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.

Stephanie & Family-67

(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

Friday Funday

Haven’t blogged in a few days.  Feeling a little haggard lately.  I saw this sweet diagram about love, and thought I’d pass it on.  Hope you enjoy it!

If the pic doesn’t show properly on your computer, here is the link:

http://www.quickmeme.com/p/3vs1hk

Pursue Your Passions & Live A Legacy,

Stephanie

The Game Changer

Every now and then, something happens in our lives, and we are changed forever.  It can be the death of a loved one, the loss of a job, a divorce, the birth of a child…It seems like we constantly come across things that challenge our very existence as human beings.

Yet, isn’t that what life is made of?  Isn’t life made up of the birth of children, the graduation from college, the marriages, the divorces, loss of jobs, and finally death?  Why, then, are we so unable to deal with life?  Or is it that some events affect us more than others, and knock us over the head like a two-by-four?

I deduce that it is the latter.  I believe that sometimes an event affects us so deeply that it becomes a Game Changer in our life.  Game Changer is defined as: an event, idea, or procedure that effects a significant shift in the current way of doing or thinking about something.  Say that three times fast!  Sometimes, I believe that Game Changers don’t even have to be huge.  It can just be the realization that you do not want to do things the same way anymore.  So, how does one get past the Game Changer life event?  I believe that there are many ways, and I’ll touch on a few of them here:

  • Stop, Drop & Roll:  Analyzation can be the first step in getting past the Game Changer event.  What brought you to this place in time?  Was it preventable?  What can you learn from the event?  What are the steps that you now wish to take now to remedy this situation?  Having a plan can often be half the battle won.
  • Gratitude:  Holla!  I know when I am grumpy, what to trace it back to…un*grate*ful*ness!  It seems like such a small thing, but gratitude can bring about a huge change in a person’s life.  I have been journaling for most of my adult life in one form or another.  I have been solidly gratitude journaling for about 5 years.  When I am not grateful, I become critical of my life, as well as other people. I also become lethargic, and I lose my joy.  There are many different ways to do gratitude journaling, but that is not the jist of my writing today.  The idea is to write!  Being grateful for three things each day will start to shift your negative head space.  You may not believe it, but it is very true.  Try it before you go about your day, or if you are morning-challenged like myself, use a few minutes before bed to get your gratitude fix.  Before long, you’ll find things to be grateful for besides your family, food and shelter!  😉
  • Share The Load:  there are people somewhere who have been through what you have.  I am a consummate stuffer.  I keep my feelings to myself, don’t like to talk about my problems, and I’ve grown up with the mantra of “people don’t have to know yer business” ringing in my head.  Although some things need to be kept private (or shared only with trusted close friends), sharing some of the things that you are going through helps lighten the load.  If it is a serious Game Changer, you may wish to reach out to a counselor.  Emotional health is end goal. The best people that I have ever reached out to are coaches (not just because I am one).  When I work with a coach, the accountability factor helps me move forward past the event, and on to accomplishing my goals in record time.  Consider getting a Coach to help you, and if it’s not possible, reach out to an accountability partner or group.
  •  Pursue Passion!  Often, just the event alone will open ones’ eyes up to the fact that you were just going through the motions…doing the same-old same-old, living numb.  Why go to a job if you are not passionate about it, or do anything if we are not putting our all into it?  When given a chance to examine our life, we realize that we have let much of our life slip away without embracing it, without doing what we really wanted, without Living a Legacy or being Passionate.

This is precisely what happened to me, except, I had a series of Game Changers (lucky me!).  I had things that I went through that opened my eyes to the fact that half of my life had passed, and I had not embraced it.  I had not done many of the things on my bucket list.  To top things off, I certainly wasn’t living Passionately, much less Living a Legacy (see previous blog posts).

My Game Changers showed me that a change had to be made.  I decided that life was to be embraced!  I chose to have only good days.  I enjoyed people, food, nature, events~whatever came my way, I found a way to get the good out of it.  Yes, even a car accident!  I started connecting with people through hugs (and became known for them), and mindfully getting past superficial chit-chat to finding out what was their bliss.  Along the way, I researched what made me tick, what made my heart sing, how I wanted to give back to my community, and what I wanted my Legacy to look like.  I discovered that forgiveness is a huge factor in happiness, and I wrote a manual to help my Coaching clients work through their own forgiveness issues.  Over the course of 4 years, I created a program that I now call Passion Posse, and started embarking on my Preferred Passion Path~the final piece of living Passionately.

And it’s a Game Changer!  To show some of the steps that I took to get on the Passion Path, ladies (guys can join, but I am focusing on lady problems!), I invite you to join me on December 11th, 2013, as I present a webinar called:  Dumping the Numb:  7 Steps to a More Passionate Life.  Who is this webinar for?  It’s for the professional woman, either in business or an entrepreneur.  Maybe you have been superwoman for a long time.  Perhaps you have a family, maybe you are single…either way, the passion has gone out of your life.  These 7 Steps will help give you some tools to help put some pep back in your step.

