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As I Began to Love Myself

As I Began to Love Myself

As I began to love myself I freed myself of anything that is no good for my health -- food, people, things, situations,  and everything that drew me down  and away from myself. At first, I called this attitude a healthy egoism.
TODAY, I know it is  "LOVE OF ONESELF."
[Charlie Chaplin]
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The Reason I Started "Wake Up to Live!" Blog

The Reasons I Started "Wake Up to Live!" Blog
One thing is for certain about life, there is a beginning and there is an end, and it's important to get on with life and make the best out of it no matter what's happened to you. I say this with much empathy and understanding.

I started the blog "Wake Up to Live!" in 2008 because I wanted others to wake up to live a life fully and passionately.  I didn't want life to pass them by. I was once a sleeper, and I lived life from a knee-jerk reaction not conscious to the reasons of my emotions and behaviors, as well as my choices. I made some sh** arse decisions. I struggled for years living with the repercussion of chronic childhood abuse, incest, sexual assaults, and then later domestic violence. I was plagued with memories but it was also the behaviors that I accumulated from childhood trauma that kept me stuck in a life spiraling downhill. I kept harming myself with eating disorders, rage, depression, and drugs…

What I Learned From the Cancer Diagnosis

What I Learned From the Cancer Diagnosis
A diagnosis of cancer.
On Thursday, I found out that an old friend has been diagnosed with cancer.  No one, yet, knows what type of cancer she has, but, with an MRI scan, the cancer has been located in her lung, kidney, and femur.  Tuesday, we will all know what type of cancer it is.

I was taken aback by the news. Somewhat dumbfounded, confused, and dazed.  I heard the news only by accidentally bumping into her brother, my ex, at the grocery store down the road. This news was very new, though, and I think everyone was just trying to deal with what just happened.  I immediately told two of my children since she is their auntie.

So, as you can imagine, my mind is not as present as it was prior to Thursday.  I am still getting things done, but in the not so far distance of my thoughts, I think about her. I think about a life that may be cut short because of a growth that is now housing her body.

My son and I went to visit her on Sunday.  It was a v…

Pray For Nice France

#PrayforNice In the wake of what happened in Nice, France, as well as every other terrorist attack that has happened in the country, I cannot proclaim how to respond or react to the individuals, let alone the country, who are grieving such a great loss, but because I don't know how to respond to such mass sorrow doesn't mean that I shouldn't say anything. Life cannot move on as business as usual when something as horrific as this has happens.

I am so sorry for your loss. I can't imagine what this feels like. Living in the Canadian West thus far we are fairly isolated from these attacks so I cannot profess to say how devastating it would feel. I could only imagine, and I can empathize with you.

There is a somber feeling in the air and in my heart. It's a feeling that doesn't seem to shake as quickly anymore with so many attacks. It's becoming even more difficult to understand the world. Why people commit such atrocities in such great numbers. Innocent lives…

You Deserve A Day Off From Daily Problems

You Deserve A Day Off From Daily Problems
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Step Away From The One's That Hurt You

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This Is What Life Coaching Can Do For You

What is Coaching
On the most basic level, as most coaches would describe it, coaching is a form of personal development and growth in which a coach supports a client or a group of clients to achieve a specific professional or personal goal.  You can probably find this definition in most, if not all, coaching books.  But how does the coach really support an individual?

The majority of us believe that we are good at motivating and disciplining ourselves to achieving our goals, but, in actual fact, unless you are one of those rare personality types, many of us need some support at some point in our lives and in some area in our lives to give us a kick-start and hold us accountable to attaining our goals. Goals can be in the fields of health such as nutrition and fitness, finance, career, relationships, or academic, for example. Besides, there are many unconscious beliefs, values, and principles that you may be following, or basing your choices from, and you may not even be aware of them.…

Negative Self-Talk Hurts!

