A Happy & Healthy Holiday

And We Are Back…

 

Life has taken myself & many of

T.H.E. My Warrior Life team members on quite the journey these last couple of weeks.

We thank you for all your prayers.

 

Have a Blessed Holiday,

 

Wendy  & T.H.E. My Warrior Life Family

 

 

 

 

The holidays bring about so many wonderful things.

The music, the memories, family time, games, vacations, warm feelings and…. FOOD! This time of year is almost obsolete without the thought of turkey and Mac n cheese, pies and pastries, and other huge spreads of dishes that are endless. The plates and portions come in massive quantities and the left overs go on for days at a time. We are surrounded by love and all of the emotion that comes with it and everything we’ve ever known about food and self control goes out the window. The question becomes, how do we enjoy ourselves, while attempting not to over indulge to the point of a food coma crisis.

 

It can be quite overwhelming to think of all of the things that need to get done during this time of year and still remain conscious of our health BUT its a must. You don’t want to be scrambling at the top of the year trying to get it together; instead lets look at some simple things that you can be mindful of while still enjoying every part of this season.

First and foremost, BE mindful! I know, I know! What does that mean, what does it look like, how do we do that. It’s very simple, take a few moments for your self at the top of every morning to breathe, sit with yourself, reflect, journal, meditate, pray, ground, what ever you need to do to bring yourself back into your body. It’s vital during this time of year (and always) with all of the external stressors that tend to pop up. Practicing mindfulness is a wonderful source for manifesting and perpetuating peace in and through out your life. This trickles down into almost all of the other “hacks” I have for you this holiday season.

 

This leads us into checking our stress levels, and remaining aware of how we can be proactive in our actions this season, so that, things do not build to the point of overwhelm. When we practice mindfulness we allow a moment to check in with ourselves FIRST so that we can better check in with others. This time of year is filled with hearts full of giving; but remember you can’t pour from an empty glass, you must give from the overflow. Stress, often, leads to stress eating, in order to not spiral down that path we must be mindful, take responsibility, and be honest about where we are.

IT’S OK TO SAY NO!

Once we take account of where we are within the stress that this season can bring we can then stop and ask ourselves, “Why am I eating? What I’m eating?”

 

Speaking of managing stressors, one (of many) great ways to keep things in line is staying active. I know, its particularly hard when family is over to visit, the weather has changed, it’s now chilly outside and it feels SO good to stay under those covers all cuddled up BUT getting up and moving can and will significantly reduce the feeling of stress or overwhelm. If it is too cold to leave the house find workout videos online, pop in an old dvd, set a timer on your phone and get moving; it will give you time to yourself AND it will help to keep your body in great shape, making for a much better feeling healthy holiday season.

 

Although this is such a beautiful time of year, for many people it can bring about a deep yearning for connection and a heaviness due to the loss of loved ones. When it comes to the emotions and memories that fill our hearts, some joyful and some achingly painful, it is ok to be proactive and reach out to a professional seeking comfort through therapeutic measures. It’s ok, to not know what to do, it’s ok to feel what is showing up and it’s ok to ask for help. It can be very difficult and in order to stay well, we must do our best NOT to fill that emotional void with food or spending in excess or things that will not truly heal our souls but in turn add more stress. If you need to speak to someone there are abounding resources available to you! You are loved!

 

Now, I have just a few more things, that can help to get you through this season in a healthy and happy way. When it comes to the big meals, DO NOT starve yourself in hopes to enjoy those meals more. It is and can be detrimental to all of the progress you’ve made and truly hurt the internal workings of your digestive system. I have heard far too many people say, “I’m not eating 2 days before thanksgiving, so that I can make room for my meal” and although we laugh and it can sound funny, I have seen it done. This is a huge NO, if you are putting your best foot forward in your wellness journey. It can in fact backfire as your body now goes into actual starvation mode, hoarding and holding onto all of the unhealthy ingredients that have piled up not allowing your digestive system to truly work at an optimal level. Wake up, eat a balanced breakfast, have a nice lunch, and then enjoy your thanksgiving/Christmas dinner etc. That way your body stays at a normal eating level and you have less of a chance of over indulging on unhealthy things.

 

This may sound simple BUT a very easy hack to make sure that you do not go over the top is chewing your food fully, put it into practice and make it a habit. Most of us do not take the time to properly chew our food, therefore not giving our digestive enzymes a chance to work properly. We eat our food in a hurry and wonder why we still feel hungry 5 minutes later, it’s because we’re not chewing! You will be surprised at what a difference this will make in feeling better and as a bonus keeping those extra pounds off.

 

Speaking of not over doing it, we are always left over with TONS of leftovers. A great idea that I heard was to package all (or some) of those leftovers up and take them to a homeless shelter. Put this hack into place, save your body the damage that all of the extra food will do, AND help your community while doing it.

 

Lastly, if you’re going to indulge in a celebratory drink, make it a glass (or 2) of champagne and do away with the wines (white in particular) and the cocktails. The juices and mixers used to make these drinks are filled to the brim with sugars and processed ingredients, want to still enjoy the evening but cut the unnecessary calories, here’s a way to do it! I’m all about finding a harmonious balance, not separating the worlds of wellness and fun. You can have both, do both and be both all while remaining mindful of what you put into your body.

 

Take control of your health this holiday season, don’t let it take control of you. You are divinely whole and you deserve nothing but the best in and around you!

Cheers to a beautiful, healthy and joy filled season!