I am releasing details about this webinar today because it is December 6th, a very significant day here in Canada.  I am a survivor of Domestic Abuse.  I want to honour the fallen women from Montreal who died senselessly so many years ago on this date.  I will also be revealing a partnership with three organizations connected to DV~December 6 Fund, hEr VOLUTION and World Vision~ but you’ll have to get on the training call to know the details!

You can register for the webinar here.  If you miss it, you can get it on replay, but you have to be registered to get the replay.

Remember:  Pursue Your Passion & Live a Legacy

Stephanie

304259_2084936204993_1635706638_n

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: Actions Express Priorities

Said by the famous peace-maker Ghandi, this saying has been etched into my brain this last week. It is a screen-saver on my daughter’s computer, actually. I am glad that I exposed my girls to motivational sayings early in life (and I believe they are too!). This simple phrase has pierced my core, so that I have started examining my life. And as “Socrates” said, “An unexamined life is not worth living”.

Digging deep and examining…Do I really want to go there? There will be many things that I do not want to see! What if I examine my business? Am I on Social Media more than I am doing the important things? Am I really going after my goals with gusto? Can I do more? Am I dreaming big enough?

What about my personal life…do I tell my kids “I love you” every day? Am I hugging and kissing them? And my special relationships…do I give what I want? Am I letting people know how special they are to me? Am I keeping my word? Or do I brush people off with a “waddevah meh!”? Am I holding on to the past, and not allowing the future to have a chance? Am I living and giving with passion?

Shall I stop there? I think not~I’m on a roll! If I say that I want to be wealthy, do I read up on what makes wealth? Am I saving money? Am I investing? If I can’t say “Amen”, I gotta say “ouch”! My actions express what is the priority in my life. And what of my health? Do I say that I want to shed weight, and exercise is not part of my routine, nor do I even buy fresh foods? Then, doing things that hinder weight loss is my priority.

I’m on a mission to create a passionate life. One of the most wasted things on this planet is time…we waste time on Social Media, watching TV and playing video games, then complain that we don’t have enough time to spare. In our relationships, we waste time holding on to bitterness, anger, unforgiveness, and a need to be right, rather than happy. Then we wonder why we are alone. Wasted time…a window into priorities.

I’m awake now, what about you?

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

7 Reasons Why I Love the 4th of July

While most people celebrate the 4th of July for America’s Independence, I celebrate it for entirely different reasons. A few significant things happened to me on this day. I am very grateful because these things affect many other aspects of my life. Here’s why the 4th of July means so much to me. To be fair, America did make the list! 😉

1. America, & The World’s Longest Unmanned Border
I am grateful that I live beside/above the United States of America. I love that we can take day-trips to Buffalo to shop (from the Tdot). I love that we can be Snow Birds to Florida, Arizona or any other warm winter spot. I love that we share so much history with you (although some were through wars! LOL) We do have the world’s longest unmanned border. It means that there is no military at any of our border crossings. To bring it home, no one with a gun is standing guard at the Peace or Rainbow Bridges. That is a great feat. We should be very proud!

2. New Lease on Life #1
My New Life began four years ago today. After strategizing for 156 Days, I finally left a 23-year, verbally abusive marriage. Has it been easy? No! Will I go back? Not a chance! I thoroughly enjoy my new life, challenges and all. I am now an advocate for Domestic Violence. I’m very, very happy that I left when I did. Wished I did it sooner. Grateful that I’ve been given a chance to redesign my future.

3. New Lease on Life #2
For those of you who don’t know it yet, “Children Learn What They Live”. I believe this so strongly that I have put the poem in one of my books, and it’s part of a talk that I give. My daughter followed my example. Thank God, she learned from my mistakes~and her own~ and is living free from abuse as well.

4. My Kids & My Grandson
My kids went through more than any little girls should. They saw their Mother crying A LOT! They stuck by me, giving me hugs and crying along side me on the bad days. I’m forever grateful for the times that we spent bonding in Sista 1’s room, and laughing over silliness. As a result of those times, we can make up the wildest stories about the most mundane events! I thank God for these beautiful young ladies.

When my Grandson was born, we women were determined that the “Little Man” would have a very centered start to his life. He essentially has 5 Mamas (his paternal grandmother has joined the fray). Manners are essential, and he loves to hug and love on people (after he’s checked you out). I’m thankful that his history does not determine his future!

5. New Lease on Life #3
I am very, very grateful that the doctors figured out that I had a Small Bowel Obstruction on July 3rd, 2012, and not on July 4th, 2012. See, if they didn’t do the surgery a year ago today, I wouldn’t be making this blog. It’s only after I recuperated, that I realized the severity of SBO. I am grateful to the doctor who wouldn’t let me leave the hospital when I was tired of waiting~yes, I actually wanted to go home, even though I had not eaten in 3 days. I am really happy to be alive!

