Powerful i AM

I have often shared my story of how I left an abusive relationship. I have many, many stories inside me about how this affected my life, and the lives of my kids.  Today, I am going to share parts my Powerful i AM talk, which I prepared for High School girls.

It’s been almost five years that I left my 23-year, verbally abusive marriage.  My girls were the reason I stayed, and ultimately why I also left.  Financial independence, or lack thereof, is one of the most pressing reasons why women stay in domestic violence.  I was no exception. I didn’t think that I could make it on my own. To be quite honest, I thought that I wouldn’t be able to make ends meet, that I would be always living below the poverty line.  Well, I’ve done that for many of those solo years since leaving. I survived, and I definitely would shake the image that most people have of how poverty looks. That is for another blog!

I stated that I also left because of my girls. Towards the end of my marriage, the two children that were still at home would beg me to leave each and every day. I’d work the 2-10pm shift, and when I came home, they would come out of their rooms and say, “Mumsy, can we leave tonight, pleeeese?”  Or I’d call home on my breaks, and there would be some incident that happened between their father and them.   It truly was mayhem on steroids! One of the biggest driving reasons that cemented my decision to leave was my eldest daughter.  While she was at home, she was the one that got the angriest when her father would yell at me. Yet, despite the fact that she hated what her father did to me, she, too, chose to enter into a verbally abusive relationship.  To make matters worse, she was now pregnant, and determined, like I was, to make her family work.

The knowledge of this, and the stress from my own situation, sent me into a breakdown just before I left. This “meltdown” was extremely hard to go through, as I could not show my ex-husband that I was leaving. So I had a strategic breakdown. Work gave me 2 weeks to get my act together. I sought therapy, and allowed myself to mourn. I gave myself permission to feel the pain of staying in a relationship so long. I grieved the wasted time.  I felt the guilt of exposing my kids to a bully, and therefore setting them up to be bullied~or to be a bully. I journalled my feelings and sobbed and belly-wept.  It was interesting that during this time, I went to places that I once feared~like the park areas above Niagara Falls, which was near my home, and other places with swift-moving waters. Then I went home and held it all together.

After I left the relationship, there was just one thing on my mind: “Get my Baby Girl out!”  There was a motto at the shelter that the Counsellors would tell us: “The longer you’re in, the longer you’re in.” It may not make any sense initially when you read that. I KNEW that if I didn’t convince my daughter  to leave soon, it would be harder later. It became painfully clear to me that Children Learn What They Live, and my daughter had learned from the master.  Here is the poem that I now share with people:

Words of Wisdom…

And I’ll add:

If a child lives with abuse, they learn how to abuse, or be abused.

This is my grandson. He is a beautiful little boy, and smart as a whip!

Ethan Posing

He has a Mother, two Aunties, a Meamah and a Grandma, that are behind him to make sure he is a polite and courteous little boy~and I’ll tell ya, this has been a challenge!. We make sure that he treats women exceptionally well. Why? Because his heritage has flaws in that department. And there is no way that any of the women in his life will stand by and let this little life be ruined!  His mother made it out!

Instead of one person learning how to live after abuse, there were four. My eldest daughter and I went through programs to help us cope with the emotions of living with abuse.  I still take courses and training to improve my mind, and make me a better human being.  The one thing that I have learned which, is a common thread throughout each program is: You have the capability of changing your destiny with the words:  i AM.  You can climb mountains, you can be an entrepreneur, you can make millions, and you can bounce back after abuse. I learned that:  i AM Powerful!

i AM has helped me retrain my mind.  As I was recovering, I would tell myself, “I am amazing”; “I am beautiful”; “I am a good friend”; “I am an All-Star”; “I am successful”!

i AM can shift your destiny!  It can put fire in your belly, and help you up from the crumpled heap that someone may have left you in.

