Thursday, November 3, 2016

Wake Up to Live! Love Yourself

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 
[Charlie Chaplin]

Wake Up to Live by Desiree Leigh

Friday, August 5, 2016

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. 

I started the blog Wake Up to Live! because I wanted others to wake up to live a life fully and passionately.  I was once a sleeper, and I lived life from a knee-jerk reaction not conscious of the reasons to my emotions and behaviors, as well as my choices. Also important, I wasn't aware of time passing me by. Once I awoke, life became clear, refreshing, truthful, and exhilarating. At the same time, each moment of time became precious. I found a way to create a person that I wanted to live with, and I wanted to find a way to share my experiences of waking up and encouraging other to wake up to live fully, too.

To wake up and to live a life fully and passionately, one must clear out the baggage we carry.  This baggage darkens our view of life and our view of ourselves. So, in the blog I talk about the healing process and what one can be prepared for.  I encourage and give strength and power through my stories hoping to encourage others, both men and women, to step forward and know that all will be well when confronting darkness. In the moments during the healing process, it can be extremely difficult. So many varying emotions come pouring out.  With persistence and with the support of a health care provider, and knowing that these emotions or the pain you feel in your heart or your head won't last forever, the brilliance and depth of life will be revealed all around you.

I speak from a spiritual mentor, counsellor's, and life coach perspective inter-playing the dynamics of each together or separately. Although I have retired my spiritual mentor hat, and I do not define myself as a spiritual mentor, I will always live by what has awakened me and how I live my life. I like to say that I am a health promoter or educator incorporating the triad of mind, body, and spirit in my teachings and practice. 

Wake Up to Live with Desiree Leigh

Monday, July 25, 2016

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 very pleasant visit. I got to see one of her brothers and his wife that I haven't seen in years. It was nice to see old familiar faces and talk like time in-between our last visit was only yesterday. They left and the three of us were there to chat, but, really, it was mostly to listen.

As I sat there listening to her and how she plans on approaching the tumors, refusing to do any chemotherapy, I started to think about why I waited so long to visit.  I see her about once a year, but, really, once a year!  How could that be good enough?

The importance of staying connected with the ones you love.
I preach to my children that life is 'always' busy, and you have to make time for the people you love and care about. They do and I do, for each other.  That's what makes our bond with each other strong.  We see each other weekly chatting on current events and work, talking about the deep issues of life and our goals, recipes and the food we eat, and laughing about everything. Just recently, I had seen the three of them on Saturday morning. Since they all live together, I was able to do a respiratory and cardiovascular assessment on two and them.  I was glad they volunteered their time to do this for me so that I could practice my nursing skills. As a mom would do and an up-and-becoming registered nurse, I started giving my advice regarding health and blood pressure. They listened intently to my advice since mom is not rambling from some random self-help book anymore but from hard scientific facts.

Why do we wait so long to see the one's we love, or why do we wait so long to see certain people that we love?
The excuses we use to not see a loved one is not only about life's 'busyness.'  We have thoughts that ruminate every once in a while which dictate why or why not we visit loved ones. There are definitely good reasons. Some family members, in my circle, were abusive in the past and still are today, so I chose to leave them. Some, that are not abusive, I have kept in touch with.

Does your ex play a role in visiting the ones you love?
Ex's play a different role, though, and this old friend that was recently diagnosed with cancer is a sister of my ex. I always found myself questioning the relationship between me and her and the rest of the family when I moved on with my life. It wasn't a smooth and easy end. She and I always had a close bond, though. I remember when she arrived at Lion's Gate hospital when Fabio (my youngest son) was only 9 weeks old after a respiratory arrest. She seemed to be the only one that cared for the children I had with her brother, at the time. She was the one that was never judgmental and that meant a lot to me. She was always sincere and humble.

