Respond, Don’t React

“When you react to something someone says or does, you may have a problem with boundaries. If someone is able to cause havoc by doing or saying something, she is in control of you at that point and your boundaries are lost.

When you respond, you remain in control with options and choices. If you feel yourself reacting, step away and gain control of yourself so family members, can’t force you to do or say something you do not want to do or say, & something that violates your separateness.

When you have kept your boundaries, choose the best option. The difference between responding and reacting is choice. When you are reacting, they are in control. When you respond, you are in control.” – Boundaries, Dr. Henry Cloud & Dr. John Townsend

So let’s take a minute to look at the difference between reacting and responding. Reactions are instant, they are driven by our beliefs, attitudes, biases, etc.

A response, however, usually comes more slowly. It’s based on information from both our conscious (aware) mind and our unconscious mind ( beliefs, attitudes, etc)

These two may look a lot alike, but they FEEL different. We all know the difference. The point is though, that the more reacting we do, the less empowered we are. When we do this, we are operating on unconscious beliefs and process that we aren’t even aware of, which, in all honesty has the potential to make us look really stupid if we aren’t careful.

“When I look back on my knee-jerk reactions now, I realize I should have just taken a breath.” -Fred Durst

On January 1st my new 40 Day Self Love Resolution Challenge will begin! If you need some help learning to love yourself, how to put “loving yourself” into action, and new tools and skills for increasing your self love, this is the course for you!

You’ll also get access to a “Private” Facebook Group with other women participating in the challenge for support and daily reminders, etc! If you are interested click here and send me a message!

Or learn more &/or sign up for the challenge here!

Sharing is Caring! If you LOVE this article SHARE IT!! 🙂

Mommy Monday: Megan Rix

Mommy Monday: Megan Rix

from the Blog, “This Anchored Life: Measured by Love & Spoons”

This blog post goes out to all the moms raising strong willed child. Anyone who has a sweet, kind toddler, who sits quietly in a restaurant coloring or plays alone while you get things done will probably not understand this at all and will most likely think I am a horrible mom. But, I’m willing to lend my sassy pants beauty over for a trip to the grocery store in case you’re curious. Or just go to my google search history and see how many times I’ve typed the words, “activities for a strong willed child” and maybe that will give you some insight.

It’s funny. We say “strong willed” because calling your own kid an expletive that starts with an a and rhymes with shmashole is frowned upon in society. Don’t get me wrong, I love my little human so much it hurts. I would never try to coerce her strong willed character out of her. I know that it will make her into an assertive, brave, and confident young woman one day. But that doesn’t mean I am oblivious to how much she will test my human will on her way to becoming that strong young woman.

To begin, there’s consistent use of the word no. I’m not talking about the average toddler use of the word no. I’m talking about this being my child’s favorite word. A word that is used hundreds of times a day in defiance. A word that is said with brute force, attitude, and bellowed at a decibel that once again makes my neighbors (and anyone in public really) question my ability to parent. If you are a parent to a strong willed child, you know exactly what happens when you try to win the battle of “no” and challenge them to do something they have clearly indicated will not be done. I like to follow up these challenges with a bottle of champagne.          

Then there are the facial expressions. Little miss thang has a WTF face that literally makes me slightly afraid of her. It’s like she’s flipping you off with her eyes. It is even a running joke in my circle of friends that Mack is going to need Botox soon, because the wrinkles between her eyebrows will be so deep from frowning by then that she’ll have no hope by the time she’s 30. You receive this look anytime you try to initiate a conversation within 30 minutes of her waking up. When you get her juice-to-water ratio wrong. If you ask her to climb down from something or hand over a sharp object. If you try to stop her from eating dirt, marbles, plastic, legos, or prevent her from licking the sliding glass door. Or simply if she doesn’t like your face. Want to know what goes along with those facial expressions? Reread the paragraph above this one. 

 

 

No one is exempt from her attitude…most especially her big brother. My kids could not be any more opposite and what Mack possesses in sass, Grant carries equally in sensitivity. He’s the boy you’ll want your daughter to marry when they’re older, but right now he’s just an easy target. Mack knows exactly which buttons to push and spends her day antagonizing poor G by stealing whatever he’s currently holding, pulling his hair, kicking him in the face from her carseat, and my personal favorite, lying on the ground fake crying when he’s having a meltdown. No, not for attention. Because at 2, she is making fun of him by mimicking him.    

