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Why the “Just Say No” Campaign Fails

Angie : February 18, 2014 12:56 pm : addiction, fear, parents, self awareness, self worth, teens

So say you just got a brand new job. You have eyed this job forever, it has great pay, great benefits, and an awesome schedule. You are so excited to get to do this every day especially because you’ve been struggling to find a supporting job, you just got out of a really crappy job, and you’re finally making new friends. Then one day your boss comes in and asks you to do something you know isn’t legit, however it’s a small task, chances of getting caught are minimal, no one will be hurt from it, and your boss is emphatic you do it. What do you do? Do you risk this awesome job by saying no or give in with the stipulation of “just one time”?

 

Now, here’s another scenario… You are fully supported at home, have great friends, and feel the most confident you have ever been in your life, you know you can conquer anything, and enjoy life to the fullest. All of a sudden this great new job lands in your lap, you look at it as a great opportunity for advancement and are excited to start. Then just like above, your boss come to you and asks you to break the rules. What do you do?

 

Speaking for myself, I’m pretty darn sure I would’ve said “yes” in the first situation and “no” in the second. Although it was the exact same job and exact same task, I had nothing to lose saying “no” in the second scenario and in the first one I was desperate for that job!

 

This is why the “Just say no” campaign doesn’t work. Yes these kids KNOW it’s not “right” for them to say yes, however the consequences of saying “no” in their mind are too life altering. Plus, they are teens and completely invincible and nothing will really harm them.

 

Education needs to change by giving them the TOOLS to be able to say no! They need to see the TRUE effects of saying yes and we need to bring addiction out of the shadows so they KNOW it CAN happen to them!!

 

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With love, light, and laughter,

Angie 🙂

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Teen angst?

Angie : February 18, 2014 11:36 am : fear, parents, self awareness, self worth, teens, Uncategorized

 

Signs that your teen could be struggling:

  • Retreats to their room more often than not
  • Has aches and pains regularly, especially stomach issues
  • Mood swings
  • Change in normal activities
  • Change in friends
  • Change in music tastes, TV, friends
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    Being a teenager wasn’t easy for me. School came easy, having “friends” wasn’t so hard, however finding true friends I could count on was brutal. We moved a lot thru my middle school years so I was “always” (in my teen brain) having to make new friends. In my personal assessment, that time of my life was horrendous. To add to that my parents always said, “These are the best years of your life!”, to which I would reply (in my head, of course), “Oh shit! I’m screwed!”.

     

    It’s not easy being a teen, however I know it doesn’t have to be hard either. During high school I suffered with horrible depression that was shrugged off as “just a phase” and she’ll grow out of it. I was sick to my stomach every day before school and if given the chance, would sleep for days! Those were NOT normal effects of being a teen, it was depression. It was easy though for others to miss these signs because I got good grades, put a smile on my face, and played the role I thought everyone needed the most, “the perfect daughter”. The solitude of my room was my one escape. In there I listened to sad music, wrote poems about my sadness, prayed and begged for relief, screamed into my pillow, and plotted my escape from my personal hell. For me, relief from that hell didn’t come till college when I realized alcohol would quiet those voices, temporarily of course. It wasn’t until my very late 20’s that I hit a breaking point and realized I needed help. Mind you, I’ve always been very blessed and had a great life. I already had 3 children at this point and volunteered in every activity they had, stayed home with them during the day and worked nights. I was that mom who did everything with a smile, rarely (if ever) said no, and was always with my kids. NOONE knew the torment I hid so very, very well!

     

    I had learned early on that putting a smile on was way easier than dealing with what was going on inside, until the breaking point. That was when my whole world changed, I took a deep inventory of my demons, faced them, and created an inner smile to match my outer one. My kids were growing up, I was starting to say “no” more often, putting myself first, and teaching my children how important self acceptance was and applauding their uniqueness. Then, all of a sudden, the rug was pulled out from under me and although I had been preaching and living self love, meditation, and the power of energy to my children, I realized my oldest daughter was suffering in a hell of her own.

