No Normal After Trauma

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My date would arrive later. He would only be in my apartment for a few minutes before we were on our way. I had to prepare. So I got on my computer and began logging out of all of my accounts. After I had logged out of two –I stopped. I asked myself aloud, “What am I doing? Nicole, you need to back away from your crazy.” I logged back into my accounts and stepped away from my computer. But I did not put down my trauma. I carried it through the date, through the rest of my day and into the next.

You see, My Guy On A Buffalo was constantly going through all my texts and emails and Facebook. Looking, waiting to catch me in a lie, in some kind of betrayal. I had nothing to hide BUT BOUNDARIES, PEOPLE. BOUNDARIES. And this lives with me still.

My date that day has never given me any indications that he would do the same but the fear still lives in me. And it is alive.

A few years ago I took myself on a trip. I just needed to get away and really look deep into myself and reflect and make decisions. It was an amazing trip. A week after my return I met My Guy On A Buffalo. And the world was wonderful. And then my world was destroyed.

I am preparing to leave on another trip. For the same purpose. To do some intentional work on myself. To be in a new place, to make new choices. I have been really excited for this trip. Until this morning. Fear showed up. Last time I went on a trip I came back and was stolen. I am so afraid that I will return from this trip and the same thing will happen.

A part of me, the healthy side of my brain, tells me that is not true. It will not happen again. This is not a repeat. But the trauma in me…

I do not know how to be normal. I want to be. It is frustrating to think and deal in this way. But maybe it is not about acting, thinking, being normal… Maybe it is about accepting what is. That for right now, this is my new normal. And it is okay. It is okay in all its scary. In the hurting. In the healing.

I often feel crazy. And I know I cannot be the only one. So this is for you. You, who feels crazy and out of control. Who cannot seem to be normal after all you have gone through. I get it. I hear you. I see you.

Worthy is your name. Divine is your destiny. Healing is happening. Together, lets breathe through all of our un-normalness and walk into our fears. I just know something lovely is waiting on the other side

 

Overcoming Fear of Follow-Through

I have a huge fear of follow-through. You can read more about that here:

Fear of Follow-Through

 I have been trying to figure out how to overcome this fear and what I have learned so far is how complex this all really is. I cannot even begin to explain to you how frustrating this all is. I have struggled to know where to start.

Every Monday afternoon I attend an institute class entitled Jesus Christ and the Everlasting Gospel. I love attending this class. It calms me. It centers me. I always feel the spirit.

This past week in class I learned something through the spirit.

We read in the Bible, in the New Testament, the accounts of the Savior’s time in the Garden of Gethsemane. This is where Christ took upon our pains, sins, weaknesses, temptations, our sorrows and our afflictions. Before, Christ could intellectual understand all we have and will ever go through but here, in this garden, is where He literally experienced every thing we have and will experience so that He would literally know how to come to us, to comfort us, to heal us. See Mark 14:33-36

The verses that spoke to my heart specifically were Luke 22: 39-44. In verse 42 we learn that Christ gave up His will to His Father. To us. He drank the bitter cup. He surrendered. And after He did so, help was sent. Verse 43: And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him.

Heavenly Father ALWAYS sends us help. But first we must accept what is. Often in life the bitter cup is before us. And when it is not removed we have a choice. Do we drink it? I know that when I do, help is always sent and I make it through. Not only do I make it through but I am lifted higher. My character becomes more refined. I become more compassionate and generous. And my testimony of my Savior is strengthened. There is peace in the middle of all that is hard. In the middle of all that I feel is wrong and somehow, all inside of me is made right.

In testifying of the Savior’s Atonement, Elder Neal A. Maxwell shared, “When the agony came in its fulness, it was so much, much worse than even He with his unique intellect had ever imagined!… The cumulative weight of all mortal sins- past, present, and future- pressed upon that perfect, sinless, and sensitive Soul! All our infirmities and sicknesses were somehow, too, a part of the awful arithmetic of the Atonement… His suffering- as it were, enormity multiplied by infinity- evoked His later soul-cry on the cross, and it was a cry of forsakenness.”

My fear of follow-through will be overcome through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. I just know it. I don’t know how but I am surrendering the need to know how. I just know it will be done. It will be done as I seek the Lord’s inspiration and turn to Him in my weakness. I believe He makes all things right including my imperfect, false beliefs about myself.

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Fear of Follow-Through

I don’t dance around the perimeter of the person I want to be. I step in fully and completely. -Gabrielle Bernstein. This is my mantra for the day.

I have been wanting to do Beachbody’s program Hammer and Chisel since it was announced in July. Something about it drew me to it. I counted down the days until it was released in December. I ordered it the program a few weeks ago and have anxiously waited for it to arrive in the mail.

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When it came I was  so excited! I poured over all the material, read every word and began to plan my attack. I calendared my workouts. I planed my meals. So so ready…..and I didn’t start. The excitement was gone. I told myself I didn’t need to be excited I just needed to begin. But I didn’t begin. I thought maybe if I “prepared” more I would be ready to dive in so I went out and bought a new workout outfit. And……nothing.