Mack is also fearless. To date, she has climbed the refrigerator, walked into my room with a butcher knife which she retrieved after scaling the cabinets with her toes, jumped off of every tall surface in our house, tipped the dining room chairs over a dozen times as she tried to tightrope walk across the backs of them. Fallen off the trash can. You get the idea. Daddy also had to build her a special frame on the floor for her crib bed to sit on because she could crawl out before she was a year old. 

Research you say? Yep, I’ve done that. I’ve read tons of mommy blogs and online articles. Basically the most consistent advice for not losing your mind is to put your seatbelt on, hold on for dear life, and harness patience from Tibetan monks. Oh, and love them like crazy, because one day that strong will is going to serve them abundantly in life. Until then, I will find the joy in watching her chug her sippy cup of “appy juice” and then hurl it to the ground like a viking warrior.

Because there is also an incredibly sweet and cuddly side to Miss Mack. One that melts your heart and leads you to cover her chubby little cheeks in kisses. She loves exclaiming that she loves you at random times, with as much gusto as her exclamation of “no!”. She loves when you read her books. She loves to share her snacks (on her terms). She loves to be rocked to sleep and while this can sometimes take up to an hour at night, I relish this time because in those quiet moments, when she’s snuggled in my arms, all is right in the world. I remember that the years when she will too big to sit on my lap will come fast and furious, just like her current attitude. I remember that even though she came at me with a right hook when I tried to put her hair in a ponytail, one day we will do all the things I still love to do with my mom. Even though I am married with my own children, my mom is still my best friend. I hope Mack looks at me that same way too.

So if you have a strong willed child, I see you. I understand you when other parents try to give you advice you’ve already tried, or tell you that it’s a phase, or that all kids are this way at some point. Side note, they’re not. I see the expression you make when people say, “just bring the kids with you, they’ll be fine.” I’m with you eating at home because restaurant trips are like the odds in Vegas. Not good. I feel your pain when you get looks of disapproval from strangers…because why yes, perfect stranger, I absolutely train my child to have epic meltdowns every time they come in contact with other humans.

One day, we’ll all sit back and smile when our strong willed children become CEO’s and professional athletes. The one thing I know for sure is that when people ask me if I am having any more kids.

My answer is one word.

No.     

SHARING IS CARING

Mommy Monday: Stephie Simpson

Stephie Simpson Mommy Monday

Let me take a moment to introduce myself; I’m Stephie a punk rock, crime drama obsessed, married mum of two from the beautiful county of North Yorkshire in the North of England. I am your typical 30 year old mum of two; although I blog at www.colitistoostomy.com and have been chronically sick since I was 10 with Ulcerative Colitis, where ulcers form inside your large intestine and often bleed, a form of Inflammatory Bowel Disease. I would like to talk to you if I may; about being a chronically sick parent and what it is like to be sick and be pregnant.

I never wanted children if I’m honest; I always wanted to be cool auntie Steph, although I never thought anyone would want to stick with me long enough to have children, let alone marry me! That had nothing to do with my illness because having it from such a young age it was a part of me, I never let it define me. When I had my large bowel removed and a pouch formed from my small bowel to my rectum I was told my fertility may drop by 25%. At the age of 21 with a partner of 3 years who also didn’t want children (at least with me) it honestly never bothered me. I do remember talking to him and mentioning it to which he responded with “If it happens, it happens.” If I’m honest I still don’t know how I feel about that comment!

But as it happens we never did fall pregnant, which in hindsight was such a good thing because 2 years later we broke up and I got together with the man I was later to marry; my 00Steve. You know I mentioned I never wanted kids? Well it all changed about 6 months into being with 00Steve, we were engaged and living together (I know quick work right?!) Just before Christmas 2010 I don’t know what but something inside changed and every time I looked at him I just knew I wanted to have a family with him. Part of me was absolutely terrified of the chance of not being able to have a family with him but we persevered for around 1.5 years before we finally got those two little lines on our test.