Fill in the blanks for yourself…i AM:

Amazing                               Vivacious

           Unique                                 Blessed

Fantabulous                                  Bold

Extraordinary                                 Strong

                     Smart                               Joyful

                      Brilliant                               Courageous 

My beautiful daughter graduated from college as a Fashion Designer. She is stunning, smart (h’mm, I see a trend here), and an amazing aspiring Designer.

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(Holla all you Fashion Peeps that can hook a Sista up!)  Yes, it took her a little longer to finish school (ok, a LOT longer).  She was determined that she would re-write her future with the words i AM.  She can tell her own story.  I know that the words i AM changed her destiny!

YOU ARE POWERFUL!

Stephanie, Now the Renaissance Queen

Pursue Your Passion & Live A Legacy

~~~~~~~~~~~

When I created the talk for High School girls, I designed a logo to go with it.  Today, I release the t-shirts that go with this talk. The logo says Powerful i AM, and you can get any empowering word (that is not offensive to race, gender or creed) added to it. I hope you enjoy the ones that I have designed already. If you have an idea for a word that you don’t see (and there will be lots), please e-mail me at programs@createdtoexcel.ca, and I will be happy to get it done for you.

Courageous

Go here to purchase the tees for $20. Thank you, in advance, for your support.

~S

The Success Indicator

Today’s post is courtesy of Jeff Moore of My Everyday Power

mistakes

Pursue Your Passion!  Live Your Legacy

Stephanie, Emerging Princess

Monday Motivation~July 8th, 2013

I have been reading a lot about beliefs, and how they affect our actions. Here is a quote from a book that I’m reading right now:

“People don’t buy things, they buy people. Why would someone buy you? Do you think that you are valuable enough? Whatever you believe, they will buy.
Are you selling yourself short? Are you selling what you want to be selling?”
~Mark Victor Hansen

Don’t sell yourself short!

Pursue Your Passion, Live Your Legacy!

Stephanie, Emerging Princess

Foodie Friday~Coconut Pudding

I haven’t done a Foodie Friday post in a long while. I have been experimenting a lot with foods since my SBO surgery. Large amounts of milk don’t sit well in my digestive system, so I use coconut milk. I have also been working with chia and flax seeds to thicken things. I use them in my smoothies, and I’ve also made chocolate puddings with them. However, I wanted a coconut pudding that wasn’t brown. I needed it desperately, as I was no longer eating yogourt (something I never thought I would give up). Being a West-Indian, I also don’t measure often~I just eye-ball. I can almost never give a person a recipe unless I’ve done it a few times. This Coconut Pudding is very easy…And it tastes delish! I used psyllium instead of the seeds to thicken it, and just a bit of sugar. If it isn’t sweet enough for your tastes, add more (I don’t like too sweet). Keep in mind, it will never be quite the same as a “normal” pudding. But this one is nice consistency. I use canned coconut milk. I haven’t tried making my own quite as yet.

COCONUT PUDDING
1 12-oz (375ml) can coconut milk (without additives)
1 tbs virgin coconut oil, melted and cooled
1 tbs. cane sugar
2-1/2 tbs psyllium (I buy at the bulk food store)

Pour coconut milk into a blender. Add the rest of ingredients and blend on low for 2 minutes. Turn onto high and blend for another minute. Pour into a glass container, cover and chill for 3-4 hours or overnight. Stir it up before serving.

Perfect over fresh fruit!

Perfect over fresh fruit!

Like I said, I use it as my yogourt substitute. I put it on fruit, and add some granola (like in pic). Or, I just have a small bowl on its own. The coconut oil helps to satisfy your appetite, so a little goes a long way!

Enjoy,

May Your Cup Always Be Full,

Stephanie, Emerging Princess

Wacky Wednesday~03/20/13

My friend in England posted this, and I thought it quite funny.  Enjoy!

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May Your Cup Always Be Full,

Stephanie, Emerging Princess

4am Rant

Ugh!  Ok, so sometimes God wakes me up at “ungodly” hours and talks…I have no choice but to listen, or I’ll never get back to sleep!  This is for someone out there.  Please pass on if you feel the need to.  I’ll warn you, today’s blog is more like a rant!