I thought, “what is wrong with me?” I was so frustrated with myself and I knew it was time to get honest with myself. So I had a come to Jesus talk. Sometimes facing the truth about myself feels like the hardest thing. Because it is. And I do not have all the answers but I did come to some conclusions.

I have a huge, overwhelming fear of follow-through. There are very few things in my life I have seen to completion. And if I were to follow-through with this program in the timetable I have set for myself I would PROVE MYSELF WRONG.

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Meaning, I have carried these notions about myself that are not true. But a huge part of myself believes them to be true. That I do not finish what I start. I do not keep promises to myself. I am a letdown. I am a failure. I am not capable of success. I am worthless. And if I were to follow-through with the promises I make to myself- I would prove myself wrong. I would show myself THE REAL TRUTH. That I am amazing. That I am a finisher. That I do not give up. I persever. I overcome. I am a leader. I do what I say I am going to do. I am successful. I am capable of creating the life I want for myself. I make my dreams come true. THAT IS THE TRUTH. And I am afraid of it. I hold myself back. I stand in my own way. And I have not figured it out yet. I do not know all the reasons why or how to reverse it. But today….

I don’t dance around the perimeter of the person I want to be. I step in fully and completely.

That is what I am choosing today.

I freaking love being a Beachbody coach. It gives me purpose and an outlet for my voice. The past few weeks have been discouraging to me as a coach. A few people have quit. And I get it. But I am also so very sad. In my heart of hearts I wish that they would have not given up on themselves so easily. I wish they would have given themselves more time. More of a chance. BECAUSE THAT IS WHAT I WANT FOR MYSELF and I AM FIGHTING FOR IT. It is hard. And it hurts. This business makes one come face to face with the false beliefs we carry about ourselves.

My fear of follow through, and all the contributes to it is NOT SERVING ME. Its not. And I am over it. Today I am choosing to do something about it.  Part of me is so in love with this strong, powerful body of mine. It does everything I ask it to do. It serves me well. But another part of me wants to hide from it. I feel it is not attractive and…I am embarrassed by it. So this journey of mine is not only to love my body where it is at but to gain confidence inside and out. To become stronger inside and out. To treat myself like I love myself. Because I do. I know that I do.

So I went to the little gym today at my apartment complex. I took my computer with me to stream Hammer and Chisel. And I was self-conscious because there were other people in there. And I had to modify EVERY move. And I had to press pause. And I cried a little. And I finished it. And it was so hard. All of it. But I showed up for myself and I feel AMAZING. I feel strong and proud. And guess what, it was fun! And I cannot wait to do it again tomorrow! Who knew that would be the end result! My date with myself was a success!

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Dear 2016

I have decided to start dating again.

First step: Create opportunity for myself to even talk to a man! Haha. But true. You know its true!

So I am online. For a month. I have no problem with online dating but I will say it is making me depressed.

I don’t know. I just don’t know…

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What I do know is that the struggle is real and my confidence is low. And the only way to gain confidence is to create experiences for myself that will build myself.

Meaning, exercise the crap out of myself. Physical movement gives me strength. This is not about losing weight. It is about becoming stronger. And I need to take physical steps as well as mental ones to become stronger.

So for 2016 I am my own lover. And the gym is where I will be dating myself.

Over the next week I am going to get real with my goals and plan them out. To hold myself accountable to this I am hosting a 7 Days Guide to Goal Setting and Achieving group on Facebook. All are welcome.

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It Can Happen

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“Laughter through tears is my favorite emotion.” –Steel Magnolias

Some moments my healing comes through tears and others through my laughter. Some moments my healing comes through cursing. Healing is hardly ever pretty. Healing is messy and often unpredictable. But healing is also divine. And in its own way, a precious miracle. Heavenly Healing provides restoration and a renewal of the heart, a lifting of the soul. Heavenly healing is a gift through the grace of God and a fruit of the Atonement of Christ. I cannot tell you how long your healing will take or what it will look like. What I can tell you is that it can happen. Healing happens. Healing is real because Christ is real. Because He lives. And not only does He live but He loves. The love of Christ is big. It is perfect and perfecting. Christ’s love offers restoration, redemption and renewal to the wounded soul.

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7 Days That Changed Me

Earlier this month I participated in a free 7 Day Wake-Up challenge group on Facebook. IT. WAS. AMAZING. No kidding. This is how it worked: I was added to a private FB group where every morning I had to be up by 7am and prove it with a selfie. Haha! Those early morning selfies were pretty hot! But it was great! There were daily assignments such as making your bed, drinking warm water with lemon, starting your day with a positive up-beat tune. It was a lot of fun! Everyone in the group was posting encouraging thoughts throughout the day.  We were sharing our struggles and cheering each other on. As participants, we lived all over the country. Along the way we earned points for the positive habits we were creating. At the end of the week there was a winner and I WON! Hot Dog! I actually won something! How about that:) Being a part of this group was uplifting.  It changed my life. I needed this group. Thanks goes out to my friend, Shante’ for coaching us through those rough mornings! You are excellent!