Now that pregnancy was far from easy! In fact I swear I must have been in and out of the maternity ward every week. My obstetrics consultant believed it was due to a massive amount of scar tissue and adhesions in the bowel; now he wasn’t totally wrong as I had had open surgery which left me with a 10 inch scar down my belly, plus polyhydraminos which is where you have an increase in amniotic fluid.  I saw him recently and we discussed how it was actually undiagnosed Pouchitis which in simple terms is Ulcerative Colitis in the pouch; the realisation that swept across his face was exactly the same as mine when I realised!

I had an elective caesarean section due to the previous surgery and unfortunately that happened on my second wedding anniversary! Only I had an issue with that of course, but at 12:52pm we set eyes on our unbelievably gorgeous daughter Lyra-Beth who weighed a dinky 6lb 6oz and was born to Weezer – Islands in the Sun. I remember turning to 00Steve begging him not to make me go through another pregnancy and having needles in my back; just the thought of them gives me raised anxiety.

I suffered with post natal depression after my daughter was born. 00Steve was able to take 6 weeks off on paternity and was pretty much the sole caregiver to Lyra-Beth as I was in lots of pain and still bleeding heavily. Him being able to take time off work was a God send to me to give me time to heal but it highlighted something in my brain that I wasn’t a good enough mum; that I was struggling unnecessarily and finding things far more difficult than I should have been. Now looking back that is a completely normal way for a new mum to feel especially someone that didn’t have much to do with children other than a nephew and the odd friend’s child. But at the time it was truly awful.

I then started to believe in myself as a mum although entirely jealous of the bond Lyra-Beth has with her dad, which was a good thing as we moved away from family and friends and I had to trust myself as a mum.  But no sooner as I had found that strength I got sick again typically just as I had decided I was mentally ready to try for another child, but this time it was different than before; with no regular flare symptoms to warn me that a hospital admission may be looming or when to take a rest it was scary. 00Steve swapped his shifts so he was at home on an evening to help out, I remember one night counting down the minutes till he got home so I could take my morphine, rocking on the kitchen floor due to being in agony and Lyra-Beth stroking me telling me it was okay. She was 2! My 2 year old was taking care of her mother in a sense and I never wanted it to be that way.

I knew I needed to keep going until my next surgery date which was to remove the area of infected small intestine and my rectum, but it didn’t stop me seriously contemplating suicide a few weeks before my surgery date. I admitted myself the next day to the surgical ward as I seriously needed some more help but as my surgeon was on (much needed) leave of his own my surgery date couldn’t be brought forward any earlier.

The second I woke up from my surgery I was in sweet relief, I knew instantly life with my ileostomy was going to be so much better than before and I was finally going to be able to be the mum my daughter deserved. But having more abdominal surgery left the chances of being able to fall pregnant once again up in the air. My surgeon was pretty honest with me and said he honestly didn’t know if I could or couldn’t but didn’t see any harm in trying. I thought that was completely fair and after everything I had been through we still had a beautiful, healthy and happy little girl and that was more than enough if we couldn’t conceive again.

But just two short months later we found out we were expecting again which was pretty amazing and exciting but it sadly wasn’t meant to be as the baby stopped developing at 6 weeks but I didn’t start to miscarry till I was 8 weeks. It was and still is really hard to deal with as no support is offered to people who suffer the loss of miscarriage, yes it was only early but I had so much love for that little Bean and all the what if’s? What would they have been like? What did I do wrong? We were told after I had the first period after the miscarriage we were safe to try again and that you are often quite fertile for a few weeks after. Now I’m sure if I didn’t fall pregnant the month later I would have been devastated after hearing the spiel about the fertility spike.

But we were incredibly lucky in our eyes to fall pregnant and this time it was a much easier pregnancy than with my daughter but I had the constant fear of “Will I lose this one too?” my ileostomy only stretched a small amount in size which I was thankful for but when I hit the third trimester I started struggling with increased pain and once again it was blamed on all my colorectal surgeries. I had planned to have a natural birth this time but at 27 weeks I knew I wouldn’t be able to cope with the pain. But the week before the caesarean date I was admitted to maternity with what seemed like early labour. There was nothing happening but it wasn’t really deemed safe for me to go home and after fighting with a obstetrics consultant that it wasn’t what was left of my bowel giving me grief I was diagnosed with “hypersensitivity to pain” which every Doctor I have seen since told me it was a cop out.

