Guest Post: Empowering Ourselves to Overcome Abuse

1 Sep

Happy Labor Day, Monday! I just wanted to sleep in this morning because the weather in Illinois is teasing me into a peaceful day of slumber and relaxation, but duty calls and I’m preparing for whatever the day might bring. I know from experience that living life experiences can sometimes knock us down and if we’re not vigilant on who we are and whose we are, we might continue to exist in a life that we don’t love ; a life that we think we’re unable to change and so we continue on,  ‘stuck’  in a life of misery and sameness. Don’t believe the hype! You can make your life better through choice and action!

KP_003Kathleen Pooler is a victim of domestic abuse. She, unlike many women, made a choice to take back her power. She has written a memoir about her struggles and triumph out of domestic abuse. I invite women voices to Authentic Woman to serve as a beacon of hope for other women voices… Kathy’s story will inspire other women of abuse with renewed hope and purpose for their own lives.

Empowering Ourselves to Overcome Abuse

I spent the first eighteen years of my life in a loving, supportive family. My parents, Bob and Kathryn were childhood sweethearts who modeled a caring and respectful relationship. I went out into the world fully expecting I would find the same in a spouse. It was all I knew—stability, security, love.

The problem was I didn’t discern the red flags and assumed the man I chose to marry would fulfill my fantasy of happily ever after. Like my parents, “till death do you part.” Eight years later, with two young children in tow, I repeated the mistake and married a man to meet my gnawing need to be a complete family again.

I had everything I needed to make a good life for myself. Instead, I spent the next twenty-five years engulfed in the abyss of two abusive marriages, first to a man who drank too much then to a man whose untreated bipolar disorder forced me to flee in broad daylight with my two school aged children for fear of physical abuse.

I had allowed myself to be emotionally abused, bullied and brainwashed all for the sake of being a family, like my own. How had I allowed that to happen?

I explore the factors that influenced me to make these self-defeating choices in my upcoming memoir, Ever Faithful to His Lead: My Journey Away From Emotional Abuse.

Walking away required me to look at myself and accept the mistakes and missteps of my past. It forced me to come face-to-face with my vulnerabilities and flaws.

Writing my memoir helped me to heal. I found the answers to a question that had nagged at me for years:

“How does a young woman from a loving Catholic family, make so many wise choices about her career but so many poor choices about love that she ends up escaping in broad daylight with her two children from her second husband for fear of physical abuse?”

I never thought of myself as the abused wife. I studied domestic violence in my nursing program. I took care of patients who were abused. I was a strong and capable woman. Surely, I wasn’t one of those women who keep making excuses for a spouse’s outrageous behavior. Besides, I didn’t have broken bones or bruises.

Years later, I realized, abuse in any form is abuse:

*One does not have to sustain physical injury to be abused. Emotional abuse in the form of intimidation, bullying, safety threats, lying is harmful and the impact on the children of mothers who are in abusive relationships is far-reaching and damaging.

* Abuse impacts all socioeconomic groups. I was a masters-prepared nurse from
a loving family and yet I got into two emotionally abusive marriages.

*Denial and magical thinking can keep one from recognizing abusive behavior and taking action.

*Emotional abuse can lead to physical abuse. According to the National
Coalition of Domestic Violence Awareness, “One in every four women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime; 1.3 million women are victims of
physical assault by an intimate partner each year; Most cases of domestic violence are never reported.”

These are staggering statistics of epidemic proportion.

I was able to rescue myself from two abusive marriages. The first thing I had to do was to break through the denial that my life was not what I had dreamed it would be. Then I had to take responsibility for the role I had played in allowing abuse to happen. I had to make the conscious decision to change the way I was approaching relationships and choices. I had to claim the power within and then once I claimed it, I had to honor it.

My greatest hope is that by offering my insights into the poor decisions I made will help others learn from my story. I found my inner strength through my faith in God and the love and support of my family and friends. My nursing career enabled me to support myself and my children.