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Many of you know that for the past couple of years I have been hosting Biggest Losers contests via email. Some tanked but others were CRAZY successful. All together over 300 pounds were lost! You did that! Amazing! Because I have loved hosting the Biggest Loser contests and because I loved the set-up of the 7 Day Wake-Up challenge I have decided to combine the two and become a Beachbody Coach! Do What??? I AM A BEACHBODY COACH! Raise the Roof!

What is Beachbody? P90X. Insanity. Brazilian Butt Lift. ChaLean. These are all Beachbody workouts and there are many more! As a Beachbody coach I will be running 30 day, 60 day, 90 day challenges.  These will be private accountability groups on FB (like the 7 Day Wake-Up challenge). There will be daily check-ins and assignments. Major accountability and encouraging support. But here is the thing… Yes I believe in being fit physically but I also strongly believe in being fit mentally, spiritually and emotionally. That is why I will also be coaching FREE 7 day, 10 day, whatever day challenges. These will be Clean-Eating challenges, Training-Yourself-To-Drink-a-Gallon-O-Water a day challenges (needs a better name), Positive Self-Talk challenges – Whatever you need, let me know and I will coach an accountability group for it! We are in this together!! We need each other. We can support each other in making positive changes in our lives. That is what I will be organizing and facilitating as a Beachbody coach.

One of my first free challenge groups is going to be a Preparing for Change group. A 12 day class where we will be making small changes in our lives to prepare us for making the big changes! Remember this BLOG POST? Yeah, along those lines. I am so excited about it!

I am hosting these challenges, I am a Beachbody coach #1: For me. Hosting challenges keeps me accountable for my own change, my own growth. #2: I am a Beachbody coach for the same reason I hosted the Biggest Loser contests: For You! Who ever YOU are. I love you. I love helping you reach your goals.

I am channeling my inner Chris Powell. My inner Jillian Michaels. My inner Bob Greene. My inner Oprah Whinfrey. I am Channeling Diana. I am channeling me. The little girl inside of me trying desperately to heal. The girl who is learning to accept her flawed, imperfect, lovely self. Who is learning to love herself and set herself free. I am channeling Nicole.

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Permission

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I am a believer and a practicer of giving myself permission. From giving myself permission to fail and fail big to permission to succeed.  I have given myself permission to stay in bed all day when I have needed it.  On other days when staying in bed is what I wanted but far from what I needed I gave myself permission to get moving and hate it. Haha.  The key is to only give myself permission to do or think things that are in-line with my truth. For example, eating cake for dinner is  in-line with my truth but eating cake every day is not.  Standing up for myself: In-line with my truth. Name calling: Never. See how this goes?  The picture above is my most current permission slip.  The one below was made in January.

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And here are some random pictures of my younger sister and I just because.  These were taken in May??? I think

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A Change Will Do You Good/A Lesson In Gratitude

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Have you ever wanted to make a change in your life but just couldn’t seem to follow through? Whether it be diet, exercise, not being “lazy”, ect…  Maybe you started off strong and with excitement but couldn’t keep the momentum going. You became overcome with failure and/or fatigue.

First off, let me tell you, YOU ARE NOT ALONE.

We tell ourselves a thousand excuses.  We are too busy, tired, other obligations and responsibilities get in the way.  All the while knowing these. are. excuses.  Shame builds.  Our desires to change are deep, true and real so why can’t we change!! Why are we not disciplined enough, engaged enough, whatever enough to actually create change in our lives??!!

We have all been there and are maybe there right now.  I know I have and I am. It is frustrating to say the least. But please, cut yourself some slack.  Right now, give yourself permission to practice self love. We have to be READY to change.  Having a firm desire to change is not the same as being READY to change. You cannot force yourself to change any more than you can force a paper-cut to heal.  The wound heals in its own time.  Having that said, there are things you can do to help it heal.  You can treat it, clean it, take care of it.  The same with change.  There are things you can do to ready yourself for it, to prepare for it.

I am working on a series of posts about Change.  About PREPARING for making change happen in our lives.

The first thought I offer you — is to think.  Recall times in your life where you have successfully made positive changes.  What led you there? For me, looking back, I can now clearly identify preparation that I wasn’t even aware I was making.  God was preparing me.  He was using people and cicumstance. He was using experience and creating opportunity.   Heavenly Father was putting everything thing in place for me to change- even when I was working against Him.

I believe we have the ability to see God’s preparation in our lives in real-time.  While it is happening. We can do this through gratitude.  Being grateful opens our eyes to truth. If you desire to make a change, if you can feel in the marrow of your bones that change is coming… practice gratitude.

Whether you keep a journal or a list on your phone.  Maybe you document it with pictures you share on Instagram or Facebook.  However you choose to express your gratitude, Make it happen.  By being grateful you will begin to open your mind for the changes you want to make.