 

 

Warmly, Taylor Gordon T.H.E. Holistic Health Warrior

Connect W/Me @Divinely Wholesome

T.H.E. Young Warriors

Meet Nia & Chioma Bush

 

 

 

Nia Bush C/O 2017 Spelman Grad

 

“I am a daughter, sister, scholar, and I choose to live loved…It’s my Warrior Life.”

 

 

Facebook: Nia Jenise Bush
Instagram: @youlovenia_ 

 

My name is Nia Bush, 22 years old, from San Bernardino, CA. I am a Warrior Woman because I do not let my current struggles define who I am; instead I fight hard to overcome obstacles and utilize that process as a strategy for my overall growth and success. As a recent graduate of Spelman College, I am on my first year out of college journey transitioning into true Womanhood.

 

 

 

 

 

Chioma Bush 3rd Year Howard University

 

 

“My warrior life as a woman and as a child of God is to not only strive to live right, but righteously, and to let God’s essence shine through me.”

 

 

 

Twitter/Instagram @chometheleo
 Facebook: Chioma Bush

 

My name is Chioma Agyei, which means “the good messenger of God”. I am a 20 year old college student in my third year at Howard University in Washington, DC. I am a warrior woman because I conquer any obstacle put in front of me. It has not been easy, but I know that with God anything is possible. Currently, I am getting ready to apply for medical school. As I prepare for this next transition in my life, I battle with self doubt and the fear of failure, but that drives me to push even harder. I hope my journey is able to inspire others to go out and get what they want and to never allow fear to stop you from achieving your goals.

 

 


 

 

 

 

“From the Audience to the Stage”

 

 

On December 5th of 2015, I along with hundreds of others sat in the audience at BBWR’s (Black Business Women Rock) 4th Annual Conference at the Pasadena Convention Center. I remember being inspired to take my company to the next level. As I sat in the audience I made a promise to myself that I too wanted the opportunity to inspire and pour into the attendees at a BBWR conference.

Fast forward to May of 2017, via Facebook messenger I connected with Natalyn Randle (Founder of BBWR), and asked if she would like to collaborate on a Self-Care Workshop, she agreed and our sisterhood took flight.

I am happy to announce that on Saturday November 18th, I will be taking the stage as a panelist at BBWR’s 6th Annual Conference, “Mind Your Temple, Build Your Empire”, with an expected attendance of over 1000. From the audience in 2015 to the stage in 2017, the year of 2017 has been one of growth and blessings. I am truly “Dancing On My Dream Stage!”

“Come Dance With Me”

 

Click on the link below to purchase your tickets: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/black-business-women-rock-conference-expo-2017-tickets-32072537824

 

 

 

Meet Kalynne Brantley

T.H.E. “My Warrior Life” Young College Warrior (1st Year)

 

 

 “As the daughter of the most high God and daughter of two loving parents, I aspire to be great. As an incoming freshman at Spelman College, I will work towards this goal by studying psychology, while simultaneously making effective change on campus and in the community. Juggling grades, parties, firms, community service, continuing to be a Godly woman, the pursuit of sisterhood and Spelman is my new life… it’s My Warrior Life.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Warrior Woman of the Week

Guest Blogger: Cristina Woodson

 

Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf 

(My Lupus Journey)©

There was a Walt Disney cartoon (boy, I’m telling my age!) named “The Three Little Pigs”. Most of us know the story of the three little pigs and the wolf who wanted nothing more than to have himself a yummy pork roast! We also know that he almost succeeded twice but was ultimately defeated on his third try with bricks and fire. However, in this particular version, there was a song that said, “Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf, the Big Bad Wolf, the Big Bad Wolf”. This song laughed in the face of this dangerous animal who was determined to fill his belly. The wolf destroyed the first 2 pig’s homes and sent them running to the home of the third pig. However, at the third home, he was met with an obstacle that wouldn’t fall so easily. As a matter of fact, The third one sent Him running. Now you may think, “What does this story have to do with Lupus?”,  I will tell you…
SLE (Systemic Lupus Erythematosus) or Lupus (Wolf) as it’s more commonly known, is a chronic disease that currently has no cure and can be devastatingly debilitating. In essence, your immune system, which is supposed to protect you, becomes confused, and everything that it’s made to protect, it tries to destroy: Heart, lungs, kidneys, hair, skin, etc. Many times before the diagnosis is made, the person has already suffered from the effects of Lupus, and the effects are great. Besides the obvious physical toll that this disease takes, there are other victims of this disease, a social life, income, relationships, goals, etc. Every area in your life is affected. When a person has to face the reality of beginning a “new” life, the task can be daunting at best, and crippling at it’s worst.
I had a certain picture in my mind, of how my life would look. After graduating high school, I would go to college, have a great job, get married, have children, and take care of my parents when the time came. However, after my second year of college, those plans drastically changed, starting with my mother. She had breast cancer that was extremely aggressive, and I decided to take off a little time from college to help her. My proposed semester off turned into over a year because she never got better until she passed away on her birthday in 1993. Then a little over a year later, my father passed away, which left us having to raise my nephew (who had special needs). My picture changed drastically but I imagined a new one.
I decided to go to Cosmetology school, which would allow me the flexibility, to go to court for my nephew, take him to be tested and cared for and placed in programs made to help him have a good life. Once I received my cosmetology license, I found a job and became a successful stylist. That was great until 2000. I started noticing that my hands, my shoulders, and legs,  were stiff every morning. I would wake up and could hardly move and when I got home from work, I couldn’t get out the car for at least twenty minutes. In spite of the pain, I would get up every day and go to work and at the same time, I had started the process of becoming a licensed Evangelist Missionary, so I had no intention of letting the pain hinder me. I remember on the day of my test, I was stuck in the bathroom of the church not able to get off the toilet and praying for the strength to stand up and finish the oral part of my exam. I did finish and the pain subsided for 6 months.
That was until January of 2001. I caught a cold and after three weeks, I realized that I wasn’t getting any better but worse. I could barely breathe, I couldn’t lay flat in my bed, and my pains came back in full force to the point of not having enough strength to close my flat iron fully. I pressed on like normal until the assistant manager at the shop kicked me out the shop after seeing me struggle with a client and forced me to go to the hospital. When I was examined by the ER doctor, they sent me in for a CT Scan. I was in so much pain when I laid down on the table that the nurses literally had to sedate me. The doctor told me that I had Pleurisy (inflammation of the lining of the lungs), and admitted me.  I was in and out of the hospital for months until I was finally diagnosed with Lupus in July of 2001. By that time, I was barely walking, couldn’t go to the bathroom on my own, my sister had to dress me and I had to listen to the doctors tell me that they didn’t know what they were going to do because my heart, lungs, and kidneys were shutting down all at the same time.
My life was turned upside down. I wanted to be a good steward over my finances so even before this began, I invested some money and it was supposed to be around $10,000 by the time I got sick. When I realized that I was really getting sick, I told my sister to go pull the money out because I didn’t think that I would be able to work for a while. You have probably guessed that the money was gone. So I ended up losing everything, even my home. While all this turmoil raged in my life, I still trusted and believed that God would bring me out. One day I had a conversation with one person who came to visit me and she asked, “how are you dealing with all this? I would probably have killed myself”. I told her that first, I wasn’t going to die from this and second if  I didn’t trust God, what else was I going to do. There is nothing more real than Him and His promises”. That was 2001.
Once again I perservered. Although I couldn’t be in the shop full time, I still wanted to be in the Cosmetology industry. It started with a phone call from a cosmetology school. They asked if I still wanted to teach. The amazing thing was that I didn’t even apply for the job, so I knew it was God opening that door. I started instructing and found out that I had a natural gift for it. I loved my job, I loved my co-workers and students and my life began to look more like my original picture. Even with the ups and downs of the job, even when my boss lied and tried to make me quit at every chance, I pressed on and outlasted her and the lie! Everything that was owed to me, God quickly gave it to me and showed me that He was still in control.
However, like the wolf in the “Three Little Pigs” (sheesh, she’s finally back to the point), the Lupus came back with a vengeance. I was back on my walker, in the hospital literally every other month until my boss kindly allowed me to leave without fear of losing my status and pay and he told me that all I had to do was call him and I could come right back. I didn’t get the chance because I was always in the hospital.
The next part is hard for me to tell because it’s embarrassing at my age. I ran out of money and had to choose either to eat or have a place to live. I didn’t have anywhere to go but my car, so I chose to pay rent and keep my car because I drove myself to the hospital. I didn’t have electricity sometimes, and it got to the point where I had to stand in food lines just to eat. To add insult to injury, I was actually given food that was spoiled, burnt and inedible. I finally got to the place where I had to look for shelter. I called a really good friend of mine and asked to stay in her transitional housing program. She said NO, but only because she wouldn’t allow me to go there when she had room in her own home.
She and her husband allowed me to stay there with no time limit and rarely asked for anything. I took a job from a friend and told them that I would pay rent, but I was never paid, they still didn’t kick me out because of me not keeping my word. They prayed for me and still had my back as I was in and out of the hospital with surgeries, blood transfusions, sepsis, and almost dying. But the toll of no respite had manifested in my soul. I was so depressed that I stopped asking God for anything. For months I contemplated suicide all day long because that was the only way I saw out of this pain. I had to start life over so many times that I started to believe that God was never going to bring me out. I scared my own self because I couldn’t shake it off. Everything I tried failed, and when I tried making them right, I failed again.
But a funny thing happened. One night I walked into a furniture mover and tore a huge hole in my leg deep enough that my hand went inside of it. If that wasn’t bad enough, the ER doctor left a piece of metal in my leg after stitching it up and the wound died. I could barely walk for almost a year and after 4 hospital visits, I was finally sent to a wound clinic and it closed. However, it was the pain of this wound that finally brought me out of my depression.
One day it hit me and I began to laugh and thought, “only you would have all these things happen to you and still be here!”. The devil has tried to take my life on so many occasions, starting in college when I was used as a human shield in a gunfight (seriously, the man put me in front of him and I saw the fire from the gun coming towards me). The cars around me were shot up and I walked away without even a scratch. Then when I had organ failure, and the doctor sat next to me at USC County Hospital saying that they didn’t know what to do, when I had Sepsis (107 degrees temperature) and God told me to put scriptures around my bed for my healing, and finally when I was in ICU and woke to the nurse telling me that I wasn’t breathing.
Every time Satan tried to take me out, he failed. So I am no longer afraid of the Big Bad Wolf. He can huff and puff all he wants; I will keep going because I’m stronger than he is. I serve a God who is greater than Satan and my God has given me everything I need to win this fight. Yes, I had to rebuild, but every time I did, I became stronger & wiser. The storms came and knocked me down but never took me out. I know that my trials are for a great purpose, even if it is only to encourage one person to not give up and allow their circumstances to take them out.
We are reluctant (especially Christians) to talk about our failures because it seems to spit in the face of what we believe and proclaim. A Christian contemplating suicide, they must not Love God. They aren’t healed, then they don’t trust God. Calamity after calamity, then they must have done something wrong. That’s not necessarily the case. The scripture that has ministered to me all these years I Corinthians 10:13 … He will not suffer you to be tempted beyond what you are able to bear, but with the temptation will also make a way of escape, that ye may able to bear it.  I choose to apply it to my life. The temptation is to give up, run away, turn away from God, but I now and forever choose God and I cast everything on Him.
I’m still here and I have a purpose, and again, I’m not afraid of the Big Bad Wolf: He’s shown his worst and lost! Why would I be?