 

Our son Jacob was delivered after I freaked out as we had a plan in place with the anesthetist to help me cope with the needles in my back but all of a sudden everything got rushed and nothing had been put into place. The birth is something I am still trying to deal with mentally so I apologize for skipping over it but if you wish to read more please head on over to ( http://colitistoostomy.com/momostomy/traumatic-birth/#more-1819 ) as someone who is already in a heightened state of anxiety this was not going well!

We eventually got the needles in and Jacob weighed 6lbs 15oz was born at 11:26am to +44 – When you’re Heart Stops Beating. He was just the spitting image of his older sister and it was love at first sight; just looking at him made all the anxiety wash away until the consultant who blamed my stoma for everything asked me if I had already had one of my ovaries removed. Now this was quite alarming as I was undergoing a routine sterilization and as far as I was aware was still intact other than missing a rectum and intestines.

Once she asked 00Steve to leave the room she told me that she could only find one ovary so she thinks she clipped it but couldn’t be sure! That was it the anxiety came flooding back and needless to say 00Steve wasn’t happy on his return. I had opted for a sterilisation because we only ever discussed having two children and I could deal with being chronically sick and parenting to an extent but I seriously struggled with pregnancy. I didn’t want to have to consider having an abortion when just taking the tablets after my miscarriage felt enough like that. It has taken 5 months of fighting from me, my health visitor and the consultant who delivered my daughter to find out if I had been sterilised correctly and to help heal the mental anguish I still suffer from Jacobs’s traumatic entrance into the world.

So having a 4 year old and a 5 month old whilst still chronically sick is definitely a challenge I wouldn’t change for the world. I definitely live and breathe my children and hope that them having a Mum that isn’t always able to run around after them but can still do sit down activities will teach them to be more empathetic and kinder to those around them as you never know what is going on behind closed doors.

Do you feel that being chronically sick affects your parenting or how your body copes with pregnancy? Or did you suffer a traumatic birth with one of your babies? Please don’t hesitate to contact me either in the comments or via www.facebook.com/colitistoostomy www.twitter.com/colitistoostomy or www.instagram.com/colitis_to_ostomy thank you all for reading.

Share Stephie’s Story!!

Feature Friday: GLOW

An Original Netflix Series: GLOW

GLOW: Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling

Have you watched this AMAZING show on Netflix, Glow?? If you have, then you know how truly freaking awesome this show is!! The series tells the story of how the women in wrestling came to be a part of the wrestling world during the 1980s. Some of the main characters include Alison Brie as Ruth Wilder (aka the “Russian Bad girl”), Betty Gilpin (Dr. Carrie Roman from Nurse Jackie) plays Ruth’s best friend (& the “American Hero”).

You learn from the first episode that Ruth is sleeping with a married man & by the second episode we find out that he’s married to Ruth’s best friend, Debbie. The following scenes and interactions between the two are a more realistic response to this situation, than I have ever seen in a TV show.

At one point during the show, Debbie makes a comment to Ruth, “Sometimes I really fucking hate you for making it where we can never be able to have a normal decent conversation again.” This quote hit me pretty hard, just because I’ve been in this situation where my best friend hooked up with my boyfriend (in high school), and it was extremely difficult for me to deal with, so I understood where Debbie was coming from but I also could see Ruth’s side of the situation and she was honestly upset about it, and took responsibility for what she did. However, just because Ruth handled it well, minus the whole affair in the first place, doesn’t mean that Debbie could forgive her and just move on.

Anyway the point I’m trying to make here is that the show focuses on the experiences of real women. So often the media portrays things that happen in life in a way that causes people to question themselves, and/or their decisions that they make. Even the way someone is talked about in the media can distort our thinking about ourselves!

Think back to when news came out that an NFL player abused his wife, and then video surfaced to further provide proof for the incident that took place. Do you remember how talk show hosts talked about the women involved??

They asked questions like, “if he did this before they were married, why did she marry him in the first place??” Unfortunately, abuse is not that simple. There is a lot more to it than what people outside of the relationship are seeing! Abuse is a cycle, that continues and grows worse over time. The person doing the abusing seems charming and as if he/she could never be capable of such behavior. Not to mention, threat after threat might be given if the person being abused doesn’t do what the abuser asks. My point is, don’t make assumptions about anyone’s relationship behind closed doors, because most likely, YOU HAVE ZERO IDEA OF WHAT IT IS REALLY LIKE.