6. Free Healthcare: T&T, Canada
So, free Healthcare has been a debate for many countries. I am so thankful that I didn’t have to worry. If my SBO surgery was required in Canada, the Healthcare is free. It so happened that I had the surgery in Trinidad. I’m a native…it was FREE. There are two eerie things that happened with this, though. First, the day before I left on my trip, I was asked if I wanted travel insurance. I refused saying, “I’m not going to Trinidad to get sick!” H’mm, interesting. The second is that I had a stop-over in Miami. Had I gotten ill in Miami, it would have been a whole different story. I’m VErY grateful for free Healthcare!

7. Freedom, Plain & Simple
I can worship my God, sing, dance, or not. I can walk the streets freely. I can go to school~or not. I can wear booty shorts~NOT! The list can go on and on. There is NOTHING quite like living in a FREE country. NOTHING. It’s only when you go to a country that’s restrictive that you can really appreciate it. I’m not American. We Canadians celebrated our Independence Day on July 1st. Yet, I am very aware that we both are very, very grateful for our freedom.

Last week, I discovered my “WHY”. I knew it in my belly, but I got my AHA moment then. Here it is: “I have almost lost something precious to me (my life). I am on a mission (compelled) to tell people that they cannot go through life numb!” Find your passion and pursue it! Live your Legacy!

A different post, for a special day! God Bless Us, Every One!

May Your Cup Always Be Full,

Stephanie, Emerging Princess

Oh Canada!

Today is my adopted country’s birthday.  It’s only fitting that I celebrate some of the great gifts that fellow “Canadians” gave the world.  Sorry for bragging…

I am Canadian, Eh?

May Your Cup Always Be Full,

Stephanie, Emerging Princess

Porcupine Pie

It’s been a while since I’ve posted.  As I naturally lean theologically, this one came to me today.

Yesterday (June 12th, 2013), my eldest daughter graduated from college.  Although the journey took a circuitous route, my daughter is now “legally” a fashion designer.  There are so many metaphors in this single occasion.  I’m going to zero in on one.

As you can see from the pic below, me and my daughter rock “natural” hair (as do my other 2 daughters).  This can be a big issue for the woman of colour.  Some prefer to go through the trials of having relaxers, weaves or wigs.  My girls and I are NOT to making a statement.  We are NOT proving that we are better than anyone.  We just prefer our own hair, as it comes out of our scalp.  This has been a bone of contention for my former partner.  He is of the belief that “something” should be done with hair for black women.  Either way, I believe that there is no place to push your views of how you believe someone should wear their hair.

After her graduation ceremony, my daughter went to greet her father.  The first thing out of his mouth was, “When are you going to do something with your hair?  I’ll give you some money.  Oh, congratulations, by the way.”  He served up an unwanted piece of Porcupine Pie.  Little did he know, this diss allowed me the freedom of enjoying the reception at her commencement.  She fully made no effort to find him in the crowd after that.  I hung out with my daughter’s friends, took pictures and gave hugs.  My daughter and I were then were able to enjoy a leisurely afternoon together, walking through downtown Toronto.

Later that evening, my daughter did connect with her father.  He now lives alone.  His words have pushed away the people who are supposed to be the closest to him.  It truly is a sad thing.  Yet, isn’t life about relationships?  Isn’t is great to be in the company of another human being, having conversation and connection?  I know what it was like while I was in the abusive marriage.  I wished that I could talk to people.  I wished that I had a friend.  I wished that I wasn’t so alone.

The thing is, the choice is ours.  It is up to us whether we give love, or Porcupine Pie.  I now choose to give big to the people I come in contact with.  I choose to have deep, meaningful conversations with lots of people, especially 20-something year olds.  There are many youngsters who call me Meamah or “Mrs. T.” even though they are not my own child.  If someone willingly chooses to call me an endearment such as that, what an honour to be thought of so highly!  I choose to hug lots and lots of people.  I believe that when you love on people, you will never be alone.  My arms and my heart are big enough.  So at holidays, my house is full of people who may (or may not) have family nearby, and they want pleasant company.  At any given moment, my kids may say to me, “Mumsy, my friend(s) are coming over”.  They weren’t able to to that before.  I will guard that freedom like a hawk.  There’s no joy greater than knowing you have influenced someone positively.

Proverbs 15:1 says:  “A gentle answer deflects anger, but harsh words make tempers flare. [NLT])  Or, it turns away a whole family.  And there is a saying by Elbert Hubbard:  “In order to have friends, you must first be one.”  H’mmm…interesting.  Porcupine Pie anyone?  Not a chance.  I’m learning to be that which I desire.

May Your Cup Always Be Full,

Stephanie, Emerging Princess

1008462_10200103750578518_201977483_o

Yes, there actually IS a song called Porcupine Pie!  (Don’t ask…)

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

Previous Older Entries

My Tweets

Error: Twitter did not respond. Please wait a few minutes and refresh this page.

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!
%d bloggers like this: