The Moon Shift Journal is here

The Moon Shift Journal is here

I am incredibly excited about the Moon Shift Journal.

It’s been no surprise to me that my energy and my monthly cycle is fine-tuned to the phases of the moon. I’ve noticed it move this past year and I realized that I needed something that would help guide me but also tap into the awareness of how I am being affected.

I literally experience this energy bursts of can’t stop/won’t stop and then the lethargy of just wanting to sleep for days on end – which when you’re a business owner is a bit challenging. And funny enough (at least to me) I don’t necessarily have the same energy flow as other people.

So I decided that it was high-tide to create something that I could use throughout each moon phase. And so the Moon Shift Journal was born.

So what exactly is the Moon Shift Journal?

Well, it’s a monthly journal and coloring book noting the 8 phases of the moon.

March Mandala

Each month starts with a Mandala Coloring Page and Journal page to get started with intention and reflection. The journal is not dated so that you can enter dates and track it yourself – and if you choose the pdf version print as much as you need! Each moon phase has its own coloring page and journal page that comes with prompts

Monthly Moon Journal Prompts

Why coloring?

Well, for me this is meditating in an active way and it feels good to me. When I try to meditate any other way I tend to fall asleep and then I am no good for the rest of the day, so I reserve those for the evening hours or just before I fall asleep.

Coloring allows me to take a break, and go within allowing my thoughts and feelings to emerge as they may. I started this process 10 years ago when my son was lying in the hospital bed fighting for his life and it’s an activity I always return too when I need a time out, get grounded or seek peace and even clarity.

The more you know about how you connect with the moon, the more in flow you can be with its energy. 

You can get your copy of the Moon Shift Journal here

You know what to do

You know what to do

All too often, you and I don’t give ourselves enough credit for the things we know and the inner wisdom that that is waiting for us to acknowledge the answers we’ve been seeking! And even if you still have doubt, you can ask yourself to receive a clear sign to validate your thoughts and ideas.

Let me ask you: When you have ideas, do you sit on them or do you make a decision on what your next step should be? Sometimes tapping into your own willingness to do the work is the turning point.

We don’t always love the idea of doing the work, but you don’t have to. But when you hold on to the thoughts that support you and fuel your actions with positive energy, you will achieve that what you set out to do.

This means however that you may need to look at your lifestyle and the schedule you hold. You can’t expect to get things done when there is no room for it on your schedule. And further, the food you eat matters too. I love carbs but I know that it will lead to carb crash and I won’t be any good after eating it – so I will often choose to eat most of my carbs later in the day when I don’t have to use my brain anymore ūüôā

And again, you already know what’s good for you and no one can or should tell you how to do any of this thing called life. You do you and you have the answers – so trust yourself on this journey.

if you’ve been seeking answers and experienced repetitive thoughts, acknowledge them. If you have a blog, book or business idea that’s been showing up, notice your thoughts and ideas that keep coming back to you. Write them down but don’t say “One day I will” instead try saying “on this day >date< I will start …!

Part of the journey of designing the life you want, of having the best year every year and brings you to the point of remembering who you are! Don’t be afraid or hide when people tell you “you’re too much” or “you’re crazy” or “you can’t have the cake and eat it too!

What other people think of you is none of your business and what you think of you matters a whole lot more.

So be open to tap into your own inner wisdom, pay attention to the thoughts and ideas that show up for you and then choose how soon you will embrace the change that is waiting!

Embrace your Shadow

Embrace your Shadow

Not everything in life is love and light. In fact, your shadow side is always present and it relates to anything you may have suppressed. At the time, it was for good reasons such as hiding your pain or simple survival. It’s okay for your dark side to emerge through a form of self-expression such as painting or writing. It’s in this process you may remember a dream you’ve secretly had but until you heal shame and guilt, aren’t quite ready to move forward to make that a reality.

The time has come to create your own personal ritual to connect to your inner self and uncover your shadow side, acknowledge the pain and judgment you’ve been holding onto and trust the guidance you are given. This is not a time to be too hard on yourself, because you have an inner strength that allows you to face whatever comes your way.

This is not the time to hibernate but instead, follow the inner call to honor yourself whether it be with a walk outside or a warm bath to help you be more present at the moment. When you are in that space, acknowledge those parts in your life that no longer serve you and give yourself permission to make space for new.

Take a look around and see what no longer fits into your personal space, this can be clothing, furniture, and even food in your cabinets. Acknowledge¬†relationships that have come to an end, even if it may be painful – not all are meant to be on and in your path for life. Ask yourself if your current career is exactly what you want and if it’s not what you would want to do instead. Be open and be willing to see the dark parts and know that by letting them go you and your world will feel lighter.

When you embrace your shadow acknowledge the strength you possess because it has gotten you here to this moment. Be willing to find the harmonic dance between rest and action.

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.

[bctt tweet=”Sharing our stories leads to healing and mending the parts of us that feel broken.¬†” username=”petramonaco”]

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.

I still worry about my adult children

I still worry about my adult children

In recent weeks, there’s an article that has made the rounds stating that it confirms parents still lose sleep about grown children.

I didn’t read the article because I don’t need a study to confirm this for me.

I always worry about my children – adult or not – and perhaps I worry about the adult ones just a little bit more than my youngest one.

While I may have faced foster care, moving to a new country and being a rape survivor among other challenges, I do believe that parenting as a whole has been by far been the biggest challenge in my life.

I’ve cried a lot over the years because of it because part of me feels guilty. I had to be semi-absent for two of my children while my third was fighting for his life. During times that they may have actually needed me the most. And it felt like my hands were tied and no matter what decision I made, one or more of my kids would be hurting.

There are parts where I now reflect back and think perhaps we should have done things differently, bring them to the hospital more while their brother was hanging onto a thread. And we were merely protecting them but I also get that dying and all the crazy things we experienced are indeed part of life.

When I get into this feeling of guilt I have to remind myself that in every single moment I am doing the best I can with what I know. I can’t do more than that. I totally could do worse but not more.

And as I am watching from the side-line how my adult children maneuver life, there are times, I want to sweep in, give them a hug and let them know it’s going to be okay.

It’s tough, and I mean really tough seeing your children struggle with all things life and that you feel like you can’t do a damn thing about it.

It’s like a teeter-totter because part of me absolutely wants them to struggle, to figure out what they want and how to make it happen while the other part of me want’s to kick them in the butt and tell them to get their shit together.

My heart aches as I watch one of my kids struggle with his life and he’s losing his footing again after just having¬†found it not so long ago. I know he’s hurting and I know that he isn’t going to reach out for help, at least not any time soon. I hope he knows that his family will have his back no matter what.

And in the meantime, my youngest is transitioning to high-school and we are facing a new challenge as he’s venturing into a different playing field.

Parenting at any level isn’t easy when you know you have to allow your kids to experience life, make the mistakes and hope will all your might that they can see the lessons.

My heart feels heavy today as I continue to watch and worry about all of my kids.

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