Tuesday, September 28, 2010


Wake Up to Live with Desiree Leigh
"Someday when I grow up, finish school and get a job,
I'll start living my life the way I want...
someday after the mortgage is paid off,
the finances are on track and the kids are grown up,
I'll drive that new car and take exciting trips abroad...someday,
now that I'm retired,
I'll buy that beautiful motor home,
and travel across this great country,
and see all there is to see...someday."

~Ed Foreman

Wake Up to Live with Desiree Leigh

Friday, September 17, 2010

Sowing Clover

Wake Up to Live with Desiree Leigh
"In the dark of the moon,
In the flying snow, in the dead of winter,
War spreading, families dying, the world in danger
I walk the rocky hillside, sowing clover."

~Wendell Berry

Wake Up to Live with Desiree Leigh

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Self-Reevaluation and Your Essential Values

Self-Reevaluation and Your Essential Values
by Desiree Leigh, Wake Up to Live

Many of us don't think before we act. We don't take stock at why we act out in sheer habit. We are too busy to reflect and, rather, we respond reflexively. We act automatically.

  • Most problem behaviors happen because we are trying to achieve relaxation and assertion.
  • Most cravings, such as alcohol, food and drink, are usually from boredom, anxiety and your current social situation.
  • Habitual habits, over time, can become unconscious and spontaneous - eating, drinking, smoking, getting angry, scared and depressed without even knowing why you're doing what you are doing.
Take the time to stop and look at what is going on. Reflect to create awareness. Find the reasons for your immediate behavior. What benefits are you getting? What is it costing you?

See yourself 10, 20 or 30 years in the future. Continuing the habit, what are you doing? Who are you with? How is your health? Really picture what is possible with a behavior that does not serve you.

Now imagine how you would think and feel about yourself if you did change. What does it look like? Who are you being? What are you doing?

Self-reevaluation is about taking stock emotionally and cognitively. Self-reevaluation will reveal that your essential values are in conflict with your problem behaviors. Try it. What do you have to lose?

Friday, September 3, 2010

What Can Secrecy Do to You?

What Can Secrecy Do to You?
by Desiree Leigh, Wake Up to Live
For years, I felt bewildered about who I was. I was thrown astray with thoughts and feelings that I couldn't seem to dissect. I was constantly flooded with emotions from anger and rage to sadness and despair not knowing why. My moods would shift radically. It was the feeling of being jerked and pulled harshly and painfully. I experienced body sensations of anxiety and panic attacks, and nightmares I couldn't seem to control, feeling chaotic, crazy and confused. I couldn't make sense of anything. I would quickly get triggered by smell, touch, something I had seen or perhaps heard and yet I had no idea or recollection from where it was coming from or why.

I lived this way for years thinking I was just 'different', or perhaps, I didn't try hard enough to change my feelings, moods or thought. I even thought it could have come from being a spoiled child. I don't seem to recall this but maybe. "Why else could I be the way I am?" Maybe I wasn't getting my way, maybe I was asking for too much, maybe my desires were outrageous. With all of this positive psychology, I couldn't figure out why it was so hard to change. I did all my cognitive re-thinking, got somewhat of a sense of peace through meditation, worked out to release, ate my best, but I still had major mood swings. I kept thinking maybe I was missing something, I wasn't doing it right or I just wasn't determined enough... This was not the case.

I finally came to admit and recognize the hurt and pain of sexual abuse and chronic neglect. For years, it was a secret in my family. And it still is. Well, when you haven't dealt with it, when you haven't dealt with the painful emotions of the abuse or neglect, you can't move on. Even when your mind doesn't remember or your mind plays amnesia, your body remembers very well.

I was a great actress. I was a good fake. I put on a great front. I was happy and full of optimism. This was on the surface, though. I was high in the sky one day. The next day it was dim and murky. Deep within, I was aching, yet I didn't know why. I minimized the abuse too death...literally. Creating ill health within myself since I carried this with me for so many years.

Secrecy on this topic creates confusion and ill health. As a child, I believed I was a bad girl. That I wasn't good enough because no one would talk about what happened. I came to believe I caused it, and mom and dad were both mad at me. Because of secrecy, I was scared to talk. I censored everything. I wasn't sure what to say anymore. I was afraid I might say something and I would be a bad girl again. Friends were non-existent because I didn't know what to say. They would talk about their family. I didn't seem to know how to do that with mine. I was always on guard. Relatives thought I was shy. I wasn't shy! I was scared to death to talk. And, why should I, no one would hear me anyways.

Secrecy kept everything hidden, even the pain I was trying to hide within for decades because that was a habit I was used to. So guess what happens when you don't work out (release) the emotions you encountered from abuse and neglect and fess up that they actually are ruling your life? When you don't modulate your emotions, when you don't bring them under conscious control, anxiety will be the consequence leading to symptoms of neurosis, hysteria, mood disorders and health problems.

By raising the turmoil and hurt to the surface, there are some great realizations here to look at.
  • No one hears me.
  • I'm not good enough.
  • No one believes me.
  • I'm confused on what to say.
  • If I express my feelings, I'm a bad girl.
  • I created the problem not the offender.
  • I don't want anybody to get mad at me.
  • I don't want to cause conflict.
  • I can't talk with friends.
  • I censor everything I say.
  • I'm shy (label).
  • and so on...
After bringing up the emotions that are begging to come out, there are some hidden core beliefs that you may have neither recognized nor knew where they came from that have to be looked at and re-examined thoroughly. That's what's so incredible when you start digging and you become true to yourself. You begin to understand. And, then you begin to accept. When you begin to see that you put labels and judgments on yourself at such a young age, you can now, perhaps, be more empathetic, compassionate and loving towards yourself. You were only a child. I was only a child when I began to think this way. Today, I know I am safe. Today, I know I am okay. I am a grown up. I no longer want to be that child or react from that 'little girl's perspective'. Today, I do have a choice with who I want to be with and associate with. And, I do have a choice on how I want to perceive the world around me. I am a transformational woman of power and courage.

Wake Up to Live with Desiree Leigh