Sacred Soul Discovery

Sacred Soul Discovery

For a long time, my stripes were invisible. Easy to conceal. 

 

They toughened me, insulated me from the outside world, from being hurt again, from opening up to the vulnerability of receiving. 

 

I could hide them and pull power from them. I grew harder. and harder. and harder. A clenched fist of rock, pushing through and preventing anyone from penetrating my soul. 

 

But no matter how tightly I clenched,

Whispers came clearly through the cracks.

Guidance from my Intuition to listen in,

feel,

and accept.

Forgive and bloom.

To allow the Love that I shared with others to reflect back from them into me....

This Is My Story - By Laura Gilbert

This is my story.

This is just a small part of my story.  I am sharing this because I strongly believe there are women (and men) who need to know that whatever they are going through right now….you’re never alone.

Everyone has childhood stories don’t they? I I wish I didn’t. I should say at this point (before you read on) I have an amazing Dad, and wonderful Grandparents on both side, all of whom I love dearly and would do anything for.  I am forever grateful and the love I have for them is infinite.

I wish that I could say that this also described my entire childhood, but unfortunately there is  a force called my Mother.  Out of every experience in my life (and there have been far too many for my liking) nothing will ever, ever, terrify me as much as the thought of being in trouble with her.  

I can remember the silence…..the air was crisp and almost deadly. Because nothing can last forever, and that includes silence.

Now I don’t want to go into too much detail about my childhood, purely the way that I now look at this time in my life is that it’s the past. Been and gone. However here is just a little to give you some idea of how things were.

My Mother is an alcoholic. And with, I suspect,  severe mental issues.  A life with her was a life of fear, because things can change from a beautiful Summer's’ day to a wild stormy night with the click of her fingers.  

The nights that she would leave us sat in the cold, the nights we were too scared to even say a word. Those nights will never leave my memory.  

I still remember the tension in our house as clear as day. The air being so thick with pain that I could barely speak.

I can remember the silence…..the air was crisp and almost deadly. Because nothing can last forever, and that includes silence.

There were numerous forms of punishments – sometimes we were ignored for days with no food, sometimes it was something physical, and sometimes it was verbal abuse. I learnt from a young age that words can hurt just as much, if not more, than someone’s touch.

I still remember the fear of my mother coming home at night. I could hear the car pull up, the engine stop, the car door open. Those steps towards the door, the key in the door…..

To this day I hate the sound of the key in the door. And even though I know who will be coming through the door, I still subconsciously brace myself.  It’ a sad fact of life that some things will always leave their footprint on you.  And this is where the problem lies. More than the events itself, it’s the aftermath that will break you .

So you get the picture.  It wasn’t the most idealistic of childhoods.

However after being kicked out  at 15 I had my escape.

And this is where my real problems began .

Because the thing with life is, everything that you experience in your first few years becomes your norm – rightly or wrongly. It shapes you. Who you are, how you think, and what you believe in.

To go from 15 years of abuse, of coldness, of pain and hurt, to a safe, loving environment. I had absolutely no clue how to act.  

I had no idea how to deal with any form of emotion - for years I was not allowed to feel , to speak, to be me. Now I was finally free, but I was imprisoned by my own self. Locked in because of fear that I could not escape.   

It’s a common trend for me…whenever something goes wrong, I retreat. My mind explodes, because even now, old habits die hard.

I spent years dreaming of how life could really be for me,  but all I could see was darkness. Wherever I went, whatever I did, whoever I spoke to…..the world only got darker. As did I.  

I spent the next few years drifting between one type of darkness to the other. I was terrified to form new relationships, but I desperately longed for love.  I wanted to be independent but was excruciatingly scared of forever being alone. I had no idea how to live in the real world but refused help from all those who offered.

I was constantly looking for something more, but never knew what that ‘more’ really was.

I fought against myself for years  - although I sought help, my release of pain was only ever temporary. Because as I said earlier….nothing in life is forever.

However my life seemed to became one never ending cycle, one which I was convinced I would never break because even my sunniest days, there was still a bleakness surrounding me, and no matter how much I prayed to the weatherman, it only got colder.

Until one day something unbelievable happened. I met someone. I fell in utter love. I had never experienced this….having someone else who actually cares about you as an equal. Sharing your life with someone. Having someone who wants to know every inch of your mind and body. I loved it….but again, just like when I was 15 and moved out, I didn’t know how to cope.

For the first time in my life, I felt like that sun was truly and utterly shining. I had someone who I was so in love with I would have died for (no joke) and I started to feel like a human, Not numb, not crazy, a human.  

But, just as had happened when I was 15 – I couldn’t deal.

Those feelings I had been fighting for years, the struggle to refuse all intimacy with people,  it finally overtook me. And I broke.  My heart exploded, and along with it so did my mind.  