 

 

 

Stay Tuned…

Next week for the introduction of T.H.E. My Warrior Life Team’s Young Warriors:

Nia Bush & Chioma Bush

 

 

Meet Jasmine Harrell

T.H.E. “My Warrior Life” Young Senior Warrior

 

 

 

 

 

“I am a 17 year old Senior at Los Osos High School in Rancho Cucamonga CA. I am a student, daughter AND a young warrior woman. At the age of 12 I lost my mother to cancer; yet it is because of my resilience that I have made it thus far. I choose to live life as a free spirit and I’m just beginning my journey as a wonder woman.”

 

 

Homecoming 2017

 

Touring Colleges

      

 

 

 

A little about Jasmine…

 

 

So it’s my Senior year and honestly it hasn’t been going as planned. Whoever said that Senior year is supposed to be the easiest and the best part of high school lied. It’s not like school is horrible or anything, there is just always something going on. I have to balance my school work with my study schedule, my study schedule with my social life, make time to fill out college applications, and I also have to squeeze in time for the necessities like eating and sleeping. And I know that sometimes life is like that, you have to hustle and work hard for what you want to achieve. But I think the most important and most difficult part of my Senior year and life in general is making time to take care of yourself. Reminding yourself to step back and re-evaluate certain aspects of your life and cut out the things that aren’t necessities, so that you can free up some space for self care and self love. I recently deceided that it was best for me to give up twitter during the week, to gove me the time to read a new book that I’ve been wanting to read, take a relaxing bath, or go see a movie.

And this is only month three of my Senior year, stay tuned for updates as the journey continues. C/O 2018

 

 

 

Warrior Woman of the Week

Guest Blogger: Angela Williams

 

 

 

 

Be Inspired…

 

I am a Wonder Warrior Woman.  This is the story of my life as a woman in her mid 30s living with a tramatic brain injury. I’ve overcome a whole lot & have been able to continue on with my life because I am a warrior.  I obtained the tramatic brain injury at 30 years of age.  I was in a horific motorcycle accident as I was returning from Las Vegas as a passenger.  I thankfully have been able to continue on with my life.  I am considered by many a miracle.  So in a lot of respects I am a warrior.   My strength & perserverance has been guiding me through life. I think my history and everything I’ve gone through has helped guide me through my ongoing recovery.  They say things happen for a reason & the reason maybe unknown.

One month before the motorcycle accident    

In my case I think God allowed the accident to happen so that I would turn to him.  It took me about 2 years since the accident but I definitely have turned to him & thanked him for all he has done in my life.Since then he has blessed me.  I am still able to function.  My greatest impairment is my memory.  Which I have learned to cope with by writing everything down. At the age of 36 I became pregnant & was able to bring a child into the world.  I view her as the true miracle.  I have prayed for my ongoing recovery & am so grateful that the warrior in me has pushed through & made a lot happen. Like I said, God had a plan & the accident was apart of it so I can stay home with my miracle. So even though the accident was horrific, I thank God for my 2nd chance at life & I’m hoping to fulfill his plan for my life & will continue to praise Him.

 

 

 

 

Stay Tuned…

 

 

Next week for the introduction of T.H.E. My Warrior Life Team’s Young College Freshman Warrior:

Kalynne Brantley & Warrior Woman of the week Guest Blogger: Cristina Woodson

 

 

 

 

 

Meet Carla Necole Williams

 

 

T.H.E. “My Warrior Life” Healing Warrior

 

 

 

 

 

 

“My warrior life is healing the little girl within to feel safe, be authentic and live freely.”

 

 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/search/top/?q=author%20carla%20necole

 

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/carlanecole/

 

http://thelittlegirlisme.com

 

 

 

My emotional stability matters because…

 

By: Carla Necole Williams

 

 