Negative Self-Talk Hurts!
Today just seemed like a tough day all-around.  It's not that the day itself was difficult in meeting challenging people or having a jam-packed agenda. What made is so rough was realizing how hard I can be on myself--my negative self-talk.  How my expectations of myself can be through the roof, but they only leave me, at times, especially when I don't reach them, down in the dumps.  I have time-and-again told my closest friends that I don't need anyone bashing me down; I do a great job myself.

My instincts said to do one thing on the computer, but I over-ruled my intuition, only to find myself in a predicament--in a situation I didn't want.  I was down and frustrated without really knowing why, at first, until I did some reflecting. Then I realized I was angry at myself because  I knew it was my fault in the choice I made. I overruled my gut which already knew what was right in that moment. And, because I didn't listen to the voice within,…

If You Just Give Your Goals a Little More of This

Just a Little More Persistence and You Could Make That Goal
Sometimes we want to give up soon after we begin a project or maybe even in our healing process.  The idea looks and sounds great, but when the time comes to take the action needed, the effort wanes and without momentumthere is no movement. 
I like to explain this in a manner that can be visual.  Imagine pushing a boulder slightly up hill.  To get started, you need an extraordinary amount of effort and patience which sometimes feels exhausting and perhaps even worthless.  However, once you get started and persist in your actions, you will begin to see that this boulder starts to move.  When this boulder begins to move, all you need to do is keep up the momentumthat you started to ensure that change or movement continue to occur.
Just like anything in life such as starting a business, going to classes at school, or the process of healing; they all require effort to build momentum, but, once you build momentum and persist in yo…

New Beginnings Can Be Found All Around Us

New Beginnings
New beginnings, what does this mean?  
Every morning I wake up, I hear my breathe, my eyes open, and I see my surroundings; that symbolizes a new beginning. When I make a pot of coffee, and watch the water drops drip out of the peculator; that is a new beginning.  It is not the coffee I had yesterday; it's not the same water I had yesterday.  The drops from the peculator are new to the day. This symbolic analogy may mean nothing to someone else, but in my mind, I can see new beginnings all around me.
New beginnings all around us.
The cherry blossoms in the spring time. The sprouting of a seedling.  The sun rising over the mountains. The birth of a baby child. A robins eggs. The caterpillar emerging from its cocoon. The bud of a flower that finally blossoms. The daily shedding of skin cells. The growth of new leaves on a birch tree. Even the new growth of hair on my head.  
Being receptive.
Being receptive to the new beginnings all around me, somehow makes me look at li…

When You Nurture the Whole Woman

When You Nurture the Whole Woman

Maya Angelou's teachings.
Maya Angelou (1928 - 2014), an incredible women, poet, civil-rights activist, and author spoke extraordinary words for us to live by.  She had a kick-ass attitude with a forgiving and compassionate heart.  She encouraged us women to support each other, to take action where we can, and to accept the things we cannot change. She said the keys to success in life was about remembering to laugh, liking yourself, liking what you do and liking how you do it.  Not always something simple to do, liking ourselves, for instance, when we experienced a tainted and traumatized past.
Understanding the difficulties of making change.
Maya Angelou was a woman that was action-oriented, yet she understood the difficulties of making change. She said, Stepping onto a brand new path is difficult, but not more difficult than remaining in a situation which is not nurturing to the whole woman. So if you are living in a bad situation, such as a relat…

Why Are You So Afraid to Take Action?

What Happens If You Don't Take Action

Passion isn't enough.
Many of us have a passion lurking inside, but that passion needs to move into action.  Passion is great, however passion is not enough.  It's the same analogy as having a great idea.  We ALL have great ideas, but if that idea remains in the mind, nothing happens.  We need to take our passion and our ideas and move into action to see results.
What holds us back from taking action?
Fear is the reason we don't take action and it comes in many forms such as indecision, doubt, stress, procrastination, and nervousness. It's not that we are lazy.  We are afraid to fail; we are afraid to succeed; we are afraid to be seen as anything less than the person we compare ourselves with.
Make a promise.
When you make a promise to do something for someone, do you stand by your word?  Most times we do for others, but somehow we tend to neglect ourselves.  Is this like you?  I know it has been me many times.  It is time to mak…

With Change There is Loss

Are You Afraid of Change?