I became seriously ill.

I had night terrors. I barely ate. I had panic attacks. I became a recluse. I cried endlessly. I wanted (and tried) to hurt myself.  I developed insomnia. I lost my hair.  I had psychotic periods.   

I genuinely thought I was going crazy because at this point, I had no idea who I was. Absolutely no fucking clue. And that is a scary thing. Believe me.

The inevitable happened and I ended up in hospital for a few weeks.

I begged not to go. I screamed and I cried but I will tell you this….That hospital saved my life. Without a doubt the best thing I ever did in my life.

I learnt that actually….there are things I can do to help me (NB – there are also things to help you if you feel like you need it) (who the hell knew I would get into mindfulness) .  

I learnt what to do when I’m having a panic attack. I learnt what to do when I’m feeling psychotic. I learnt what do when I feel I am failing. And I learnt what to do to celebrate my successes (YES  - SUCCESSES!)  

I learnt how to feel. I learnt that it’s ok to feel any fucking feeling you like. It’s ok to be a bitch sometimes, but it’s  also ok the frigging best person you can be.  

I spent weeks struggling to get out of bed but I finally did it – on my own – and I am so fucking proud.  

So. As you can imagine I was flying high after my hospital stay. I even got engaged. But then disaster struck. I got my heart broken.  Or I should say shattered. Into a million tiny pieces, never to be repaired or replaced.

For anyone that has ever gone through heartbreak,  I’m sorry.

Because, without a doubt, it is the most unimaginable pain I have ever, and most likely will ever, experienced in my life.  

Mental breakdown? No problem.  Abusive Mother? Sure. Heartbreak? Never in a million years.

Honestly, I have never felt pain like it. In 24 hours I lost what I thought was the love of my life,  my home, people I considered family and all my savings ( and gained a shit loads of debt – thanks!) .  I wanted to die. I genuinely did not want to continue my life without this person, and I couldn’t see a way out. I felt I had worked so unbelievably hard to get better, so that we could have the future we deserved.

I had lost everything that mattered to me, my heart, my soul, my love and my hope.  I was empty and alone.  I wanted to jump in front of a train. I wanted to be hit by a car. I have never been so surrounded by darkness.  I could barely even stand….my body was literally breaking.

I write this with tears in my eyes. Out of everything I have written today,  nothing has hurt my heart like my breakup. I gave everything – my darkest secrets, my life, my soul – and now I had lost it all. I thought I was strong but this pain destroyed me.

But….as I said earlier….nothing lasts forever.   

I got stronger. I. GOT. STRONGER.

Yes I was heartbroken but I refused to let it beat me. I carried on because I had no choice. I did extra personal development work. I worked like a bitch to keep myself busy  (good tip ladies by the way – keep yourself busy) and eventually,  I smiled again. I laughed again. And I realised what I truly, truly deserved.

Because the truth of my amazing love story is not as it seems.  When I look back (isn’t hindsight a wonderful thing) , I was in a very familiar relationship. I was in love with someone that had anger issues. Drug problems.  Was violently and emotionally abusive. I had repeated the cycle – and didn’t have a clue because I genuinely believed he was the one for me.

I can’t remember the exact turning point but gradually I began to realise that I deserve a million times better. I had lost control  - or maybe I had never had it in the first place. Either way it was time to get it back.

I went back to basics. Back to therapy. Spent hours working on myself.  I met new people.   Until I realised that not only did I truly, truly know who I was….I was proud.  

I live by my heart. And what that means is that I know how I feel, I act in a way feels true to me. I live my truth.

It has taken me 28 years but I have made it. I no longer shy away from the things that scare me. I accept that I have invisible scars will never fade. I still hate the key in the door, but I have learnt to deal with it. I am not afraid to stand up for what I believe in, because I believe in myself and my heart and I am proud that every day I live for me.

It’s not always easy but I do it. I now help others to do the same because I believe the pain I have suffered has a purpose to serve. I learnt an amazing amount from my darkness, and I want others to be able to see their light.

We can all stand in the sun.  And if it gets dark….we can walk to the light together.

--

Laura Gilbert, Founder of The Voice Within Coaching

Connect With Her Here!

 

 

A Story of a Storyteller

A Story of a Storyteller

Some stories need to be told. They’re demanding and sink their claws into your soul and don’t let go until they’re told. Some stories are the past left to fester until telling them is the only way to draw out the poison. Some stories are the future, chomping at the bit, demanding to be told to create a new world. Some stories are the present, glimpses of moments and attempts at understanding. Stories have power. Telling your own story in your own words with your own voice is the greatest power in the world.