Now let’s circle back to Glow! (My ADHD might have kicked in just a little)

The opening scene is one that has more importance than it may seem when first watching, but the scene opens with Ruth auditioning for a role in a movie. When she finishes reading her lines, the audition lady, corrects her and tells her she read for the wrong part, and tells her she needs to read it again doing the right part. This sounds like no big deal BUT, it is! This is an example of how women were seen and treated during this period of time in our culture.

Could you imagine being seen as good for nothing but secretarial work or something “nice to look at?” Just be glad that that is not something we have to worry about anymore!

Glow also shows many different shapes, sizes, and colors of women, as well as examples of healthy relationships and friendships between women. PLUS it takes place in the 80s!! You know what that means?!?!?! BIG HAIR, AND LOTS OF MAKE UP! AND The costumes are AWESOME!! This show is just all around a good one for you to add to the TOP of your list!

Let me know in the comments if you have already watched it! What did you think?? I’m looking forward to hearing your opinions!!

 

Self Care Sunday

Self Care Sunday!

Here again already!

I have a poem for you today.

Autobiography in Five Short Chapters 

By Portia Nelson

I walk; down the street

There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.

I fall in

I am lost… I am helpless

It isn’t my fault,

It takes forever to find a way out.

II

I walk down the same street.

There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.

I pretend I don’t see it.

I fall in again.

I can’t believe I am in the same place.

But it isn’t my fault.

It still takes a long time to get out.

III

I walk down the same street…

There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.

I see it is there.

I still fall in… it’s a habit.

My eyes are open.

I know where I am.

It is my fault.

I get out immediately.

IV

I walk dow the same street,

There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.

I walk around it.

V

I walk down another street.

 

If this resonates with you, why does it resonate with you? Does this make you see more clearly the problem you may be a part of when your relationships continue to end badly, or go badly to begin with?

If this sounds all too familiar to you, join my Smart Lioness Pride Facebook group and comment on the thread discussing this post or shoot me a message on Facebook by clicking here if you would like to discuss this more in a private setting.

Click here to get your downloadable version of the Hole in the Sidewalk

Mommy Monday – Shannon Lusk

The Smart Lioness’ – 1st MOMMY MONDAY!!!
Introducing Shannon Allen Lusk
Shannon, Lucy, & her Husband James

Hi!  I’m Shannon.  I am a wife, Social Worker (with a degree from Auburn University), daughter, sister, and of course, proud mommy of a sweet and squishy little 6 month old, Lucy.

 

Lucy, 6 months

Hillary asked me to write an entry for her Mommy Mondays blog a few weeks ago, and I’ve finally mustered up the courage to share some of my new mommy “insight” with y’all.  With a little encouragement (and pushing) from Hillary, I finally decided to write on one of the most essential parts of every relationship we have: communication.

*DISCLAIMER: I’m new to this whole Mommy thing, so please take what I say lightly. This is in no way meant to mommy-shame or imply that I have it altogether, because I certainly do not. These are just some of the thoughts I have as I navigate through this new and unfamiliar phase of my life.

Lucy, Flower Child 🙂

After my husband and I got married on August 29, 2015 we knew we didn’t want to wait long before starting a family.  And to our surprise we found out I was expecting about a month before our first anniversary.  I went through all of the emotions you would typically expect after seeing that positive pregnancy test, but I can very vividly remember thinking, “Gosh, I hope it’s a boy.”  I wouldn’t necessarily consider myself the worst teenager but I also know that I wasn’t the easiest to live with, and I was (and still am) scared to raise a teenage girl because let’s face it, karma really is a b**$h.  But low and behold, here I sit with a beautiful, healthy, and happy six month old baby girl that I wouldn’t trade for anything.

As soon as I found out we would be bringing home the daughter that I was already terrified of, I decided that I would work my hardest to let her know how much I would love, accept, and support her.  I have had enough education and experiences (as a Social Worker) to know that communication between children and their parents will significantly impact the child’s life; your past relationships will always influence your current and future relationships.  But how do you communicate with a child who can’t speak yet and (probably) doesn’t understand a word you’re saying?