I’ve been broke or broken financially, professionally, emotionally, physically and spiritually at one time or another. Sometimes all at once. My 20’s were my ‘decade of depression’; at least that’s what I call that period of time. In fact, one of my close friends once told me that she was drawn to me because I was so sad. She said I never smiled.I had lived a long time without trusting my own judgment and being disconnected emotionally. I was surprised that my misery was evident at all. I was unknowingly wearing my emotions on my sleeve and I thought I hid my pain so well. My friend’s comment reminded of the time a therapist told me I came off as reserved and solemn. The two observations were years apart.Growing up, I didn’t feel like I had much to smile about. When I became an adult, this life view persisted. I felt like I had to always be on the defense. I felt like I was always fighting something whether that be depression, poverty, perverts, racism and self-hatred. My beliefs that my life would never be good or easy were up front and personal.
I had good reasons for feeling the way I felt. By the way, I’m done invalidating my feelings. I’d been laid off twice in five years, I like my life was arbitrary and had no meaning, I was not handling family deaths well, and childhood traumas that I thought I was over were affecting me in unconscious ways.
I realized that inside I was still this scared and insecure little girl who didn’t feel safe and had no emotional anchors. I needed to go back and meet the little girl who is me. I needed to tell her some things. I needed to tell her that she is beautiful, that I love her and that she always mattered.
I had intentionally forgotten this little girl because I was ashamed of her. I thought she was weak and a coward because she was always afraid. I had left her behind when what I should have left behind was the lie that she was unlovable and didn’t matter.
It was this little girl who got through some of the worst times of my life. She survived so that I am here today.
Eventually I realized that I could change what I thought was a life destined for suffering and discontent.
But before I could open up to the possibility that my life could change, I had to admit my part in perpetuating the patterns and cycles that were holding me back.
My unattained successes and perceived failures were the product of a negative mind that was borne from traumatic childhood experiences. Were my reasons valid? Yes, they were. Did I have to allow past pain to be my cross to bear forever? Hell no!
I was in a space where I wanted to experience something different. I no longer wanted to feel like a victim. I was being told that I had power over my life, and I set my fear aside just enough to test this out.
The hardest part for me was to believe. If I can be honest with you, believing still comes hard for me. But the risk of staying the same scared me more than the risk of trying a new approach. And with everything in me, I wanted a change.
I decided to figure out what I really want for my life. I want to know for certain what gets me excited. I want to know the answer to “what do you like to do?” I want to know how I really feel so that I can voice my wants, needs and desires. I want to know what speaks to my soul. I want to hear what is being spoken to my soul.
I know how to live life in a state of numbness. I know how to survive. Now, I want to live fully and authentically. I want to thrive.
Over the years my process for healing my inner child start with clearing space so that I can see and hear clearly. I clear space physically, emotionally and spiritually. Doing this helps me make the best decisions for me. Even when those decisions are hard and painful and against what is comfortable for me.
Every level of my healing is enlightening for me. I have moments when I feel drained, down and disappointed with life. I have learned that it is okay to not always feel okay. Life is ups and downs, twists and turns and highs and lows. The journey is necessary to heal the inner child.
Be gentle with yourself and be the person you needed when you were a kid.
In life, there will be obstacles and there will be pain. But at the end of the pain, there will be growth and there will be purpose. Life is tough but so are you.

 

 

Stay Tuned…

Next week for the introduction of one of T.H.E. My Warrior Life Team’s Young Warriors: Jasmine Harrell & Warrior Woman of the week Guest Blogger: Angela Williams

Meet Porsche George

 

T.H.E. “My Warrior Life” Brand Ambassador

 

 

 

“I am a woman who shows resiliency in all battles I face, this is My Warrior Life.”

 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/porsche.george

 

A little about Porsche:

 

I am a Marriage and Family Therapist Intern through the California Board of Behavioral Sciences.  As a therapist I go above and beyond expectations to serve my clients and their families with tenacity. I am enthusiastic, display high energy and the ability to maintain good humor and hope in the face of pressure. I am trained in Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Trauma Resiliency Model (TRM), Moral Recognition Therapy, Crisis Intervention and Seeking Safety. I have over 4 years’ experience working with adults, couples, families, children, adolescents and individuals seeking treatment for depression, survivors of trauma (abuse), bipolar, psychosis and life adjustments.  I am experienced in the hospital settings and community mental health outpatient clinics. My expertise is workshops and group therapy due to the unique environment and the specialty that is brought to add to group cohesiveness.

 

 

 

 

Warrior Woman of the Week

Guest Blogger: Adrienne Cannon

 

 

 

 

  

 

I Am A Survivor 

 

(Testimony of a Child Growing Up With a Mentally Ill Parent)

 

My name is Adrienne Cannon. I am 36 and live in San Bernardino County. I work as a claims examiner in Auto Insurance for Mercury Insurance.

I have been for 11 years and am a college grad. I have 3 beautiful daughters ages 8, 5 and 2. I have a sister and 4 step-siblings. Me and my younger sister (Stephanie 33) have the same parents. My mother Maja VanTilborg Combs pronounced Maya, I believe was diagnosed initially soon after I was born. Her diagnosis has flip flopped from bipolar to schizophrenia, because they are very similar disorders. She is typically classified as Schizophrenic.

Growing up was fine as a kid I didn’t realize things were too un-normal until much later. Looking back I can definitely see and realize perhaps why my mother did certain things that may have been puzzling. I believe she was on medication here and there, off and on when I was a kid. I recall her being very strick on TV we could only watch certain channels such as KCET, channel 28 and the christian network channel 40 TBN. I recall that very well. Back then kids liked to play outside so limiting TV was not so much a big deal. Later on I came to realize that my mom really hated TV and it triggered her to hear voices and she was distracted / disturbed by it. Also the radio and the presence of police she was not fond of. When I got older and understood more probably just before Jr. high age, I realized that she had a very strong distrust for people and police and felt that the government was monitoring her thoughts and mind etc. She had a pretty large set back when I was about 8 years old and from that time until now she has been in/out of hospitals, board and care homes and other living facilities.

An incident I recall when she was having an episode is when she pretty much kidnapped me and my sister and we were both under 10 years old. We spent the night in the car after a family wedding. The next day one of us distracted her and the other called our dad. He came with the police but because they stated its a domestic problem we left with her. There were some rough moments but also pleasant ones too. I recall when she lived in a facility when I was in college coming by and dying her hair when it needed a touch up. If its one thing my mom has taught me its most definitely to roll with the punches of life good or bad!!!  You will always come out swinging and the victor no matter what.

It was very hard not having a what you would call, ” a normal mom” and sometimes when having to explain to others who had no clue or idea what i was talking about. Mental Illness was not talked about and a true unknown in the 80’s and 90’s. These days many have a better basic understanding but it still is a bit of a “taboo topic” and many still do not fully understand.