Abuse is abuse in any form and nobody deserves to be trapped in an abusive relationship.

I want to inspire hope and action for my readers who need to tap into their own inner strength and find freedom from abuse of any kind.

Once we are connected to our own inner strength, we empower ourselves to live life on our own terms. For me that meant, allowing myself to be vulnerable and admitting my role in creating the circumstances that led to two emotionally abusive marriages. When I became clear on the part I was playing, I was able to not only accept the responsibility to change, but to forgive myself and put my energies into creating the life I wanted and deserved. To me, that is empowerment at its best.

Bio:

Kathleen Pooler is an author and a retired Family Nurse Practitioner whose memoir, Ever Faithful to His Lead: My Journey Away From Emotional Abuse, published on July 28.2014 and work-in-progress sequel, Hope Matters: A Memoir are about how the power of hope through her faith in God helped her to transform, heal and transcend life’s obstacles and disappointments: domestic abuse, divorce, single parenting, loving and letting go of an alcoholic son, cancer and heart failure to live a life of joy and contentment. She believes that hope matters and that we are all strengthened and enlightened when we share our stories.

She lives with her husband Wayne in eastern New York.

She blogs weekly at her Memoir Writer’s Journey blog: http://krpooler.com

http://www.amazon.com/Kathleen-Pooler/e/B00GIBCKQC

Guest Post: Managing Your Persistent Fears, Anxieties, And Stresses

25 Aug

Good Monday morning, women warriors! You know, at some point in our lives, we’ve experienced fear and anxiety. And just when we think we’ve gotten a handle on these maladies,  something happens to bring about a re-occurrence, which can be frustrating, making it hard for us to get our minds right and seek clearly.

Today, I’m excited to bring you a special guest author to Authentic Woman.  Stanley Popovich is a man who for most of his life lived in fear. The turning point came for Stanley when he decided to write, A Layman’s Guide to Managing FEAR. Please join me in welcoming this nationally known author to Authentic Woman.

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Everybody deals with anxiety and depression, however some people have a difficult time in managing it. As a result, here is a brief list of techniques that a person can use to help manage their most persistent fears and every day anxieties.

When facing a current or upcoming task that overwhelms you with a lot of anxiety, the first thing you can do is to divide the task into a series of smaller steps. Completing these smaller tasks one at a time will make the stress more manageable and increases your chances of success.

Sometimes we get stressed out when everything happens all at once. When this happens, a person should take a deep breath and try to find something to do for a few minutes to get their mind off of the problem.  A person could get some fresh air, listen to some music, or do an activity that will give them a fresh perspective on things.

Another technique that is very helpful is to have a small notebook of positive statements that makes you feel good. Whenever you come across an affirmation that makes you feel good, write it down in a small notebook that you can carry around with you in your pocket.  Whenever you feel depressed or frustrated, open up your small notebook and read those statements.   This will help to manage your negative thinking.

Take advantage of the help that is available around you. If possible, talk to a professional who can help you manage your depression and anxieties. They will be able to provide you with additional advice and insights on how to deal with your current problem.  By talking to a professional, a person will be helping themselves in the long run because they will become better able to deal with their problems in the future.  Remember that it never hurts to ask for help.

BIOGRAPHY:

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Stan Popovich is the author of “A Layman’s Guide to Managing Fear Using Psychology, Christianity and Non Resistant Methods”. Stan’s managing fear book has become very popular with over 300 positive book reviews and counting. Please read the many book reviews of Stan’s popular book by going to Stan’s website at http://www.managingfear.com/

 

 

Depression-

19 Aug

thepressionDepression is an illness that kills…

It’s been one week since we heard the devastating news of Robin Williams suicide. He will be remembered for the comedic genius he was. A man whose spur of the moment silliness, brought on some belly aching laughs. Robin Williams brought laughter, joy, compassion and humor into our lives. My condolences for his loss. He will be missed.

