My heart is bleeding

My heart is bleeding

This week being on social media was tough. So many people hurting and sharing on why they didn’t report on their sexual abuse or rape. And so many people thinking it’s easy to walk into the police station after the attack and report it.

My heart is bleeding because I’ve been there more times than I’d like to admit and it’s bleeding because so many people don’t understand the trauma that happens on the inside. And it’s not that I don’t think they don’t care, it’s just they don’t understand because they haven’t lived it.

I get it. People have a hard time wrapping their minds around the part on why people don’t speak up sooner, why they don’t go after their attacker, but let me share with you that it isn’t quite as easy.

I for one blocked out YEARS of abuse. I cannot remember the first five years of my life and have a physical reaction just by thinking of a specific sexual act. It makes me gag and shudder. This is my body remembering the abuse while my mind did what is believed to be best for me: block out every single memory.

But there are the ones I do remember, the ones I have addressed and spoken out about, only to not be believed. Flashback can be triggered at any given time, and when I was raped at the age of 13, I had one that shook me to my core.

I spoke up and no one believed me. I was living in a group home and for years I believed that I didn’t matter and my story didn’t matter because I was living in foster care.

It was my mother’s boyfriend when we all shared a bed together and he rubbed his penis on me.
It was a fellow foster kid coming into my room one night and took what he wanted.
It was all the boys that thought they had a right to fondle me, kiss me when I didn’t want to be kissed – sober or drunk …pretty sure that doesn’t matter.
It was a friend who I trusted, dated and celebrated my birthday with who roofied my drink.

And life carried on. It carried on in me being hypersexual and destroying myself with alcohol not really wanting to be alive. I never thought of myself to be suicidal but I do know this:

I didn’t want to live.

I didn’t want to be a girl or a woman.

I wanted to be something other than a female so I could no longer get hurt.

If only I could be a boy or a man to not be sexually attacked. But then the truth is boys and men are being attacked too. Neither gender is safe.

Neither gender is safe!

I didn’t report the date-rape because it was about protecting my family. I didn’t want anyone to go through the mud that would no doubt be slung at me or them.

I just couldn’t do it.

I couldn’t put my family through this.

I couldn’t bear imagining my kids seeing me broken, crying in the corner.

And so I shared it quietly with those that I trusted but this trust wasn’t easy because again I was putting my heart on the line.

Would they believe me? Would they doubt me? Would they still be my friend?

I spent years coming to terms with what happened and walking through the trauma so I can heal. I face it again and again when my body remembers the anniversary of the attack or the abuse. Anytime there’s a thunderstorm my mind goes back to the day I remember being molested. Every year around my birthday, I remember.

I can’t go hiking on a trail by myself. I love running on the trails too but I fear I am not safe. I look around me everywhere I am, always aware of who is around me and side step to let people pass me so I am not vulnerable to an attack.

And it shows up in how I react to the world because trauma is deep in the core – emerging and every time it does I face it – and sometimes I lash out at the person that had zero do to with it.

And I am supported. I am loved. And I am believed.

And now I am watching men and women attacking each other and giving a gazillion reasons why they do or do not believe the stories of people coming forward YEARS after the trauma. And then it’s not hard to connect the dots and realize THIS is why people do not report.

It’s the lashing out. The questioning of what the individual did to contribute to being assaulted. It’s the questioning of the ulterior motives of the person reporting. And how we struggle to doubt the character of a person.

It’s not enough that survivors of sexual abuse and rape are already filled with shame and guilt. We already beat ourselves up over it – again and again until we are ready to no longer give it power. But this takes YEARS and sometimes we aren’t ready to face it head-on. It happens in spurts, one step at a time.

And that internal war is the biggest war I have ever faced. It isn’t just coming to terms with what happened, but it’s coming to terms with the person I have become in the process.

The moment we speak up, we are attacked again and not believed. And healing trauma takes years and it is so very different for everyone.

And yet, I also understand the counter argument of that one single report can ruin someone’s life. I am not denying or even try to say that doesn’t happen. That be foolish.

There are always three sides to a story: His, Hers and the truth.

If people could believe that they were supported when they report their abuse or attack, then we wouldn’t be in the throws today wondering what the hell the truth is.

