, "Don't let someone take your joy away." Fortunately, I didn't have anyone take my joy away today. In the past, when I had been in abusive relationships, I had fallen into that trap, until I finally stood up and said effectively, "You are never going to take my joy again and have me live in misery." It was liberating when I said that to each abusive relationship; and, even though I had multiple abusive relationships, I finally felt the extreme liberation when I finally listened to my intuitions and stayed away from those that even raised the hairs on my back (whether or not those feelings were real or just perceived, I wasn't going to take a step further in those perspective relationships any more).

After all, life is just much too short. You must surround yourself by positive people - whether it is is in your personal life or work life. Your loved ones can be taken away from in an instant, and it is so much more important to surround yourself by family and friends who are positive influences (or even those who you are a postive influence upon as a mentor/friendship relationship, after the positivism is something that is worthy of moving in circles/waves throughout the world). Even then, though, you need to know when it is time to move on, especially when you see that relationship faltering and is taking a toll on your own health.

While folks that we love, cherish, and admire are our role models in our lives, if they are taking a toll on our health, then also must be prepared to let them go. At some point, you have to take you your first and foremost concern. After all, if your health isn't taken in the first priority, then you can no longer provide that same positive influence that you hope that you are to them. It is equally important to be able to, also, "Let go and Let God" as many al-anon folks learn when they are caregiving for someone that they love and, yet, their loved one is so very destructive to them ownselves.

Peace. Joy. Happiness.

These are emotions that folks will experience at various points in their lives. To experience these things is a wish that we wish that everyone will be able to experience at some point in their lives, and maybe one day everyone (whether in our own personal circles, in our community circles, and/or global communities) will all get to experience in their lives, no matter the degree of joy that has been taken away from their lives to this day in the past. Hopefully, one day, we will see the grace of our higher powers bring peace and joy to all -- and, hopefully, in our lifetime.

In the meantime, it is our hopes and dreams that all who die will experience peace, joy, happiness in their after lives; to me, I believe that it is when their souls reach the doors of heaven. For all those that remain here own earth, I hope that (no matter the pain and sorrow that one has had in the past journey of their lives) they, too, can seek peace, joy, and happiness here on earth through their journey of healing; at least, that is my own hopes and prayers!

Saturday, March 15, 2014


Funerals, even though they are a way of life completing its cycle here on the Earth (even all good moments must come to an end sometime), it is something that must be dealt with eventually, whether you have a large family or not. The death we are going to see buried in the ground today isn't my family, nor is it my boyfriends direct family, but it is part of his family's extended family who has been as close as it has been part of their own family. The person that died this week is the Patriarch of the family, and the rest of the family in that town is related to him. It is a large, large family.

Today, it is also a foggy and rainy day. Not the weather that you would necessarily want on a funeral day, especially one that is graveside; however, I am hearing birds outside. Hopefully, it won't be as drury by the time that we get down to the site later today.

It comes at an awkward time where the direct tie between the two families is actually getting a divorce. Hopefully, the anticipated uncomfortableness will be overlooked as both large families come together to grieve for the loss of a great man, who raised his children, help them build their homes on their large property, was the adhesive thread of the family, and who loved the countryside and fishing way of life. I've only known him for about 6 years now and he so reminded me of the nature of my own father and Grandpa, and especially the love of fishing like my Grandpa.

Everyone grieves at different rates. Largely this can be due, sometimes, to the length of time that they knew the person that had died, the amount of time spent with them, etc., and it is perfectly okay to take that time to allow the grieving process to occur and come to closure of the full circle of life and is meant to be a celebration of a life of that person.

If you have recently (or probably not quite so recently) dealt with a death of a family member and/or close friend, what are some of the ways that you handled the grieving process? What are some of the ways that you were able to bring closure to losing that family member/friend? How are you able to prepare yourself for potential conflict that might be anticipated (whether it is a real or perceived conflict)?

Friday, March 14, 2014

Tweaking Up the Journey

Yes, that is tweaking - and, not twerking, which is a popular term these days, made even more popular, if popular is the right word, by Miley Cyrus. But I digress, because if we start talking about Miley, I might be writing for a long time.

I have been working and working to make this site as perfect as it can be for now. I know that I have much more to go, but (at this point) you get the gist of where this sight might be heading. I'm correcting all the site URLs so that they are immediately clickable, but the links to the right of the page are opening on the same page versus a new page. To correct that, I might have to go to a different theme, if I can't find that snarky little setting that remains hidden to this eye at this time. Just don't want to rock what I have work so hard on already.

Please have patience, as I add more important links, more pages, and the like. I was hoping to get the donate button set up before the end of the day today and I think that I might have lost my chance to get hold of them today; hoping that they may be open on the weekend. Just goes to show you that, a journey is always is a process, a process that can take time and work to get that point where you have found your true passion. No worries! That isn't the major aspect of this site.

The major aspect of this is you, who might be struggling with some conflict in your life at this time, which may or may not stem from your past (possibly a traumatic past). There are many levels of help out there; however, I will be there to help you "tweak" your journey, meaning that we will examine what has defined you in the past and work through some hurdles that you might have keeping from getting you to point B, and explore some possibilities of avenues to get you to the point B through creating some goals and visions of what you wished you could have become, if "only" your life hadn't had the turn of the events from the past.

Can't wait to get to know you more.

Let's talk, the first step to redefining your journey!

And So It Begins

It began as a wee child.... lol... j/k.


I am the type of person that loves to jump into things once to test the waters and decide what are all the tools that I need in order to best serve my clients. I did that many years ago, and my life has been about the process of doing so by building up the fan base on my "Domestic Violence Voices" facebook page, creating a following and a demand for my radio show called "Beyond Words Live!" I have had many friends and strangers that I have worked with in a variety of capacities throughout the years (and I hope that they will also feel compelled to write their testimony on the testimony page). In opening my doors with Together We Heal, I decided that it was high time that I pulled it together formally to a site where folks can also appreciate my bigger picture that I have been working towards.

What I do here is totally voluntary because I love helping my fellow friends and survivors to move forward with their struggles. I will be adding a DONATE button so that folks can contribute voluntarily and at their will to help me pay for the costs associated with running sites, radio shows, and the like.

Feel free to check back often. Bookmark this page so you can come back often. Subscribe so that you can be notified of the new posts.

Feel free to also share this page with as many others that you feel could benefit from my life coaching.

Welcome to my mission in life to help you and others.

Basically, about me:

Kathryn is an advocate and life coach for the victims/survivors/thrivers of gender violence and sexual assault for more than 2-3 decades. Besides being a survivor herself, she possesses a Criminal Justice Degree and Paralegal Certificate. She has dedicated her life to changing lives and has volunteered for 5 years as a CASA advocate, 3 years as a Guardian Ad Litem, 5 years as a Family Eldercare Advocate, 5 years a Victim's Advocate in a police setting and Sexual Asssault Victim Advocate, 8 years in crisis advocate hotlines, etc. Writing books has been her side passion while she volunteers as a radio show host for survivors to tell their own story in their own words. A life journey is one that is created not entirely based upon what has defined you in the past, but what you do to reframe your past experiences such that you can move forward with some guidance and some tools to live your life feeling great worthiness and an active role model in today's society. With some emotional support and guidance, Kathryn believes in coaching others to help heal towards a newer self.

Radio Show:

Beyond Words Live! (a platform designed for a survivor to share their story in their own words)


Domestic Violence Voices

Social Justice


Domestic Violence Voices: Choices (2013)