 

 

th ypoutr life

 

This message of hope is for everyone who feels alone in a place of darkness:

Life Matters! You matter. Get help and make yourself better. Choose Life!

thchoice Peace, love and blessings…

Grow Yourself A Life You’ll Love by Barbara Garro

11 Aug

Good Morning! There’s a slight overcast from the rain last night, which makes for a glorious Monday. No, I’m not saying this because my arthritis meds just kicked in:) Authentic Woman is about finding and connecting to our true selves; becoming self-aware in purpose and intent. It’s a journey leading to spiritual alignment with ones’ passion and purpose. It’s how we choose to walk in the world, unafraid to be who we are and loving the person we’ve become.

Living an authentic lifestyle doesn’t make you immune to living life experiences. It makes you happy, appreciative and grateful that you walk in your truths with integrity, spirit and boldness.  Be bold in your purpose and live your life-out loud!

Please join me in welcoming Barbara Garro, author of  Grow Yourself A Life You’ll Love to Authentic Woman with a special post from her new book on finding the life you love:thbarbara

Grow Yourself a Life You’ll Love

 When you understand why you are the way you are, you’ll be kinder

to yourself.  When you understand others better, you’ll like them more and

be less critical.  This will help them like you more and make your life

more harmonious.  Think about how much better your life would be if you got

along easier with the love of your life, your parents, children, siblings,

other relatives, friends, co-workers, and neighbors.

        You will learn that the reasons you do the things you do come from

seeds planted in your non-conscious or subconscious mind

when you were very small. These seeds or beliefs, presumptions,

assumptions, and events that drive your behavior often remain hidden from

your conscious awareness in your subconscious mind.  Grow Yourself a Life

You’ll Love motivates you to look at the seeds planted long ago to decide

if they are still valid for you. For example, if you come from parents who

believed money is the root of all evil, can you see how you could have a

tough time with prosperity coming into your life?        

         Grow Yourself a Life You’ll Love is a workbook divided into three

parts. The first part contains exercises to help you discover information

in your subconscious mind that can explain your behavior, fears, worries,

and automatic or default responses. The second part provides exercises to

help you understand what makes you and those in your life do the things

they do.  The third part includes an exercise to get you in touch with your

spirit and recognize that humans are spiritual as well as physical and

mental beings.

        The exercises are designed to take you back through your life to

root out belief-driven programming, now outdated and invalid, that causes

you problems.

         From Grow Yourself a Life You’ll Love, you’ll also gain new,

exciting and useful information about the dynamics of personality,

thinking styles, communication, and attitudes that make you and others act

in a particular way.

        Understanding reduces the pain in relationships.  With fewer

misunderstandings, you’ll have increased quality time together, more

laughs, and greater happiness than you’ve ever known.

        You deserve happiness.  Believe that with all your heart and soul.

If you’re not happy, you owe it to yourself to do whatever it takes to

bring more happiness into your life.  If your life is a dead life walking,

this may sound impossible to you.  But I want you to know that I believe

you can do it.  And somewhere inside you believe it too, or you wouldn’t be

reading this book.

        It’s never too late to live happily ever after.  Other people have

happy lives.  You can too, once you lighten your load of anger, fear,

worry, envy, jealousy, hate, insecurity, and depression.

         Let Grow Yourself a Life You’ll Love help you push out of your

boxes, climb over your fences and live, really live, a life you’ll love.

You deserve a life you’ll love living and I hope with all my heart and soul

that you never stop trying new things until you have it.

          Grow Yourself a Life You’ll Love is a work/study book that can help

you forever keep on growing yourself a life you love living day after day.

Namaste,

Blessings from Author/Artist/Speaker Barbara Garro, MA

President, Electric Envisions, Inc.