Its a blessing we had a great dad, grandparents on both sides, a caring step-mom and a host of other family to always be there for us and help us growing up. My sister and I were very fortunate to have a great support system many may not have had the support we had. We had many folks to turn to and a great village in our corner. We also were raised in church and were very active in doing things at church which helped keep us busy and involved. Having a “faith foundation in God,” I believe was also key in us having hope for ourselves and hope for our mother to become well. My faith has helpled me over the years and still continues to in my adult life. As the song says… If it wasn’t for the Lord JESUS Christ by my side, I don’t know where I would be. I still continue to serve in my local church as well.

We always saw and kept in touch with our mom. We would see her about one time a week or so. She has always been a presence in our lives. We would talk to her like any person would all the time and visit with her. Sometimes was weird visiting her in the hospital but I suppose we just got use to it. It is different when “your mom” is not in the home and you’re visiting her. She always apologized for her being, “a visiting mom,” I knew its not all her fault persay and its her illness not her. She wished she could be a better mom to us but was not able to. I tell her hey we all do the best we can with God’s help…

Now I am my moms conservator. Its like I’m her legal guardian and the roles are reversed like I’m the parent which is sometimes weird. We fight and argue and get along like many child parent relationships. We go through what most people go through. It is hard to make decisions sometimes on her behalf but I along with my family have to make tough calls sometimes.

Dealing with mental illness is a rough pill to swallow especially in a CRISIS situation.. but we all pull together and figure it out!! If nothing else my moms illness has brought our family together moreso. We all depend on each other and help when we can!! I definitely try to help fight the stigma of mental illness when possible, with the proper help you can make it and the family as well. I have been an advocate for NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) Chapter in Pomona, CA for over 10 years and we continue to educate those suffering with mental illness, their families and the public on what these various brain disorders look like and what resources are available in the community. There is no direct roadmap for everyone, all paths are different, but there is HOPE and one is able to function in life with help and support. My mom has her ups and downs and not always compliant on medication but is doing great and stable. She has overcame Leukemia and continues to struggle with diabetes. Everyday is a fight for her to maintain sanity and not everyday is a good day, but she lives another day to fight on!! She is one of my Shero’s and I admire her courage and strength to push through her challenges. She currently lives in a facility at this time and because she is not close by I do see her now about 1 time a month and talk to her often throughout the week.

 

 

 

Stay Tuned…

Next week for the introduction of T.H.E. My Warrior Life Team’s Healing Warrior: Carla Necole Williams

Meet Tamika Casey

 

T.H.E. “My Warrior Life” Spiritual Warrior

 

 

 

 

My Warrior Life…
Strong, ambitious, wife, mother, educator, pastor, and perfectly imperfect. I am a Wonder Woman and I choose to live in faith.. It’s My Warrior Life!

 

Instagram – tcasey1908

https://www.instagram.com/tcasey1908/

Facebook – Tamika R Powell-Casey

https://www.facebook.com/search/top/?q=tamika%20r.%20powell-casey&ref=eyJzaWQiOiIwLjEyNDYwNzk3NDc0MDYwNDgxIiwicXMiOiJKVFZDSlRJeWRHRnRhV3RoSlRJd2NpNGxNakJ3YjNkbGJHd3RZMkZ6WlhrbE1qSWxOVVEiLCJndiI6ImJlZTA5ZjkzZmE3MzJjZmE1OWExY2I2ZDlmNDUwZDM4OTI0MjRlNDkiLCJlbnRfaWRzIjpbMTMyMzQyMTU5NF19

 

 

A little about Tamika:

 

Pastor Tamika Casey is a God fearing woman that loves the Lord and is called by God to uplift and encourage
the people of God to have New Life! She strives to live, move and have her being in Christ and lead others into
experiencing New Life with Jesus the Christ!

 

 

Honoring God Through a Spiritual Legacy

 

Deuteronomy 6:1-9 6 These are the commands, decrees and laws the Lord your God directed me to teach

you to observe in the land that you are crossing the Jordan to possess,

2 so that you, your children and their children after them may fear the Lord your God as long as you live by

keeping all his decrees and commands that I give you, and so that you may enjoy long life.

3 Hear, Israel, and be careful to obey so that it may go well with you and that you may increase greatly in a

land flowing with milk and honey, just as the Lord, the God of your ancestors, promised you.

4 Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.

5 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.

6 These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts.

7 Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road,

when you lie down and when you get up.

8 Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads.

9 Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.

 

To leave a spiritual legacy you have to first start with you. The best way to prove to your children and others the value and relevance of faith in Christ is to be a living demonstration of that truth. Having three daughters at a young age back to back, I could not compartmentalize my faith or allow my priorities to get out of whack, or they’d “learn” that Christ really isn’t all that important. Instead I had to make Christ central in my life, and diligently foster my relationship with Him and imbed God’s Word in my heart, so they’d learn that life is all about Jesus. So, don’t be afraid to live your faith in front of your kids – all the abundant, exciting, trying, and messy parts. Don’t sugar coat life. Don’t live life behind a mask. They’ll see your faith is real. Authentic. Relevant. To leave a spiritual legacy you have to give them God’s word – In time where so many teens and young adults are so skeptical of the Bible, this is important. Many young adults believe the Bible is just a book written by men full of stories and advice. We can stop this growing trend by teaching our children to know and love God’s Word. We must be purposeful. We cannot leave it to chance. Make a plan. – We may not have done it daily, but when the girls were young, we would have family devotions, read Bible stories at bedtime, play worship music that comes straight from Scripture. You could develop a family scripture memory program. We taught our daughters biblical principles to live by like truth, excellence, servant-hood, courage, determination, and character. So, instill God’s truth in their hearts any way you can! And “as you walk along the road,” shine God’s Word on all the daily circumstances of their lives. When my girls accomplished something great or small we intentionally helped them make the connection to scripture or biblical principle. When they failed, or felt as though they failed at something we intentionally helped them make the connection to scripture or biblical principles. To leave a spiritual legacy you have to tell your family’s stories – Share the stories that tell of God’s miraculous activity around you and of His faithfulness to you and your family. Early on I shared my struggle of being born to a drug addicted mother and not knowing who my father was. I told of my failures and triumphs. I want them to know the same resilience God gave me, is flowing in them. The same grace and mercy that was afforded me, is available to them. Weave the stories into the fabric of your family history. Don’t let yourself or your children forget! To leave a spiritual legacy you have to stand firm in shaky times -Trials not only work our faith, they can also prove how our faith works. If you make the truth of God’s Word the bedrock for your life, when difficulty comes you will stand firm. An unshakeable faith in shaky times is the most effective testimony you can give your children and those you have influence over.