     

    She had watched me during those early years and learned what I didn’t want to be teaching, that putting a mask on was easy and playing the role of a “perfect” daughter was easier than dealing with what was going on inside. Thankfully she confided in a friend, who told her mother, who told me, however I was totally blindsided. I knew she was going thru some emotional stuff because we talked openly daily. I took it seriously but also had the thought in the back of my mind that it was normal teen angst and would blow over. I had no idea though the true extent of her pain. This was when I realized that even if you have a great relationship with your daughter, your daughter’s friends, and she is doing well in school, she can still be suffering inside and not be able to tell you.

     

    At this point she started seeing a friend of mine who does the same work I do and her life started to change. She was very resistant at first, however I told her, “I make you go to school and learn reading, writing, and math, and you’re seeing my friend so you can learn about your emotions, how they affect you, and how to handle them in a healthy way.” After a few weeks I started to see the light back in her eyes and she was feeling much stronger with herself. Her horrible mood swings were barely there, she interacted with us, and there were way less fights in the house. Of course, there are still the ups and downs of life and learning, that is expected, however she has a much better foundation on which to grow.

     

    I learned so much thru this process and realized our girls these days are facing so much more than we ever did. Cyber bullying is rampant, self harm, eating disorders, drug abuse, and abusive relationships are all on the rise. Our children are suffering and it’s not being addressed. There is so much more pressure on our children that there ever was on us. Multiple sports, AP and Honors classes, college, jobs, statuses… we’re pushing them to do adult tasks without giving them the foundation from which to build on. We aren’t allowing their growth by letting them make mistakes, we’re so frightful of hurting them and scarring them for life. That does NOT have to be the case! You can allow them to be themselves, while creating appropriate boundaries, support them in their strengths, while allowing them to rise and fall. Our children need to know the labels of society do not dictate who they are inside, that they ARE strong enough to say “NO”, and they do matter, but most importantly, they need to be able to feel worthy of it all. If they are strong within themselves, love themselves, congratulate themselves, are proud of themselves, they’ll have no problems standing on their own and being who they were meant to be! 

     

    Give them the tools to deal with these teenage years in a healthy way, allow them to vent their frustrations, give them permission to find out what suits them best, and create clear, consistent boundaries for them so they know just how far they can push the envelope. Register for Teen Empowerment Academy HERE

     

    With love, light, and laughter,

    Angie 🙂  

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    If you have nothing nice to say…

    Angie : February 13, 2014 1:57 pm : addiction, fear, parents, self awareness, self harm, self worth, Uncategorized

    I wish I could express just how painful it is for me to see all the judgment in this world. Everywhere I turn, someone is judging someone else. Yes, there are occasional uplifting posts and I steer my life to have the most like minded people in it, however the judgment keeps invading my space. My heart hurts, is heavy, and so saddened for all the families, mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, children, and the like that have to see sheer hatred come from others about their loved ones.

     

    I’m sure you’ve heard the statement… “Don’t judge unless you’ve walked a mile in my shoes.” Well, that statement is so misguided. There is NO way you can walk in someone else’s shoes and honestly even if you have experienced the SAME loss, trauma, etc, you STILL don’t know how it feels for them!

     

    I have to keep reminding myself why people judge others:

    1. They feel bad about themselves and project those feelings onto others

    2. They are ignorant to the situation they are commenting on.

    3. They are triggered by some past relatable event that makes them angry, sad, etc. and project those feelings onto someone else.

     

    No matter how you look at it, when people are judgmental it is because they are judging themselves and hurting. HOWEVER, this does not make it any easier for the people on the receiving side of the judgment!!! It hurts to our core, even when we know better, it triggers in us the sadness, hurt, anger we already feel in the situation! 

     

    IF you are hurting so bad, you need to hurt others, please seek help to find out why you feel this behavior is acceptable. If you choose not to do that, then please, keep your opinions to yourself. Just like your mom and grandmom always said… “If you have nothing nice to say, then say nothing at all.”