 

Before we get into that, I think it’s important to emphasize that every child is different and every mother is different, so as a result, every communication style between a mother and her child will be different.  The methods that work for Lucy and I may not have the same results for you and your child(ren).  Therefore, I believe it is important to develop your own style of communication that will help mold these important relationships. 

I’m sure you have heard of The Five Love Languages written by Gary Chapman (which I am a huge fan of and highly recommend you reading), but you may not know that he has also written The Five Love Languages of Children.  In the book overview he writes, “Everything depends on the love relationship between you and your child. When children feel loved, they do their best… Discover your child’s primary language and learn what you can do to effectively convey unconditional feelings of respect, affection, and commitment that will resonate in your child’s emotions and behavior.”

 

This is just one of the many resources floating around that can help you decipher how to better communicate with and love your child(ren), but again we’re back to the question I had earlier: How do you communicate with a child who can’t speak yet and (probably) doesn’t understand a word you’re saying?

To answer that question that haunted me for most of the 10 months of my pregnancy (that’s not a typo, 40 weeks = 10 months so don’t believe any of that 9 month garbage they tell you) I reflected back on my teenage years.  You know, back when I knew everything and thought my parents were clueless.  And I realized that, if I had known that my parents actually experienced, and understood many of the same emotions (and hormones) that I was trying to navigate through as teenager, maybe, I would have heeded their advice more often than I did. 

So I came up with the idea to write a journal to Lucy, one entry each month for the first year of her life and then at least one entry per year (I plan to have some “bonus entries” thrown in every now and then).  My strategy is to give the journal to her on her 16th birthday (when her teenage rage will most likely be at its peak) so she will hopefully understand that like her, I too have real emotions and can possibly relate to many of the hardships that she will no doubt experience in her teenage years, and even beyond. 

As of now, most of the entries are just chronicling the milestones she’s reaching each month, but I always make sure to include some of my hopes for her future.  I try to encourage her independence and reassure her strengths as a woman – I pray that she will fall in love with herself before she falls in love with anyone else.  I also write often about my marriage so she will be able to recognize and engage in healthy relationships of her own once she is ready.  And although I write about my life choices, I encourage her to choose her own path – one that will make her the happiest, and I assure her that I will always support the decisions that she makes.  The main goal I hope to achieve from this journal is for Lucy to one day be able to read all of the important things I may not get the chance or take the time to tell her.

 

Lucy with her journal

 

Another creative communication technique that may work for you (and something I intend to do as Lucy gets older) is writing letters to each other on a regular basis.  I think this is such a fun and non-threatening way to encourage honesty between you and your child(ren).  It opens up a line of communication that is constant and confidential, and also protects you from making the “Oh my gosh!” face in front of your kid if/when they drop some really shocking information on you. 

The Center for Effective Parenting states that, “Effective, open communication takes a lot of hard work and practice. Parents should remember that they will not be perfect. Parents make mistakes. What is important is that parents make the effort to effectively communicate with their children starting when their children are very young. The result will be a much closer, positive relationship between parents and their children.” 

Like I mentioned earlier in the post, these ideas may or may not work for you and your child(ren).  You might already be dealing with teenagers, or don’t have the time to sit down and write on a regular basis, or writing just may not be your forte.  But I challenge you to find a way to increase the communications you’re currently having with your child(ren), because it can only improve your relationship.  There is a plethora of resources online, or you could reach out to Hillary Ivey Montijo @thesmartlioness – she is an EXPERT in communication! 

If you have a creative and effective form of communication that you want to share, please comment below.  I’d love to hear your ideas!

Thanks for reading,

      Shannon Allen Lusk

What Do You Mean.. “Unapologetically Me?”

“Unapologetically Me”

What does it mean to be “unapologetically me?” That’s the question, I have had on my mind lately, the “way of living” I’m trying to describe to you, and myself. I know it when I see it! That’s for sure! When you think of people who are unapologetically themselves, who do you think of?

First person that comes to my mind is, Wendy Williams! I just love that woman! She is just completely herself, or she’s a damn good actress because she seems genuine AF to me!