Not seeing the love that was always there in front on me.
When I went to visit her on Sunday, I picked up on her heart-felt care and concern for me by what she keeps around her home.  23 years ago, I was into making topiary trees and wreaths, and sewing kids costumes, aprons, and oven mitts, as well as ornamental pillows. I made her a pink heart-shaped wreath arranged with moss, ribbons and flowers. This wreath, that is falling apart, still hangs on a hook on the outside of her door welcoming visitors. I asked her if I could make her another wreath. She refused. I then asked her if she wanted me to fix the wreath I made for her, and she said yes.

By removing the wreath, she removes the memories, and she doesn't want to remove the old memories that are so precious to her. She doesn't see the unsightliness of the dilapidated wreath. She only sees the memories of connected-ness, love, happiness, and the children. Sometimes I wonder, can I also see beyond the unsightliness of things in my life as she does? How beautiful is that.  She also keeps a two and a half foot tall metal Eiffel tower that encases a candle the children and I bought her many years ago within her beautiful display just outside her front door.

What I learned from the cancer diagnosis.
My excuses are many. What does she think of me? Maybe she doesn't care? She doesn't have the time? She doesn't want to see me? I don't want to hear her say no and feel rejected. Maybe she's been influenced by the family. With these ruminating questions and statements, I am allowing time to pass as though life will never end. What I finally realized on Sunday was that she really did and does care about me, and not only about her nephews. That she always wanted me in her life, and even with my absence, I was a part of her life. It's my turn to step it up a notch now: to be there for her, to support her and her journey, to phone her, and to visit her.

Time is precious. Who knows how much time we each have on this planet. Spend it wisely with others--the one's you love.

Wake Up to Live

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Pray For Nice France


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 have been taken away from us, and it breaks our hearts to see this.

You are our brothers and sisters. We stand with you and we mourn with you. You are not alone in this. These attacks are beginning to be too frequent and too many lives are lost. We must all stand in solidarity.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

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. This is what a coach does. . . holds you accountable, motivates you, inspires you, challenges you to be your best, and creates awareness (besides many other things).

People Not Really Seen As Coaches

When you were a teen or a young adult, who usually held you accountable? Hopefully your parents. If you are an academic student, who holds you accountable with your studies?  Your teacher most likely, but also your parents if they understand the value of education. Or, maybe you have a mentor that gives you support and encouragement. I know my weaknesses, and there are certain things in my life that I need someone to hold me accountable to get things done.  The old weight loss issue! A day goes into weeks and then into months. Next thing you know, a year or two pass and you wonder what actually happened to losing that 10 or 15 pounds or being diligent in attending the gym or some exercise regime at least 3 to 4 times per week.  I know I can be the best procrastinator when it comes to this! And, because I know that I am terrible in disciplining myself with this, I hire a life coach.

Various Types of Coaches

Your coach doesn't have to be someone who presents themselves as a "coach" on their business card or website. A few years back, I went to Jenny Craig for some support.  I loved their program.  Each week I would go into the local office and talk with an adviser/coach about my achievements, challenges, and goals. She kept me motivated and accountable.  Of course, I slipped up on occasion, but that's not a big. I just got back on the saddle and started again with her support.

You WILL Have Failures

What happens when you don't hire a coach?  I'll share my experience. Because I can be an excellent procrastinator in not getting to the gym, over time, I notice I begin to lose my self-esteem.  Over time, and after many failures of not getting something done, I start to see myself as a failure, and then I start the negative self-talk.

How A Coach Supports

A life coach helps you realize that you are not a failure. A coach shows you and reminds you of your successes and to appreciate them.  Thankfully, a coach sees so much more in you than many of us see in ourselves.  Sometimes, what holds us back is that if we do slip up, we think we are hopeless. That's not the case at all.  Failure is part of success. You cannot have one without the other; that's being human.

Consider Hiring A Coach In Your Life

Don't put your life off to tomorrow; it always comes back to bite you.  I, myself, had an organizational coach, spiritual coach, writing coach, business coach, success coach, weight-loss coach, as well as many others during the times I needed them. They work; that's why I hire coaches. Personally, I do not look for accreditation because I find many of these coaches are becoming too rigid in there ways. Just because coaches are accredited does not mean they are good coaches. There are many valuable coaches that are not accredited! I have some deep feelings regarding this issue from what I have experienced with accredited coaches. However, since I am a member of International Coach Federation, I definitely adhere to the ICF code of ethics and core competencies.  I, myself, look for coaches that have coach training in the fields I prefer and not accreditation. All of my previous coaches were specially trained, one with the Tony Robbins group, and not accredited. I also look for coaches with coach training from various schools that have a 'broad' perspective and are not narrow minded in their fields.