It’s time that the collective listens, and I mean actually listen without interrupting and just hold space. Sometimes that space is all we need.

For someone to sit, be open and allow us to share our hearts with them, to be vulnerable with them and give us the space to share. Because when you are able to do this, to really listen, you can hear and feel the truth behind every single story.

Sharing our stories leads to healing and mending the parts of us that feel broken. Click To Tweet

Recognize the milestones

The other day, my son had is 6-months transplant check-in and 3 months of lab work. There’s this part of me that recognizes how far he had come but it didn’t really hit me until one of the nurse practitioners said: “we’ll see you in a year”.

We’ve only been on a 6 months rotation this past year and before that, it was 3 months rotation… and before that, it was monthly and before that, it was weekly.

So year, this feels a bit big.

After all this crazy, this is a huge milestone to celebrate and recognize for him but also reminded me that in any other journey, milestones often get overlooked because the ultimate goal hasn’t been reached yet.

And therein also lies the problem because one forgets to experience the journey along the way.

For just a moment, take a time out and reflect on the milestones you’ve achieved and celebrated them. And this can look like anything that calls you.

You can celebrate by

  • dancing freely
  • give the air a high-five
  • take yourself out to dinner
  • make a special dinner
  • buy something that you’ve been holding off on
  • share the milestone with someone

Working towards your dreams and goals is at times quite challenging but when you push through and keep going, you deserve to celebrate each step along the way.

The goal for my son has been to give him a quality life and it continues to be just that. I try not to worry or wonder about all the things that could go wrong and live in the “what-if” stage because really that would just create chaos.

And every day I am reminded to live in the moment and be present because truly tomorrow the world could change drastically but that’s tomorrow.

You can only do your best at each given moment. You can’t do more than that nor can you do less than that. Know this and honor this as best you can.

It can be frustrating to realize you are not where you want to be, yet, but you can still know that you are moving forward – one moment – one day at a time and then celebrate the heck out of each milestone you reach.

A note from the Rebel Spark Collective – Your Preview of what’s inside

A note from the Rebel Spark Collective – Your Preview of what’s inside

Dear Rebel,

it’s incredibly challenging to stay in your own lane when you are bombarded with what everyone else is up to and you are seeing them succeed with their own dreams and goals.

When I started my coaching and mentoring business in 2015, I knew what I wanted to do. I felt called to help people that were struggling because yeah I have been there. And somewhere along the line I too have fallen into the trap of making the big and quick cash money every month.

Even though from my experience and my education, I know that a sustainable business takes a tremendous amount of time to build and grow. And yet, I went down the rabbit hole of investing into programs of how to make money in Facebook groups or signing up for all the freebies and challenges.

The lesson in all of this for me is to stay focused on my own dreams and goals and stay true to the work I want to be doing. Of course, we are either in a job or in a business to make money but that is so not the be all in the big scheme of things.

And here in the recent month, I found myself to be less on social media. I actually forget to post what I am up to or engaging in conversation with people.


Because I am in my office writing these notes, mapping out future content for you and creating art – whether it is wood-burning, crochet or writing. And I may also be knee deep in client work helping them get their website just right or write a blog post for them.

You see, when you know what you want to be, do and have in life it’s a lot easier to know what to focus on. It’s almost like you purposely have to put blinders on because falling into the trap of someone else’s journey is way too easy.

So on this day

  • make a list of all the dreams and goals you have right now at this moment
  • brainstorm the actions to make them happen, one dream/goal at a time
  • give yourself a deadline of when the dream/goal is going to be your reality
  • map out the actions and schedule them in so they don’t overwhelm you

And then do the work.

  • Close that facebook tab
  • Turn off your phone
  • Get some help to watch the kids if you need to

Whatever you have to do to make them happen, give yourself permission to take that leap.

You will find more of these kinds of notes in the Rebel Spark Collective. Sometimes these notes are personal reminders to myself and I am called to share with you or, sometimes these are challenges I am experiencing and they need to be shared with you and sometimes these are just things that pop in my head I want to share with you.

Wherever you are in your journey, you do not have to do it alone EVER!

We are in this together!


Join the Rebel Spark Collective today! 

Everything you wanted to know about the Healthy Living Bundle

Everything you wanted to know about the Healthy Living Bundle

So many of you have already invested in yourself and your home this week by picking up the year’s best collection of practical printables, online classes and easy-to-follow eBooks .