ID-10089637So often, we believe our sunglasses that we happen to be wearing.  Our sunglasses are the paradigms through which we see our world (Brian Klemmer).  Some sunglasses are given to us at birth~like our ethnicity~others are things or thought patterns that we pick up and keep telling ourselves.  These sunglasses often are not true, and they can be so damaging to our life’s progress.  Things like:

~I am not strong enough

~This is how I am/ I was born this way

~I’m not blessed with a beautiful body like you are

~I’ll never get out of debt

~I’m not smart like you

~My whole family is like this

~I can’t do that

~I’m not pretty/handsome enough

Who told you?

These are all sunglasses (of negativity) that we allow to dictate our lives.  One day (hopefully), we wake up to find that these sunglasses are a hindrance to us.  We inspect our lives, and discover that there were the “woulda”, “coulda” and “shouldas” that stared us in the eye…missed opportunities that, if we had stepped out of our narrow view of our life, “woulda”, “shoulda” and “coulda” been so amazing!  If others have accomplished great things, surely we can too!

[By the way, these paradigms can be~ and often are~well-meaning loved ones who don’t want to see us get hurt.  They sometimes give us “wise council” that reflects the world through their sunglasses.  We are then held back when we try to please them, and heed their well-meaning advice.]

Are you ready to take off your sunglasses?

Are you ready to prove the naysayers wrong?

Are you ready to live a life bigger than you’ve ever imagined?

Isn’t it about time?

May Your Cup Always Be Full,

Stephanie, Emerging Princess

Choices: Victim vs. Responsible

This is a hard blog to write, and I’m gonna do it anyways.

Twenty-seven years ago this month, I moved out on my own.  I didn’t like the guidelines that my parents had in place.  They were too strict, to old-fashioned.  I wanted to do my own thing; make my own rules; go my own way.  I was almost 21.

When I did that, I walked away from my faith as I knew it, and my family.  By that summer, I was pregnant with my first child, living far away from my hometown and my family.  Although I was alone and pregnant, I WAS IN CHARGE!!

As time progressed, I decided to marry my baby’s father, despite the fact that he displayed a bad temper.  My parents tried to dissuade me from marrying him, saying that it wasn’t going to last.  At the time, I thought that it was because they believed he wasn’t “good enough”.  I wanted to have a complete family.  I was gonna prove them wrong!

My parents were right!  I stayed in a marriage, that turned out to be verbally abusive, for 23 years.  I left three times, trying to find peace during a very bad situation.  The last time I left, it was for good.

This past week, I have been repeatedly listening to a CD called “Victim vs. Responsible” by the late Brian Klemmer.  I thought back to the many times that I wanted to blame people for the choices that I made to create my reality.  Often, I defended m passive stand in situations, rather than standing up and moving in my power.  So much wasted time!

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We go through life not realizing the impact of the word CHOICE.  The choices we make today may impact this afternoon, our week, a year, or a lifetime.  I CHOSE to think that I knew better than my parents~they were right!  I CHOSE to have unprotected sex~I had a baby as a result.  I CHOSE to marry a man with a temper, despite the signs~he didn’t disappoint, and abused me verbally.  I CHOSE to go back to him twice~I received more of the same.  I CHOSE not to go back~I now live free!

I’m not negating the fact that I was a “victim of abuse”.  I am saying that I am now whole and can own that I had a part in.  I chose to give my power away.  (When you are in an abusive situation as a victim, you do not see the word CHOICE in the same light.)

Now, I actively choose, instead of playing the victim.  I choose to only have good days.  I choose to live peacefully.  I choose to let go, so that I can receive.  I choose to forgive so that I can thrive.  I choose to be grateful each and every day.  I choose to have a joyful heart.  I choose to smile.  I choose to help people reach their destiny.  I choose to hug, and get close to people~even though that means that I may occasionally get sick.  Because, I also choose to leave a legacy of being a giver and someone who cares.  So that means that I also choose to love people, even if it means I’ll get hurt.