Fear of change.

When there comes a time in your life that you know you need to make a change or you strongly desire to change, don't be afraid to change. The fact is that you may gain something better.  Yes, you may feel as though you are losing something significant and that tug inside your heart always gives you the feelings of heaviness, doubt, and, perhaps even, insecurity. However, in the end, and when you look back in hindsight, you will see that taking those steps to changewere the right steps in that moment.
Take a chance.

We cannot predict what our outcome will be for certain as we anticipate it to be, but, when we take a chance to live a life of authenticity, we can feel the pride and say, at least I tried.  You remove the regret.
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What I Learned About Darkness

The more you resist the darkness inside of you (or your shadow side), the more it will embody you in ways that will surprise and even shock you. Don't neglect it because by neglecting it, it will consume you.

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How to Find Strength You Never Knew Existed

When You Dig Deep for Strength

It takes a lot of courage and will to dig deep to find strength you never thought you had, but I know you have it when you need it.
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Wake Up! Don't Act Like You'll Live Forever

Live Life Before Death
It's easy to let each day pass by as though you have all the time in the world to live and to do the things you want, but, sometimes, that day leads to weeks and then months and maybe even years.  Life is always busy.  Our work and personal commitments and expectations are even greater today than they were in the 80's.  Stop for a minute or two and take a deep breath.  Where are you right now?  Can you get present?  Be here and now, just for a minute.  Now listen...don't act as though you have a thousand years to live. Mark in your calendar with a big fat felt pen what your hearts desire is, what your heart bleeds for. 
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Life Is A Dance of Desires and Fears

I had lunch with my son yesterday and we had some great conversation about life.  We talked about our desires, our ambitions, and our fears.  In deep conversation, I found ourselves jumping from our deepest desires to our deepest fears.

Life is a dance, or sometimes I say a balancing act, between what you desire most and what you fear most.  Do you want to take a risk at that new job?  It excites you, but you also have fear of the unknown.  Do you want to go back to school full time, like me, at the age of 50? You get these immense butterflies of excitement and nervousness in your gut, but then you feel that dread saying "what if I don't make it?" or "can I really do this?"

Big decisions are hard decision, but the decisions you don't act upon are the decisions you regret later in life. My son reminded me of an interview a nurse did with a group of elderly dying patients.  Here are the top regrets:

1. I wish I lived a life true to myself and not what others…

Make Peace With Your Past

Make Peace With Your Past

I bled all my life up until I was in my early 40's (according to Iyanla Vanzant).  My choices, my emotions, and my behavior were all stained by the wounds of my past.  Food, alcohol, and drugs were all a part of my choices to drown the hurt and the pain, but, eventually, I realized that none of these delusional  bandages worked. Besides, my children were getting older and they started speaking the truth to my face; that's quite a rude awakening when you want to stay in denial.  It was not only denial that kept me in the dark, though.  I didn't want to feel the pain again, and I knew this was exactly where I had to go.  Eventually, I did go back to feel that pain. It was bloody hard! but the biggest reason I went back was for my children, pure and simple, and a little bit for myself. 
In order to go back and make peace with your past, you need a reason--a BIG reason to want to heal the pain of your past. This big reason will also help you endure t…

Doing the Right Thing

Doing the Right Thing
Sometimes doing the right thing is the hardest thing.  Do you have a circumstance in your life that you know in your heart that if you leave it is the right thing to do, but you also know that it will be the hardest thing you have ever done?  I can think of a few myself where I didn't do the right thing for some time.  Being in violent relationships: allowing myself to be abused while my children watched and allowing family members to abuse me while I stayed silent since I was a child.  It is not easy, and it may take years before you can take that step to do the right thing, but if that is on your mind regularly, it is bound to change.