People raved about last year’s bundle and I personally think the 2018 version is even better!

But since this is a really unique concept and not everyone even really understands what a “bundle” is, I wanted to answer some of the great questions I’ve been asked about this bundle and how it all works.

Q1: Is this one big course? Or a bunch of different products?

A1: This bundle is a collection of 62 eBooks, 20 eCourses, 12 printables & workbooks, and 2 membership sites. Inside this bundle, you will find tons of resources with hundreds of healthy recipes (for food, of course, but also DIY products like skincare and cleaners), fun workouts, women’s health & hormones courses, self-care planners, and so much more. It’s basically all your favorite bloggers’ products together in one collection –  all for $29.97.

Q2: What am I going to do with so many resources?

A2: There is no way on earth each of these eBooks / eCourses is relevant to where you are right now. Some of them will have a lot of appeal, and some won’t. But in most cases, it only takes 3 or 4 eBooks or eCourses that you’re going to use for you to start saving money. Not to mention, there are 22 resources alone that are worth as much or more than the cost of the bundle itself. So, even though you won’t use every resource in the bundle, it would still be really hard to not save a ton of money anyway.

Q3: How do I know I’m actually getting good quality products and not just a bunch of “throw-away” eBooks? 

A3: The Ultimate Bundles team spends months reviewing potential contributors, approaches only the best for inclusion, and then only accepts the top products that they think will have the most appeal out of those. Many of these are even full-length eCourses with video tutorials or even access to a private Facebook group! They are highly selective and it shows in the final curated collection.

Q4: OK, but what if I buy it and don’t like it?

A4: Although Ultimate Bundles has an extremely low return rate at less than 1/4 of the industry standard, there are some people who it doesn’t work for. That’s why they offer a 100% happiness guarantee refund policy for 30 days. If you don’t love it, just email to ask for a full refund.

Q5: Can I just wait and purchase it some other time? Isn’t this “limited time only” just a sales gimmick?

A5: You’re right, sometimes that’s used as a sales gimmick. However, because of the unique nature of this sale (Ultimate Bundles does not have the perpetual right to sell the eBooks and eCourses in the bundle) and in order to honor their contracts with these product creators, the sale will truly end on Monday, September 10th. Sometimes, popular bundles are brought back for a 2-day flash sale, but it’s not guaranteed!

Q6: This sounds like a scam. Can you prove it’s not?

A6: I know it seems too good to be true. Pay $29.97 for $2235 in resources? Doesn’t that mean someone’s losing big time? Or the prices are inflated?

I totally get your concerns. I’ve been an affiliate for Ultimate Bundles for years and I can tell you that I offer these bundles to my readers because they’re a great value. Even though they may be including their product in a bundle that costs less than their product, product creators get exposure to new potential readers, which can pay off in big ways later. And when you buy a bundle through your favorite blogger (hopefully me!), you’ll support them, too! Plus, the bundle is offered for such a short time that they can go back quickly to selling their product at full price.

In short, it’s a great deal for everyone. Ultimate Bundles is a reputable company, so if you try the bundle and don’t like it within 30 days, just ask their friendly, helpful customer happiness team for a refund.

I hope that fully answers your questions!!

In my opinion, you really don’t want to pass up a deal this good. But I’ll leave that up to you. Just don’t wait too long, because the sale is so short!

Learn more or get your bundle here

Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle 2018

Seriously, don’t wait.

Check out all the details here and let me know if you have any others questions that I didn’t answer here:

Ultimate Healthy Bundle 

I took time off and had the time of my life

I took time off and had the time of my life

For the first time in 3 years into my business journey, I took time off and I had the time of my life.

It’s so easy to forget to make sure you take a timeout to help you fuel your creative juices. I know because I am definitely guilty of this on so many levels.

Many of days will you find me working, even if it’s just for 2-4 hours without taking a full day off.

This past weekend, my partner and I attended the Blue Ridge Rock Festival and a good time was had by all. Not only did we camp out and enjoyed the music, we made new friends with plans to do the next one together.