Telephone: 1-518-587-9999

Web Sites: http://www.BarbaraGarro.com

                  http://www.ElectricEnvisions.com

thb. book

 

Answering To Your Soul Purpose

4 Aug

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Good Monday Morning to all women walking in their authentic truths and to those of you who fear leaving your comfort zone and taking risks on your truth journey to “Becoming.”

I am physically rested, spiritually restored,mind fully rejuvenated and purposefully invested in helping women reawaken to their authentic soul purpose!  Your journey to authenticity is not mine and mine is not yours, but we are linked as human beings united in the woman story of life.

Do you know your soul purpose? Are you willing to do the work to find out what you are called to do?

This journey that calls you to step up and live on purpose is one of free will and remains your decision.

While I was away, I was consumed with understanding and connecting back to my authentic “purpose.” I spent my days praying, meditating, writing and inviting “Purpose” to reveal itself to me through God’s everlasting grace.

When I received an email from a young woman named Mary, thanking me for my inspiring messages and asking for advice on how to proceed in her mission to advocate against obesity, I asked Mary to share her concerns.

Mary knows she’s on a journey of change. She’s aware of her purpose, but, Mary is doubtful and fearful and on the fence about stepping outside of her comfort zone.

With Mary’s permission, I want to share part of our conversation, in hopes that it opens dialogue for women to change the way they think. We all have a mission to achieve great things and to do something no one else can do. When you step into your ‘soul’ purpose, you will experience the beauty of life’s positive abundance on your journey to making a difference.  No matter what you are going through, you can walk through the roadblock of fear each and every time and become happier, healthier and successful on your chosen purpose journey.

DIALOGUE:

Mary- Thanks for being an inspiration to me. I would like to start blogging about encouraging others how to overcome obesity. How do you get a jump-start on blogging?

Me-I encourage you to start sharing your passion & what is now your purpose (one of perhaps many) to help others in the fight against obesity. And you should start by creating a free blog to start sharing with others.

Mary-I sometimes get discouraged because when I talk about the fight for obesity people don’t seem interested. Would you discuss other things? Would you continue to talk about obesity? What do you suggest?

Me-Yes! Continue on in your purpose. But, you should consider starting a blog and build an online following via social media networks. You only have to start sharing your authentic truths and build a community. Why not visit other blogs on obesity to get a feel for how to proceed.

At our last correspondence, Mary had not started a blog. She said fear took over and she was at a loss for words. Mary is at a place in her life that I surpassed years ago. What she needs to understand is that not everyone is going to be open to your passions. Some friends, co-workers, family members and loved ones will even ignore or avoid having the conversation.

Those instances can be frustrating and make you want to give up on talking or sharing your vision with others. I invited Mary to keep in touch, providing a link to my mentoring services in hopes that she claim her passion and purpose.  I will end with words by the wonderfully talented and insightful Cicely Tyson:

“We’re all put on this earth to serve each other.”

The journey to purpose doesn’t stop just because we try to ignore it.

Peace and blessings,

 

Clara Freeman

A Time for Introspection

4 Jul

th blue waters Have you ever witnessed the emergence of a rainbow? I’m reminded of my childhood and the feeling of wonder that came over me when an awesome splash of color appeared like magic in a clear blue sky,  after a  summer rain. Those country rainbows amazed and humbled me at the same time. In my young mind, I thought God must be really something to create such awesome beauty!

The rainbow reminds me of God’s benevolent presence and his everlasting love. It signals a time out for me to embrace introspection, spiritual reawakening,  affirmation and self-examination. I am listening to the intuitive messages from the universe and will be extending my hiatus until August, so that I can learn the lessons and become a better servant to all of you.

Knowledge is power and power comes from understanding who we are and what our purpose is in the only life we’ve been given. I want to help you empower your woman power and live your best life ever!

Peace and Blessings to all of you and have a safe and memorable Fourth of July with family and love ones. Make time to embrace and “Be” present in his AWESOMENESS!

Where’s Your Faith?