To my Warrior Women out there, you will impact the next generation.

Will it be a positive or negative impact?

What kind of legacy will you leave?

What are you doing right now with your family and those you love to instill faith in Christ in them?

What are you doing to leave a spiritual legacy?

Be intentional!

 

In faith,

Tamika

 

 

Stay Tuned…

Next week for the introduction of T.H.E. My Warrior Life Team’s Brand Ambassador Warrior: Porsche George

and Warrior Woman of the Week, guest blogger: Adrienne Cannon

 

 

 

 

Meet Patrice Cavitt

 T.H.E. “My Warrior Life” Finance & Marketing Warrior

 

 “My Praise. My Page. My Purpose…

My Warrior Life”

 

Who Am I?

I’m a “multipotentialite (Emilie Wapnick)”
I enjoy doing many things. I believe in the
lifelong exchange of ideas and opportunity.
I’m creative and intense, yet disciplined and structured. I’m adaptable but
consistent enough to just believe
I can do anything.

Why I Am A Warrior Woman?

I have a heart for triumph!
I believe in bringing a level of intensity
to life that requires a response.
I see myself as a pivot player
who can move and adapt to the
people and the places my purpose encounters.
I am a learner, leader, leverager, and believer…
I am a Warrior Woman!

Where Am I on My Journey?

I am choosing to be happy & to live free!

Warrior Woman of the Week

Guest Blogger: Rojeania Godsey-Erb

My Journey

It was a summer day in 1992. I was lying around watching MTV. They still played music videos then. I’d already flunked out of college. There are a million reasons why that happened–too much partying, lack of direction, and lack of support. Mostly it was because I had no foundation to speak of but I didn’t know that then. I just thought I was a loser…stupid…too dumb to go to college.
I’d already started working on Plan B, which was to join the military. I knew I needed to be self-sufficient.
Problem was, the military wheel can turn slowly and nothing was happening fast enough for me.
The waiting left me with way too much time to ruminate on all those negative thoughts. Feeling so badly about myself made me really depressed. I had decided I couldn’t live anymore. What was the point? I didn’t seem to mean anything to anyone and I sure wasn’t going to be able to accomplish anything. My life was pretty grim. I started plotting. I knew I didn’t want my mom to find my body but she needed some sense of closure. She hadn’t been the greatest mom but I couldn’t imagine doing that to her.
I knew she’d be upset even with closure, but I rationalized that she’d get over it.
 I ran through various scenarios in my head until I settled on one. I thought it might be hard to follow through but I didn’t feel like I had any other option. I figured out how I would do it and where I would do it. It was just the when I was struggling with. Just about that time something on the television caught my eye. A woman with bright red hair was rolling around in this box barely big enough for her.
I turned up the volume and sat mesmerized. Her voice was amazing and she was singing lyrics that really spoke to me. She was describing everything I was feeling or had felt.
 As the video was ending, I grabbed a pen and jotted down her name. In that moment I decided I couldn’t die until I heard absolutely everything she had to say. I didn’t know it at the time, but that’s the exact moment I began to heal.
 I guess it was good I lived in a tiny little town with no record store. The internet didn’t exist yet so that wasn’t a possibility. I looked everywhere I could think of and I could not find her album anywhere. I refused to give up. Occasionally I would catch myself humming the chorus of the song, which only reminded me to keep looking.
 Soon summer turned to fall and fall to winter.
I was called to enlist and had to leave immediately. I went through basic training, tech school, and then got sent to my permanent station. It was a few months later before I ran across the album. It did not disappoint. Every song on that album spoke to me as if it was written just for me. My life had already gotten better. I was self-sufficient, I had some support, and my confidence was growing every day. Listening to that album was like tearing open wounds I refused to acknowledge, and slowly, they began to heal.
I learned something from that experience. The smallest action or expression can make a huge difference to someone. I share credit for saving my life with the musician who made the music and with myself for being open to it.
 In case you’re wondering, I didn’t stay in the military.
I got out, did some other stuff, and finally went back to school. I completed a Bachelor’s and a Master’s and graduated at the top of my class for both degrees.
I built my foundation from a song. Now I teach other people how to build their own foundations so I’d say things have pretty well come full circle.
The song that changed it all for me
Press Play:
Connect With Rojeania

 

Blog – http://holdingspacecounseling.com/blog/

 

Facebook: @holdingspacecounseling

 

Twitter: @holding_space_

 

 

Stay Tuned…

 

Next week for the introduction of T.H.E. My Warrior Life Team’s Spiritual Warrior: Tamika Casey

Meet Taylor Gordon

 

 

 

 

T.H.E. “My Warrior Life”

Holistic Health Warrior

 

IG:
(@divinelywholesome)
Facebook:
(@divinely wholesome)
Twitter: @thetaylorg_
Website:

 

 “My Warrior Life is as a vessel, 

finding the balance between

 holding space for myself & 

others, and assisting other 

warriors along their 

journey towards trusting 

their bodies and 

stepping into their power”

 

 

 

 

A little about Taylor:

 

My name is Taylor Gordon and I am a vocalist and a Holistic Health Coach. I am an artist using my lyrics as a healing agent, drawing awareness around our consciousness and our behaviors in wellness. I am a warrior woman because I have taken my fight for my health and turned it into my passion; finding strength in a greater purpose, realizing that everything that took place happened for me not to me.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Health is My Wealth!