Learning to Bloom: The Transition from Healing to Thriving

Learning to Bloom:  The Transition from Healing to Thriving

“Ashley Adams, that sounds like a name of writer.” Those nine words in one casual sentence were all I needed. Little did my father-in-law know that I had been writing off and on for the past fifteen years. I had kept a secret collection of my writing filled with my pain, hopes and dreams that I had shared with only a couple individuals throughout my life. I knew there was a whole world inside of me that contained depths, which I had only dove into when the shallowness of this world grew too tiresome. It was my secret universe, but it felt wrong to have it in a way. I thought others would view it as selfish and/or childish so I kept it hidden. Then there came three years of my life where I stopped writing completely. During this time, I was purely surviving and the door to my universe closed and instead I dove into the depths of someone else’s universe. It was a dark and constricting place and nothing like the expansive freedom that I had felt in mine. I eventually left this other universe bruised, broken and with my capacity for the depths limited.

Inner Shine and Strength - Reclaiming Jesse's Truth

Inner Shine and Strength - Reclaiming Jesse's Truth

One might ask how I came to this positive mantra and attitude after a 20-something year battle with Anorexia, Depression, fragments left from Abuse (from my ex-boyfriends), Anxiety, Trauma/PTSD and ultimately the death of “an illusion” of the love of my life.  I often found myself in a vicious cycle, when one thing falls and starts rolling down hill, the rest compounds on me...

In The Dying There Is Sweetness

In the dying there is a sweetness. A hollow place within which there are endless possibilities – a spot where we are forced to choose our own design, our own willed destiny.

 

    With possibility comes a raging inner turmoil, a fear impossible for us to get out of our systems, a fog that has eclipsed our reason and shrouded our eyes to the thing that we are and the thing we can become – if we choose to do so.

 

    Memories float in the dying space. Like those weird spots and squiggles that float across our ocular fluid when we squeeze our eyelids shut against the light. Or the darkness.

 

Michelle Bush-Batty...Born To Be

Michelle Bush-Batty...Born To Be

“ I had endured the most oppressive heat and ferocious fire. 


I was torched and set alight during my darkest days and slowly burned from the inside out, through the nights when I felt safe enough to close my eyes. I have sat with brokenness and fear. Violated, intimidated, mistreated, imprisoned… It matters not what label you put on it, abuse always holds the power, raging through you, burning, just like hell. 

The Birth Of Truth

The Birth Of Truth

October 24, 2015

My mental health is at an all-time low. It is scary being here. I miss my old self, my old life, and my old thoughts.

But in my ‘old life’ I was adhering to and believing in a script which no longer applies to where I am at today. For whatever obscure reasons, God has brought me right here. I need to re-write that old script.

Shannon Tells All

Self acceptance? How in the hell am I supposed to except myself when I don't like anything about me? I'm not a good person. I've made so many mistakes and I've hurt so many people. I am a compulsive liar and a thief who turned to a lifestyle of prostitution and violence. How can anyone love me when I can't stand myself?  I hate the way I look. I'm too short, I need to be thinner. I want longer hair. My eyes are too big, I'm not smart enough, fast enough or strong enough. The list goes on and on. these are the thoughts I used to have about myself and so many people have today. 

You see, four years ago I embarked on a journey. My journey to self acceptance. I was depressed and contemplating suicide. I am a mom and a wife and I didn't have an identity. I was lost. "Who am I?", I would ask as I looked in the mirror and did not recognize the woman looking back at me. I have hurt so many people in my life and I have done so much wrong. I blame myself for everything. I was such a screwup. The negative thoughts and self harm is how I coped. What I had done for so long had not worked. I was exhausted. I was at the end of my rope. I wasn't living, I was barely even existing. 

Bethan Arundel Tells All

Bethan Arundel Tells All

"...You see, when you have lived most of your life either circling the drain of depression or struggling for air in it’s dark and treacly depths, happiness feels distinctly uncomfortable. Happiness will only cause you unbearable pain as you will inevitably have to watch it disappear, sitting powerless on the sidelines. So instead of waiting for it to happen, it’s much wiser to take a sledge hammer and destroy it yourself. Of course, this is never a conscious train of thought. It’s deeply subconscious which makes it almost impossible to see it happening or stop it before it does. 

For a long time, I was caught up in this perpetual cycle of creation and destruction, and I can’t begin to explain to you how draining it was. Nowhere was it more evident that in my relationships and jobs. I would burst on to the scene, glittering with all the potential that happy Bethan could possess. Men would fall in love with me, employers would jump to hire me. Everything would be marvellous and I would totally forget that sad Bethan existed. Then, almost like clockwork, I would spot the first tell tale sign and the fated cycle would start again. I would destroy whilst at the same time desperately cling on to that person or job in the faint hope that I could change the outcome...."

