Childhood Trauma Affects Your Entire Life

Childhood Trauma Affects Your Entire Life

This. This is the piece of the puzzle from my childhood that I've been missing. This. This is the secret I've been hiding behind my smile. This. This is what countless children and adults in every zip code, every corner of your life face while navigating learning, relationships, careers, and even their long-term health.  Exposure to adversity in childhood by trauma or chronic stress actually changes our physiology, affects our brain development, and even alters our body's transcription of DNA. Childhood trauma does NOT just go away as we grow up. As an elementary teacher for fifteen years, yes, I have lived, experienced the hardships trauma and chronic stress cause for a child. I have seen children struggle to learn, battle for impulse-control, toil to maintain friendships, all while suffering tummy aches, headaches, lack of sleep. But that's not the end of their struggle. These children left my classroom, having learned to read and add and subtract.  But what about their tummy aches, headaches, and chronic deprivation of sleep?  What happened to those beautiful...
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Pain and Strength

Pain and Strength

Are You in Chronic Pain?I am, or used to be, but it's getting better every day.  Let me open up and invite you behind the scenes to share my story of hope. I have experienced strange, chronic inflammation for several years. I actually gained twenty pounds over the years that I felt "ill".  Doctors listened to my aches, pains, and concern about my sudden weight gain, and they recommended that I lose the weight.  I kept telling my husband, "I don't feel fat, I feel poofy."  The joint pain and muscle aches sometimes overwhelmed me when I tried to exercise regularly, and the scale never budged.  I’ve spent days alarmed, scared, annoyed, and in different levels of pain with these erratic symptoms that appear out of nowhere and come and go as they please. Though I’m in a situation I’d rather not be, I’m blessed.I recognize this blessing every time I look at my symptoms from this perspective: My immune system is...
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Please Excuse the Mess…

Please Excuse the Mess…

Watch Your Step! Under Construction: Please Excuse the Mess… Because I’m a mess. A beautiful mess. My glorious imperfection assembled with remnants of growth amid mood swings, feelings of failure - all supported with the learning that surrounds my mistakes. And I’ve made mistakes. And that’s okay. Because that’s how our imperfect minds evolve and develop. It’s not always pretty when you’re working on something to make it better. So, I’m going to extend the gift of grace not only to those around me, but most importantly, offer this needed gift to myself as I continue to be a work in progress. Cheers to loving your beautiful mess!!!!...
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I Can Do Anything for a Minute – Even Keep Emotional Balance

I Can Do Anything for a Minute – Even Keep Emotional Balance

Emotional Balance: One Minute at a Time I began running for exercise a while back and not only did I feel awkward, like a lumbering moose, but my lungs felt like they were going to explode. Very uncomfortable. So uncomfortable that I wanted to quit. But then I found a running app that speaks, encourages like a running partner. One sunny day it declared to me, “Speed up for a minute. You can do anything for a minute.” Yes. Yes I can. You see, I struggle to keep balanced - and no, physically balanced is not my issue, but emotional balance is challenging. I try my hardest not to get frustrated when things don’t happened as I had planned, or pissed off when someone’s driving is ridiculous (because my driving is perfect…😉) But, can I stay in the moment, balanced for a minute?                 Of course. I can do anything for a minute. Cheers to keeping your peace - one minute at a time!...
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Take Back the “Function” from “Dysfunction”

Take Back the “Function” from “Dysfunction”

I spent years reliving the dysfunction in my past. So much so, that I was unable to grow emotionally. And then I saw this sign in a local coffee shop: I just had to have it, because it exemplified everything that held me back in my relationships, my profession, my life. Let Go to Grow I have successfully survived post-traumatic stress, transitioning to post-traumatic growth.  My dysfunction of suppressing the truth for years kept me trapped in a dissociative state where I knew the truth, but no one else acknowledged it, making me feel silenced, powerless.  Angry.  Until I finally spoke up in trauma therapy, opening the door to my prison of silence.  And I let it go. Function from Dysfunction By reading the text of my past aloud in trauma therapy, it allowed my mind to close that chapter, freeing it of the re-reading I had been doing to try to make sense of the dysfunction that I had survived.  The new chapters of my life are written by...
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Try Without Fear of Failing

Try Without Fear of Failing

I wrote a book. A 50,000 word novel.  In a month.  I have achieved more in one year than I ever dreamed possible - all because I tried. Failing terrified me... But, WHO would I have failed?  Myself?  Why put limits on myself with the fear of failing?  Life was meant to be lived - with failure.  Because really, isn't failing how we learn?  How we grow?  How we master our craft? So, I also made a book trailer for my novel, because, why not???  I'm not scared of failing... ...
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Failure is Really Success

Failure is Really Success

There is Only One Winner It's easy to classify yourself as a success or a failure, especially in the world of athletic tournaments.  But, does it have to be one or the other? This past hot, humid weekend, my husband and I attended a two-day lacrosse tournament for my child’s travel team.  Success did not come easily in this competitive field of teams, and with our team's failure to secure wins, we were recorded on the final tournament bracket as the losing team. Losing is Not Failure Underdogs, beaten by ten points almost every game, our team continued to show improvement in each match. Our players ran faster, blocked more defensively, and made more passes with increased confidence.  Still, these beatings were difficult to watch with the referees' bad calls and some rough play by other, more aggressive teams. Our hearts bled witnessing our children struggle match after match. Find the Success When You Fail My enthusiasm and general cheerfulness got the better of me...imagine this:...
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Struggling with Your Kids at Home in the Summertime? Help Has Arrived!

Struggling with Your Kids at Home in the Summertime? Help Has Arrived!

Summer, Sweet Summer with My Kids... Yes, like you, summertime has brought my kids back home to me.  The week school ended, I don't know who was more excited for summer break - my two children, their teachers, or me!  Visions of us sleeping in, making homemade pancakes to start our lazy days, and trips to museums, parks, etc. all dancing in our heads. But, two weeks later, fruit snack wrappers littered every end table and coffee table surface, wet towels laying near the towel racks, half-filled cups in bedrooms with none available in the kitchen cabinet for me to use, and both my daughter and son's bedroom carpeting was decorated with the myriad of clothing that somehow just couldn't make it into the dirty laundry basket. Yet my kids' requests kept coming - drop me off at my friend's house, pick me up some new shorts for practice, can we go to the waterpark? I am embarrassed to admit this, but even with...
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