Are you happy with the choices you are making?  Will they create a legacy that you can be proud of?  Are you a victim, or are you responsible?

May Your Cup Always Be Full,

Stephanie, Emerging Princess

www.createdtoexcel.ca

Theological Thursday~Forgive & Thrive

It’s Thursday, and time for another post from a Christian point of view.  Hope you enjoy.  Please comment!

I was on my way…I started regaining my self-esteem.  Joy was becoming a part of my every day life.  Things were starting to look good.  Then, BAM!!  The blame game hit.

Have you ever played the blame game?  I believe we all have, at some time.  Growing up, we’d blame our brothers or sister(s) for taking a cookie from the jar, “He did it first”, after all.  And for many of us, it never stopped.

“If only she’d do this”, or “Why doesn’t he do that?”  Sound familiar?

Asking For Forgiveness

Asking For Forgiveness (Photo credit: hang_in_there)

That was precisely the position that I was in.  I was blaming my former partner for the predicament that I was in.  And in the process, I was carrying around a huge dose of unforgiveness.  This, I knew, could very well turn into bitterness.  And bitterness causes a host of dis-eases.

While grumbling about my situation one day, my eldest child looked at me and said,

“Mumsy, our father never did this while you were married, why would he start now that you have left?”   If you can’t say Amen, say Ouch!  That hurt~and it came from my own kid!

Yet, that’s just the message that The Lover of My Soul wanted me to hear.  I needed to Forgive in order to Thrive.  He cared about me so much more than a misguided former mate.  I needed to let go, and let God.  I had every right to hold on to the hurt.  I had every right to be upset about the state of my finances.  Yet, I did not have a right to hold on to it, and harp over it again and again.  I had no right to be God’s judge.  His word says,

“Do not take revenge, my friends”, Romans 12:19a.  I was also reminded that we are to forgive “70 x 7” times (some say 77).  [An aside here~I believe that one should forgive the sin.  If this sinner is preventing God’s plan for your life from being fulfilled, it may be prudent to remove yourself from the situation.  Just sayin’!]

As time went on, I realized that my Father loved me so much that, although money was a challenge, my family was never hungry.  We moved into a house and I didn’t have a job or references; people guided us to food banks; hampers and gift cards showed up at our door at Christmas.  Miracles were, and still are, a part of my everyday life.

Now, these things possibly could have happened without the forgiveness.  However, I don’t thing that we would have thrived.  I don’t think that we would have been as grateful.  I KNOW that I would not have been as grateful.  To be sure, a grateful heart is more receptive to gifts~big and small.  When a person has unforgiveness in their heart, they cannot be grateful at the same time.  They will accept gifts with an entitlement view.  I’ve seen this quite frequently.  After a person forgives, it’s like the flood-gates of Heaven open up.  The shackles around one’s heart, head and feet, break off.  I know that~speaking from experience~it’s really tricky to walk with shackles on my feet!

The Lover of My Soul was right.  I thrive more and more.  Forgiveness, then, was not for the perpetrator.  Forgiveness was, and is an act of love for my family, myself, and my future!

 

May Your Cup Always Be Full!

Stephanie, Emerging Princess

Wacky Wednesday III

Alas, here in the Tdot, we got pummelled with a major snowstorm in the last week.  These guys take me back to my high school days.  Enjoy!

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May Your Cup Always Be Full,

Stephanie, Emerging Princess

Tuesday Inspiration…

Speak Out!

May Your Cup Always Be Full,

Stephanie, Emerging Princess

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Water For The Journey

Book Release PartyOctober 25th, 2013
The long-awaited release of Water For The Journey: 156 Days To Freedom. All day givaways and book release party!
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