Lizz Mears Tells All

Lizz Mears Tells All

"As I sit here, head in my hands, eyes closed. All I can hear are the voices of my care team.
Care plan this, care plan that. My mum is softly crying whilst she talks to my psychiatrist.

I can feel my anxiety rising like a volcano within. I desperately want to scream and run outta here.
I want to run away from the god damn tedium of life. It's the same everyday.

I'm woken by the nurse, ringing the bell as she walks the corridors, knocking on doors and peeking in. Ugh here we go again. Another day filled with trying to survive..."

REALLY REAL REAL TALKS

REALLY REAL REAL TALKS

There is no other ground than my Soul Ground which I would choose to rise off of...

So often I hit rock bottom and had to learn to adapt fast. Grasp onto safety nets, establish edited ways of living, and seriously just hustle. But I've come to this place in my life where I am literally letting every single thing I've ever thought I needed to fully step into my divine purpose (what you see me doing: sharing my story, educating on trauma, loving my tribe fiercely, speaking/writing/advocating/equipping) BURN AWAY...

When Shit Gets Real

HEALING IS HARD SHIT (Like seriously)


Today I break down on camera. Today I sob. Today I show you my healing, in real time, as I discuss what I am walking out today. Today I cry, and break open, so I can release and be free. Today I show you how we can be more than what we've gone through.

TRIGGER WARNING: Abuse. (PTSD. Incest. Childhood Abuse.)
Please respect your own heart, I tell you in the video when to step away, if you want to watch the beginning.

To Feel Is To Live

I am basking in the truths that I am now walking out right now. Truths that have become intrinsic to who I am, and how I live. The space of swaying...

It feels like we are all expanding, and if I know anything about expanding it means that we're also feeling deeply. As my scale opened up, as it moved from "shitty to bad" to more than, I often found that I was invited to create new space within my own heart and body to fit the new life pouring in. Most of the time that means, acknowledging what used to be; the pain, the abuse, the old experiences, the "___". Most of the time it meant feeling.

At times I thought that this was a sign that I was still "broken," but I came to understand more and more that it simply means I'm alive. To feel is to live. Feeling is apart of our freedom, whereas the survival without breath is the space that reminds us when we couldn't feel and live. We couldn't because it was too hard, but now we can (even though at times it's just as hard haha). To see both on the scale means we feel both, and that is not bad.

Finding new ways to serve our hearts is everlasting. Which is why freedom has no expiration date.

Today my body feels many things, as does my heart, but I know where my solid ground is. I know who I am. I know what my resources are. I know what I need and I know how to ask. I'm still working on the receiving part, I think that's just a scarier one for me, but I'm learning. I'm swaying and bending. I'm laying my hands on the sea I was once estranged from, and feeling the waves as they come. When to ride to shore, when to trust dive, when I'm in the deep ocean and can still access that solid ground of freedom.

Healing has created doors and windows and ledges and hope where none should have been. In the deepest waters, in the eye of my many storms, in the chaos of the sandy desert, in the fear of the impending doom....I found my freedom, I found myself.

How do you feel today? What is your body saying? How can you respond? 

Real Talk

Real Talk

This week rocked me to my core, and I am choosing to participate in the dance. To feel, to respond to that feeling, to serve my heart, then...to act. Whether that action is a walk through town, sharing my raw heart with a loved one, or opening up and declaring that I will no longer be silent. 


This is my life, this is my leadership in action, this is my freedom. 


Let's find yours. Let's experience life together. Let's be the community I am so thrilled to not just lead, but be apart of. Be changed by. Step up and commit to going first for. Let's do this life shit together. Because you are not ever alone.

I've Known

I've Known

I've known good fathers, troubled fathers, fathers who love so fiercely and bravely they change the very foundation in which kids see the world. I've known fathers who embody the term "dad jokes," and fathers who choose to put on ballet shoes and dance a duet with their young daughters at recital. My father was a monster, but he isn't the only father I know. 

During my own healing I have been able to face the things my own father stole from me; my own father ripped from my innocent and beautiful heart through over a decade of incest and abuse. I've been able to mourn for my losses, crawl on my knees through the pain, and eventually walk out my healing...and that healing was the catalyst that invited me to see the term "father" with new eyes. Was I scared to learn new trust? Fuck yes. Was I willing and able after walking out my own healing? Yeah. Did I still have choice? Always.

REFLECTION

REFLECTION

For everything stolen, everything hurt, everything lost, every mistake, every failure, every heartbreak, this is for it all. To honor it, to love it, to free it. To reclaim it. We get to feel, we get to choose purpose, we get to discover, we get to find balance, we get to fucking choose...all-the-damn-ways. We get to be free.