2 Jun

thdark times“Sometimes you look out upon the world and think how every great thing that’s happening is happening not to you, but to someone else. It’s in those times of a self-imposed pity-party that you call upon spirit to re-ignite your faith”
I recently wrote this message of encouragement to myself, during one of those moments when I had to have a one on one “where you at?” conversation with God. It’s because stuff kept hitting the fan and I was getting tired from trying to put out the fires. Sometimes when we try to ‘fix’ our own stuff we can’t see the beauty of the sun rising just above the horizon. So, we keep searching for answers, becoming perplexed; wondering why the good lord hadn’t responded to our RSVP’s.
Recently, the world lost a faith-based woman of God who always used her wisdom of living and learning from the realities of life experiences, to shed light on the hopeless and to offer up enriching words of comfort and courage. Dr. Maya Angelou reminded us all to be a rainbow in somebody’s cloud. And what better time for us to do good service for others than when we’re mired in our own stuff?
When you reach out to extend a helping hand to someone else, suddenly your troubles seem not so large. I truly believe that sowing seeds causes God to smile in our direction. I feel him whispering “Well done my good and faithful servant well done.”
When you fall down, refuse to stay down. Fight the funk of negativity and cheer on the sweetness of positive and possibility. Trust and believe in whose you are. I challenge you to embrace your faith, cast out the negative energy in your life and stand in reverence and obedience to the awesome goodness that is the Almighty. Keep being a rainbow.
I’m on hiatus until July.
Peace and Blessings,
Clara.

A Special Veteran Remembrance of Thanks

26 May

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAHappy Memorial Day to all! If you know a veteran and even if you don’t know him or her and you’re in their presence, give them a hug of gratitude – just because.  A slogan of war reads “We don’t know, we weren’t there.” And that’s so true, but we oftentimes get to witness the aftermath and when we do, we are forever changed.

I was a young nurse working on the Medical/Surgical unit of a Chicago Metropolitan Hospital when I first encountered a veteran of war.We were getting our assignment during report one morning and I was introduced to  Post Traumatic Stress Disorder ( PTSD). One of  the patient’s I was assigned to care for that day was a Vietnam War Veteran.

In those days, before you even went to assess the patient and to take his vital signs, you read the patient’s chart to familiarize yourself with his entire history. I read of this man’s service and his eventual decline into the mental torture he was in after witnessing and participating in the horrific of War. The patient was experiencing flashbacks and talking incoherently and was kept medicated for severe agitation. A team of doctors were taking care of him in this hospital, while they were waiting to place him in a VA facility, where he desperately needed to be.

When I went to the patient’s room to check on him, I was taken aback by his appearance. The man was disheveled and thrashing about. He was in what we call “soft” wrist and ankle restraints. A common use for safety measures, protecting the patient from harming himself and from those he came in contact with.

As I introduced myself and began taking his vital signs, I noticed  the wild stare in his eyes. The man was incoherent and mumbling. Nevertheless, I kept up a stream of what  calm dialogue.

I told him what I was doing, talking a bit about myself and  hoping against hope that something registered in some part of his fogged memory. I wasn’t feeling like a nurse in that moment, rather, one human being trying to reach out to another and say “Thank you for what you’ve sacrificed.”

Over the years, I’ve come in contact with many Veterans of War. My younger brother served in Afghanistan. To this day, he doesn’t ‘talk’ about his time over there. We can respect that and we are grateful he sought the help he needed to live life back at home as a normal civilian. The men and women who go off to serve and protect our country, filled with pride and hope and love for their United States of America, don’t all return the same person as when they left. If they are blessed to return at all.

To all the men and women of war, I say from the bottom of my heart “Thank you for all you’ve done and for all you’ve sacrificed for us.”

Have a safe and memorable Memorial (Veterans) Day!

Blessings,

Clara.