Another badass lady that comes to my mind is Lucille Ball! Hell! One of my favorite quotes is from Lucy herself, “Love yourself first, and everything else falls into line.” And clearly, Lucille Ball had shit figured out! Now more than ever, is it important to remember this quote! So many people lose themselves in their partner, in their work, or into their problems, because we all, at least at some point in our lives, fail to follow this BASIC, BUT KEY RULE, of living a fulfilling and happy life!!

WHY? Why, Do we do this to ourselves?
  1. We think it’s our religious or Christian duty.

We think it’s our religious duty to “put others first, before ourselves,” or “make sacrifices.”  But God did not mean for us to do so at our expenses.  Become “one flesh” does not mean that you lose yourself in your husband, it means you make a life together, and you share an intimacy & bond that entwines your souls together, so you don’t have to lose yourself.  Your relationship is intimate not only sexually, but more importantly, emotionally.

2. We have damaged boundaries, or a lack of boundaries all together.

Our boundaries are our property lines, and what separates us, and what keeps us protected from other people. If you don’t have boundaries, it’s like being in a dark, dangerous alley at night and not expecting something bad to happen. Our boundaries keep us from being emotionally hurt or abused. Our boundaries are those lines that we lay down with everyone in our life, the people that love us and respect our boundaries have no problem dealing with this, however the people in your life that have boundary issues, will not handle it so smoothly.

3. We don’t value ourself, or know our own worth.

If you are the same woman that doesn’t take care of herself, because “she’s trying to be a good Christian,” did you forget that being a Christian means you are a child of God, born in his image. There’s worth in simply being that, girl! OPEN YOUR EYES! God made you to be some thing completely and totally unique, but you can’t see it because you’re too busy counting the wrinkles that keep popping up, or too busy pretending you are happy and fulfilled to realize you have totally lost your worth, your respect for yourself.

 

If you are guilty of one or all three of the above reasons I listed, PLEASE consider signing up for my NEW Program beginning October 1st. It is an 8 week interactive program that not only teaches you how to make a lifestyle change but helps provides everything you need to commit to living a life that’s yours!!

Do you feel like you base your happiness and worth on what other people think of you? 

Do you put everyone else’s feelings as priorities, but not your own? 

Is heartbreak becoming way too familiar to you? 

Are you experiencing more stress/anxiety & fear than you are health & happiness?

Well then, my Lovely Lioness, it’s time to make a change!! The first step starts with investing in yourself!!

 

  • 8 Lioness Lessons over the course of 8 weeks (Weekly Live videos)

– 8 Yoga Classes with Laura Lee Stjernstrom

– 6 Color Me Quickers – Adults That Love Coloring Adult Coloring Sheets


– Budgeting PDFs From Bossfidence


– 2 Workouts with Saje Cox Loftin from #SajeCoxFitness Sisters


+Plus: Gratitude Journal PDF, Self Love Journal Page, Goal Setting PDF, Self Assessments AND MORE SURPRISES ARE IN THE WORKS!!! 

+AND — I’m like having your very own Tinkerbell/Fairy Godmother/Cheerleader all in one!! 😉 You Message me & almost always get an IMMEDIATE answer!

Pay once for the Full 8 week program- $150 & SAVE $50
OR -The First 4 weeks for $100 —Pay another $100 later for second half.

When we invest money in ourselves and in our own personal development & growth, we tend to invest more emotionally as well. When you spend money on something, aren’t you going to try and get your money’s worth?? WELL you SHOULD! A Smart Lioness ALWAYS DOES!

Click here to sign up for “Unapologetically Me” Full 8 Weeks

Click here to sign up for “Unapologetically Me” Mini – 4 Weeks

Or Click here to message me on Facebook if you have questions!

 

Help Me Develop My Next Product!

Hello my Lovely Lionesses!

 

I have been laying low on the blog lately because I have been working on some new products to provide you gals! But I need your help! I’m having writer’s block except for creating new products, not really writing! YOU know what I mean!! ..right?

Anyway, I was working on a new free 7 day series on Boundaries, then started rethinking my topic because I’m not sure if that’s what you all want to work on. So I decided to just come straight to the source and ask you! What would you like for my next FREEBIE Series to be? If you could have anything, no matter how much you think it would cost, what would you like to see “in my store?” (Clearly I don’t have a store, & most of what I provide can’t be bought in a store anyway, but it gives a good visual, don’t you think?) But for real, tell me!