The event was only an hour away from hour home and we could have driven back and forth but just thinking about this sounded exhausting for the 3 days. And deciding to camp not only allowed us to have quality time together – and hey we didn’t kill each other – we didn’t even argue, so that’s something! But we were close to the event, merely needing to walk down to the events area but we got to spend our evenings at the fire pit having conversations with other people and like I said, make new friends.

When we returned on Monday, both of us were exhausted and by Tuesday I was ready to hit the road again but I am going to have to wait for the next one just a bit!

But something really cool came to my realization!

You see, I want to live in an RV and drive around the country seeing new and cool places and meet people and attending the festival definitely got me closer to that dream. Furthermore, however, it showed me that truly this is what I want and that it totally fits into who I am. I mean coaching and mentoring around a campfire sounds like a total blast to me.

Camp fire Blue Ridge Rock Festival

Here’s the fun part, I have given up selling my art at Farmer’s Markets and the like but as we were leaving on Monday, we stopped to talk to one of the organizers and I shared some of my work with her and she was like “You have got to come as a vendor next year”.

There is opportunity everywhere. And while I am excited about the possibility to sell my creations at the festival, I already know I don’t want to be tied down sitting at my booth for three days. And this is the cool part, my creative juices started flowing.

Because well, I can hire someone and still do demos at different intervals.

This just shows that opportunities are everywhere if you are open to them. And I have a year to plan this all out and get pieces created.

This is my second day back to full-on working and I am more inspired and excited about my life and my business than ever before. I think part of this is also because I hired my first team member and it feels amazing to let go of an aspect in my business I was not handling well.

But taking that time off gave me more creative ideas to explore and get super clear on the work that I do and not be pulled into too many directions.

And it doesn’t matter if you are self-employed or if you are working for someone else, taking time off and making space for a regular vacation where you unplug from all the things, is really good for your mind, body, and soul.

Your level of enoughness dictates your willingness to change

Your level of enoughness dictates your willingness to change

I recently was reminded of the different level of change that we can find ourselves in and I know from personal experiences that until we reach a certain level of enoughness, we are not committed to change.

And you will find yourself at any of these stages at any given time. This is something that was a huge part of my studies when earning my Master’s in Counseling and also translates into my coaching/mentoring practice because it’s super important to me that I meet you, where you are.

It’s that old saying “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make them drink”.

And until you have moved through the stages below, your life will essentially stay the same until you’ve hit that level of enoughness and you know something has to change (see #2-4)!

So for a quick review here are the different stages of change:

  1. Precontemplation is the space where you are not quite ready to acknowledge that something needs to change.
  2. Contemplation is the stage where you are aware there is a problem but you’re not quite sure if you are willing to create the change.
  3. Preparation + Determination indicate that you are getting ready for the change
  4. Action + willpower are leading you to change through actions.
  5. From there you will face maintenance where you are keeping steady with a new way of being
  6. Relapse is the phase where you are returning to previous thoughts + behaviors and therefore abandoning the change.

Every stage is important in the space of personal development and growth. Even the state of not being able to acknowledge that something could use a little bit of change. But until you are ready to face the next stage you will remain oblivious. This is neither good or bad – it’s just one of those things that is.

Until 2000/2001 I was in that stage. I didn’t realize I needed to change if I ever wanted to have the kind of life that I have now. It was the night I found myself with a DUI arrest and for the first time in my life deeply understood something had to change or I was either going to kill or get killed. And as a mom of 2 young kids that seemed unacceptable to me.

But there will be a point in your life where you’re like “okay something’s gotta give” because you have now realized that the way you are living and showing up in this world isn’t feeling good to you anymore. And this is where the initial awareness is happening.

And then you’re probably like, “okay, now what?”

This may be the toughest stage of them because you actually have to be willing to acknowledge what isn’t working for you.

A quick exercise for you is to write down all the things that aren’t working for you and then writing them out in a way you would like them to be.

This is something I address with my clients when they know they want to change but they don’t’ even know where to begin.

I found this to be the biggest hurdle when one moves into the contemplation stage as there will be so much noise in your head about creating change for yourself.

Voices such as your ego telling you that everything’s fine and you don’t need to change and the voices from other people in your world telling you that they don’t like the changes they are seeing – even if the changes are for the best version of yourself.

Don’t allow those voices to stop you from doing the things you love and be who you have always been.

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