 

When you hear this statement what comes to mind? How does It register? What do you think about ?
I think about longterm wellness, not just isolated or concentrated times of “being healthy”.

When I hear the word ‘wealth’ by itself, not related in any way to our health I think, money (as i’m sure most of us would) but isn’t there a difference between being “rich” and being “wealthy” YES! AND! Isn’t there more to wealth than just financial freedom? We can be wealthy in many ways, from family, to friends, to our career and most importantly in our health; because without it none of the other facets of life are able to be fully enjoyed!

You can have all of the money in the world, but without your health, where does that leave you!

My Health is My Wealth! It is where my freedom lies, it is where my movement lies, it is where fun and enjoyment of life can spring from. It is our duty, to take care of the bodies that we have been given and to fuel them with the best. We are in control of setting ourselves up for success, physically, mentally and spiritually; and we must take advantage of that opportunity.

Once we have been given the tools, it is our job to put them in place. I want to encourage you to do just that.

I wasn’t always on this path, I spent about 10 years trying to figure out what my body was telling me. Excruciating pain from the age of 13, Headaches, migraines, back and joint pain that was at times debilitating, there was a time when I was simply existing, I was not truly living. I spent about 4 of those 10 years not being able to digest any food, my body would reject it in a very painful manor; therefore I resorted to not eating, I thought I had trained my brain and body to not need food in order to get by. Multiple viruses, not a day that went by without being in pain, mental strain that was unexplainable  – Existing, hanging on by the grace of God, but still just existing.

I didn’t have the tools or the knowledge behind them in order to truly live my best life! In all honesty, I had no idea what I was doing! Until I did!

After finding holistic, homeopathic medicine, healing whole foods and a lifestyle that transformed my body in its entirety, I realized that I had the control to make my health my wealth ! My health was my legacy, it was the thing that I would be able to pass on from generation to generation. The knowledge that I’ve acquired is more than just temporary riches, it is a lifetime of wealth that will not fade; it will be able to sustain not only myself, but my family, friends, strangers and whomever comes after me.

When you think of wealth, think beyond your finances. Creating wealth is something that we as people place so much importance on, financial freedom is the goal, but what are you going to do with that financial freedom if you cannot live to truly enjoy it and enjoy the people that you have created this life for.

What can you do to transform your life, what steps can you take to make sure that your legacy goes beyond your monetary value, to make sure that the tools that you have relating to your health and wellness are passed down forever.

Remember, you are Divinely Whole , continue to show up for yourself, as you need you the most!

Lovingly,

Taylor G
Holistic Health Coach – Divinely Wholesome

Stay Tuned…

Next week for the introduction of T.H.E. My Warrior Life Team’s Marketing & Finance Warrior:

Patrice Cavitt and Warrior Woman of the Week,

guest blogger: Rojeania Godsy-Erb

Be Blessed,

Wendy 

 

Warrior Woman of the Week Blog

 

 

I Am Not A Victim

 

By: Janisha Cook

 

“Strong women don’t make themselves look pitiful, & don’t point fingers. They stand & they deal”. –Mandy Hale-

 

Depression is the number one cause for women to think less of themselves and feel as if people are judging them. Ladies it is time for us to change. We are strong because of we are: mothers, daughters, sisters, friends and granddaughters. Life will always take turns and build hills, but it is up to you to get over them and knock them down.  As a young woman, I have experienced many difficulties, some at the hands of friends but mainly by those that were closest to me. It is amazing how people do not want to see you prosper in life; yet constantly speak on the things they think you should do. Have you ever wondered what your purpose was here on earth or why people with issues continue to come into your life? After three suicide attempts, my daughter’s father trying to take her away and having high anxiety, life became overwhelming; yet I have made the decision that I am not a victim, and never will I be again! Depression, suicidal thoughts, unhappiness, and anxiety will no longer have control over me. With time I have been able to overcome my struggles and I have grown to love myself more. I have learned to look life in the face and say, “I can do all things through Christ, which strengthens me.” I now believe that focusing on my well-being has lead to self- healing and in turn I now make self-care a priority. Depression was the main downfall in my life. Now that I am growing and finding different things that make me happy and make me smile, depression will no longer keep me as a victim. I am strong, wise and Gods most precious gift. I am not a victim! I Am NOT a victim! I have defined beauty as being myself and standing in my own light. It doesn’t matter how people perceive me, its all about what makes me happy. Whether it be my colorful clothes, my sketchy; yet fashionable shoes, the way I wear my bright makeup or the 150 plus tattoos that I have all over my body. All that matters is that each piece of my life is expressed through these things, and that the way I carry myself represents the beauty that I am! In return, loving me first has allowed me to stand stronger and be more confident, as I continue to strive towards being the best version of me, no matter what circumstance that may come my way.

 

Stay Tuned…

For the introduction of T.H.E. My Warrior Life Team’s Holistic Health Warrior: Taylor Gordon next week.

Be Blessed,

Wendy