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    With love and light,

    Angie 🙂

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    My Why…

    Angie : February 10, 2014 6:29 pm : Uncategorized

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    Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve wanted to be a Mom. Most girls I knew dreamt of their weddings, what they would wear, how their future husband would look or propose to them, practice writing their “new” last names, etc. NOT me! I dreamt of having 10 kids!! That was until I realized I would need a large van to transport them all, so I lowered my sights to only 7, hahaha! I couldn’t wait to be a mom! When my first son was born I was in heaven! I loved being pregnant (although I had horrible morning sickness) and holding him that first moment hooked me even more! I knew that motherhood was for me and spent the next few years “trying” to be super mom! Oh my…. I know you’re shaking your head right now! 🙂

    I learned quickly through a beautifully placed breakdown that life was no longer lived on my terms alone and if I wanted to enjoy life I needed to change my behaviors and allow myself to say “no” and make mistakes. This was NOT an easy realization! It was a very lonely, sad, disturbing place and I cried, broke down, and yelled A LOT! However, during this process is when I found myself (the woman behind the mom) and my passion in life, or my why 🙂

     

    I took a thorough inventory of my life and realized the ONLY thing I had ever had control over is me! I am responsible for the way I act and react. No one can make me freak out, I do that myself. I noticed some of the behaviors I disliked the most about myself showing up within my children! Something needed to change, very quickly, and that’s where my journey to now truly began!

     

    I KNOW what it feels like to be so overwhelmed you want to escape, curl up in the closet and cry your eyes out! I KNOW what it feels like to look into your children’s eyes after you’ve “lost it” and screamed at them for the umpteenth time! It hurts our souls and it does NOT need to be that way!!!!! Let me repeat…. IT DOES NOT NEED TO BE THAT WAY!!! It is NEVER too late to assess where you’re at, to choose to do the work, and move forward into a more loving and powerful way! YOU are worth it! YOU owe it to yourself and your children to show them that standing strong in who you are and finding your voice is not only acceptable but necessary to live a joyous life!!

     

    Believe me, I know it isn’t always easy to take that step and sometimes it truly takes a breakdown of some sort to propel you into action, however no matter how hard it is, it is easier than living in your current state of pain. When I had my turning point, I was using alcohol to numb the pain, striking out in anger to those around me because I felt so crappy about myself, crying myself to sleep, and plotting my way out continuously. YOU can do this! I KNOW you can and have faith in you!!!

     

    With love, light, and laughter,

    Angie 🙂

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    YOU are worth it!

    Angie : February 5, 2014 11:02 am : fear, parents, self awareness, self worth, Uncategorized

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    A common thread I see so often is feeling unworthy. This feeling doesn’t discriminate… young, old, man, woman, it affects us all. Lately it has gotten me to think, what standard are we judging ourselves against? There isn’t a rulebook that says what qualifies as unworthy. In fact, it’s just the opposite. When a baby is born we all see potential, newness, fresh starts, and wonder. They’re so full of love and awe at this great big world. As we grow we learn good and bad, right and wrong, from those around us. However, they’re teaching from what they learned as children, so it’s skewed to their personal belief systems.

     

     

    We can only teach what we know or think we know,  what we’ve had personal experience in, because that is what gives us our perception. For example, my 2 yr old could not teach his friend the stove was hot, unless he knew that from experience.

     

     

    So what if what your parents taught you was flawed because they had no perception of what you would face? Does going against their teachings still make you unworthy? Could it be that you’re having experiences in life that will help you in the future? Maybe to help teach others what you’ve learned? Is your worth measured by others or by your inner knowing? I know for years and years I felt unworthy of anything good in my life. I was the Queen of Self-Sabotage. If life was going well I would destroy it before it had a chance of destroying me. In fact, I still struggle with it from time to time. Am I worthy enough to write this post, to do the work that I’m doing, to raise these beautiful children of mine, or even to live in my nice house?

     

     

    What works for me when I start worrying about my worth is this…

    1. Find gratitude in me. I take an assessment of all the qualities I have that I am grateful for.

    2. I am statements like: I am worthy, I am beautiful, I am allowed to make mistakes and learn from them, I am forgiven for what I didn’t know then.

    3. Acknowledging my worth and then forgiving myself for not seeing it before or beating myself up over it.

     

    We are all worthy of being loved and loving ourselves. Allow that in your life. Allow yourself to see how truly amazing you are just by being you.

     

    With love, light, and laughter,

    Angie 🙂

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