Finding Your Now…After Divorce

20 May

thsleepkatHello warrior women! I know Monday just got away from me, but I wanted to talk to women who are going through or contemplating divorce. I know how painful a transition this can be, but rest assured, you will survive.
Divorce sucks life transitions suck. Going through change of any sort can become a fear based area of grey clouds filling your days with storms of pain and confusion. But, you must stay prayed up and focused on swimming against the currents of  stormy weather, in order to stand on solid ground that will offer you a place of comfort and new beginnings.
If you’re going through a divorce or contemplating a divorce, allow yourself to feel the pain of separation, but don’t wallow in self-pity and self blame. You are good enough. There’s nothing you can do to change or coerce him into staying when he obviously wants to leave and why would you settle? If you are a single mother and working woman, consider the confusion your child is going through and sit down with your soon to be ex to hammer our a solution to making this separation for your child less traumatic as possible.

Children do worry and sometimes even blame themselves for their grownup parent’s behavior. It’s important to form a united front and assure your child that your divorce is in no way because of him/her/them. Going from married working mom to single working mom is a hurdle that you can manage alone. You have to take care of yourself and your internal emotions. Don’t wallow in self depreciating pity! Take the bull by the horns and face the music of your pain from losing your spouse, but place your emotions into keeping your child/children safe and protected: good daycare, good schools, and with people you trust while you continue to work and provide for the most important person in your life your child. If you have to take a few personal days off from work to set forth a routine to make sure your children is taken care of and provide you piece of mind while you’re away, then do that.
The most important thing you can do for yourself and for your children is to never place blame. Blaming someone for not being the person you needed them to be only adds to the misery of letting go. When you’ve done all you can to try to save your marriage due to love or obligation or young children needing both parents in the household and your husband still wants out? Let him go.
Keep your heart opened because time heals all wounds and where today you’re experiencing heartbreak; somewhere in the near future of your tomorrow, you will be the happiest woman to walk the face of God’s green earth, and you will be living the best life you’ve ever lived with a man truly deserving of all of you as you are of him.

For strength,  purpose and peace read:

Holy Bible

Spiritual Divorce: Divorce as a Catalyst for an Extraordinary Life by Debbie Ford
Goodnight, sleep peacefully and tight…
Blessings!

6 Steps To Your Emotional Health

12 May

th appleThe doctor ‘s prerequisite for eating an apple a day, does, in some  part fit into the equation of how we use nutritious food to help us stay healthy and fit. But, there’s a very thin line between the physical  and the metaphysical of mind and body essence where we should also look to improve upon, in order to create the maximum in our overall health and well-being.

Practicing mindfulness can help calm our anxieties and obliterate the clutter in our brains, that comes from over analyzing, over achieving and trying to do it all. Trying to be Superman or Wonder-Woman should be left for the fantasy that is television.

Studies have proven that carrying around emotional baggage can lead to negative displays of anger, impatience and an ugly disregard for others. How many times have we heard about people showing outbursts of road rage, where another person loses his life ?

Here are 6 Steps to Improving Your Emotional Health

1. Invite Spiritual awareness there is a power higher than you. It’s time you recognize and come to know the creator

2. Love yourself make no apologies for who you are. Love yourself right where you’re standing or sitting right now. It’s not important how others see you, but how you see yourself. Walk in your truths!

3. Be a service to others make it a habit to help make a difference, however big or small.

4. Set your mind on positive get rid of a negative mindset. Don’t go around bitching and moaning about your fate. The world keeps turning and your season will come. When you know and trust in abundance you keep going through the storm of limitation and live with expectancy.

5.Be thankful for having the gifts of wealth and accumulation, but shy away from becoming greedy in the pursuit of the almighty dollar.

6. This is the age of technology so continue to make new friends and connections the world over and share insights with other.

Continue  to surround yourself with loving thoughts and good wishes from friends and loved ones, practice thankfulness, gratitude and humility.  Acknowledge all of your blessings and be stilled and listen because in solitude  you come to know your true self.

 

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