I’m also heading in a slightly different direction than I’ve been going with my content, focus, etc as far as products/services that I offer go. My blog is always going to have multiple topics and types of content because… because that’s just how I LIKE IT!! 🙂

So here is a little bit to give you an idea of where I’m headed…

How to Relationship in the Real World

        For the ladies who have been cheated on, mistreated, & wronged! For the ladies who are PASSED PISSED & ready to move on to healthier, happier places!

I’m liking PASSED PISSED as a title of something FA SHO!  It just has a good ring to it! 🙂

So let me hear from YOU!! What do YOU want??? Tell me in the comments here or you can shoot me an email at thesmartlioness@gmail.com or Message me on Facebook or Instagram!

 

What is Healthy Love?

Healthy Love, What is it?

 

Do you ever get confused about what is actually healthy in a romantic relationship? If so, you wouldn’t be alone, the media tends to blur the lines sometimes between what’s healthy and what’s obsessive, or just plain crazy!

For example, a guy who is OVERLY into you, like obsessed with you, that’s clearly not healthy. But also, a guy who wants to move really quickly, doesn’t want to share you with anyone, and tells you he loves you, within the first month of the two of you dating, may sound romantic or you may feel like he just is really super into you. But these are all signs of unhealthy love and what can lead to things much worse such as abuse.

I am thinking of doing a Free series on Healthy vs Unhealthy Love and I need your feedback!! Tell me in the comments if this is something you would be interested in hearing!! I would love to know what you would like to see more of here! 🙂

 

Click here Healthy Love Characteristics to get a Free PDF with a list of some characteristics of healthy love!

Also you can get in touch with me on Facebook here, or Instagram here, or SnapChat Here: @thesmartlioness

PS I ALMOST FORGOT! Catch me over at the badass Bossfidence.com website for my new weekly column on Thursdays called “Thursday Thoughts” !!!

What are the Characteristics of a Healthy Relationship?

Do you question if your relationship is one that is healthy for you? Has your partner shown “red flags” while you have been together?

We all deserve to be happy, fulfilled, and in healthy relationships. Are you not quite sure if your own relationship is healthy? Complete my Healthy Relationship Questionnaire to assess if your romantic relationship is healthy or not. The directions for how to score the questionnaire are included.

The most common form of an unhealthy relationship is one that is based on power & control vs respect and equality.  Being constantly ridiculed or put down, feeling as though you are constantly walking on eggshells, or worse — pushing, hitting, or slapping are all forms of abuse and if you are someone who is experiencing this type of behavior or have in the past, YOU ARE NOT ALONE. This is why this subject is so near and dear to my heart. I have been in your very spot, thinking.. “what? abuse? How the f*%k did I let it get this far?! How did I get here?!”

My journey has been one with many plot twists, to say in the least. But I wouldn’t be where I am today without my past experiences and even though some of them are tough to remember, (memories come flooding back as I’m writing this) memories that make me cringe, when my mind starts to go in that direction. I have to stop myself and bring myself back to the here and now. I use that energy to put into my work in helping other women become educated on what a healthy relationship is, how to set boundaries, and how to build her confidence to that of a Lioness!

 

Don’t get me wrong, I’m no where near perfect! It’s a constant effort I put forth to keep my self confidence on the higher end of the self confidence spectrum but, I do the work and it continues to build. It’s still a process and some days my Inner Lioness is fully Unleashed and some days she’s no where to be found.  And I’m ok with that, I’m not perfect, and there is no need in my trying. There are so many different and better ways to use that energy than on the negatives.

 

You too can get through whatever struggles you are dealing with!! Change your thinking, and quit making things worse on yourself. Take your mind from the dark places and into the light. Its warmer in the light!

Click here to take the Healthy Relationship Questionnaire

If you have further questions after taking this questionnaire please feel free to contact me on Facebook with your questions and concerns. I am happy to discuss your score with you, in fact, I would LOVE to discuss your score with you! So I encourage you to contact me once you have completed the questionnaire!

You can contact me by clicking here!

If you don’t want to talk to me, there are other resources. If you are in the Dothan, Alabama area, The Exchange Center for Child Abuse Prevention provides free counseling to anyone who has experienced abuse at any point in their life.

Or click here to go to Domestic Violence National Hotline Website