Things you can do to build strength from within.


1. Reach out to friends, neighbors, motivational seminars, and self-help type lectures (without disclosing anything to anyone because you might not be ready to do this) or reaching out 'and' asking for support and guidance.

2. Call a counsellor or therapist for yourself.…

Why So Long Before Sexual Assault Victims Come Forward

This morning I received the BBC update that Bill Cosby will stand trial on charges of sexual assault. He is accused of drugging and molesting Andrea Constand, although more than forty other women came forward with similar accusations.

I don't know any of these women's stories, but I am glad to see that justice is being served with a trial for rape.  What I do want to know about is...why does it take so long for a rape victim to come forward? 

Barbara Bowman, for example, one of the accusing rape (sexual assault) victims stated in The Washington Post (November 13, 2014) that she received a dismissive response from others so she was convinced that no one would listen to her.  In the Independent news article on November 20, 2014 written by Tim Walker, it stated that some of Cosby's accusers remained silent because they felt intimidated, ashamed, and scared.  One in particular, named Dickinson, stated that she was afraid of being labelled a slut or a whore sleeping her way to…

You Are Worthy

How many times have you believed that your value is based on someone's ability to see it?  Perhaps, you don't actually acknowledge this consciously, however if you take the time to reflect on this question, maybe you will find out that you really do base your value on someone else's ability to see it.  
Many of us see our value only when someone else sees it.  Take, for instance, how many friends you get on Facebook; how many Likes you get for your post; what your boss or professor says to you or doesn't say to you at work or university, respectively.  Many of us will deny that this (the examples I have mentioned) does not affect how we feel about ourselves (our worthiness), but I'd like to call their bluff.  
There is a negative effect when we stay in denial.  When we deny this to our authentic Self, nothing can change from within.  Our value, thus, will always be based on someone's inability or ability to see it.  It is one thing not to acknowledge your dist…

Your Untamed Spirit

Your Untamed Spirit?

Do you remember your untamed spirit?  The one you were born with. If we only looked at life as a blank artists palette (or a playground) ready to be created by our heart and imagination, perhaps we would not tug, pull, or hang on to the things that are not really ours.
Life's traumas, like sexual assault, childhood sexual abuse, or growing up watching domestic violence, will try to restrain us, but we must heal and know how to manage what has happened. We must learn to uncover true happiness.  When we are able to do this, life opens us up like the lotus flower emerging from a murky pond becoming that exquisite beauty.  This awakening or awareness or enlightenment, whatever you would like to call it, is like a rebirth; it truly is if you have done the work. 
You are then free to roam without a cage.  Free to dance with life. Free to live with abandon. Free to love as you've never loved before, and I am not specifically talking about lovers. And, free to be…

Courage Is The Most Important Virtue

Maya Angelou
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The Journey of 1000 Miles

A journey of 1000 miles is a statement for any goal.  This could be for speaking up about injustices like childhood sexual abuse and sexual assault. It could be about healing from past abuses; taking that step to call a counsellor or therapist.  It could be about saying, No, you can't do this to me anymore! It could be about self-care.  What ever your first step is, it is a first of many to come.  Be courageous and brave as you already are. Don't give in, and don't give up
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How Being Emotionally Attached Affects Your Goals

It is important to know what you don't want, but it is most important to know what you do want.  To find out what you want, it's good to eliminate what you know you don't want. This is a way to clarify what you do want.  What happens to many of us, however, is that we continue to focus on what we don't want.  I believe that we (society) learned to do this habit for generations, and, as you my already realize, when a pattern is instilled for many generations, in order to change it, it takes constant and diligent reflection or conscious awareness.

Take a look at what you are focusing on.  Is it what you want or is it what you don't want?  If you are focusing your emotional energy on what you don't want, most likely that will come in to play in your life.  As well, focusing on what you don't want clouds the ability to see what you do want.

Remember how emotions work; psychology research tells us so.  When we attach strong emotion to a thought, those memorie…