Nonetheless, it is your responsibility, as the reader of this blog, to fully research the coach you desire. I take no responsibility in your results for who you hire. All blog posting are for entertainment purposes only. I do not offer any medical, legal, or professional advice.


Putting Off to Tomorrow

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

How Hard Do You Bash Yourself With Negative Self-Talk

How Are You Speaking to Yourself?
Wake Up to Live with Desiree Leigh

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, I quickly started the negative self-talk.

Over the years, I have figured out which feeling are my intuition talking with me--the ones I should listen to- and which ones are just my thoughts rambling in my head and distracting me. Yet, I have the ability  to over-rule my intuition too quickly.  It's frustrating to say the least.

I'm being really honest here. I can be so hard on myself that when I actually begin to listen to myself, I am floored to how rude and nasty I am to myself. I would NEVER treat another person as I do myself when I get to this point.  Once I finish bashing myself with negative self-talk, you can only imaging where my self-esteem goes?

So, right now, I am saying to the committee that meets inside my head to sit down and shut up. I must be forceful and determined to stop it. I cannot expect myself to be perfect, and, really, that is where the problem lies when I make a mistake.

Be Good to Yourself.

Thursday, June 30, 2016

What Can Turn Into Glorious Success

What Can Turn Into Glorious Success

Wake Up to Live with Desiree Leigh

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 momentum there 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 momentum that 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 your actions, you will be heading towards success in your life. 

Wake Up to Live with Desiree Leigh

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Wake Up to Live! New Beginnings

New Beginnings

Wake Up to Live with Desiree Leigh

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 life in a new perspective. What I experienced in my past--whether it was yesterday or ten years from today, I can take it with me and carry it all day and into my future, or I can stay in the present, see the new beginnings each day, and know that I have the efficacy to create life.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Wake Up to Live! When You Nurture the Whole Woman

When You Nurture the Whole Woman

Wake Up to Live with Desiree Leigh

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 relationship or a job, perhaps it is time to move on. 

Nurturing the whole woman.

When we don't nurture the whole woman, illness may form.  Mental health problems, anxiety, stresses on the body begin to tax us in various ways. Our thoughts begin to get cloudy and distorted.  When you realize these things are happening, you start to understand that you are neglecting some areas in your life.  It is time to start nurturing the whole woman with reflection, self-care, self-acceptance, and self-love.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Wake Up to Live! What Happens If You Don't Take Action

What Happens If You Don't Take Action

Wake Up to Live with Desiree Leigh

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 make a solemn promise to yourself and take action to create your passion and to transform your idea into something tangible.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Wake Up to Live! How to Gain Something Better

How to Gain Something Better

Wake Up to Live with Desiree Leigh

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 change were 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.

Monday, June 6, 2016

When You Dig Deep For Strength

When You Dig Deep for Strength

Wake Up to Live with Desiree Leigh

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.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Wake Up to Live! Live Life Before Death

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. 

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Wake Up to Live! Desires, Fears, and Regrets

Life Is A Dance With Desires and Fears
Or Will You Live Life With Regrets

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 expected of me.
2. I wish I hadn't worked so hard and spent more time with family and friends.
3. I wish I had the courage to express my feelings.
4. I wish I chose to be happier.
5. I wish I traveled more.

These are only just a few of the regrets.  Since then, many interviews have taken place and these interviews have revealed many more regrets.

Every time I make a decision, I always think about Tony Robbins analogy which is, When I am sitting in a rocking chair at 80, 90, or 100 years old and I am looking back at my life, what do I see?  Am I happy with the choices I made?  Do I have an amazing story to tell my grandchildren (or others)? Or are my memories filled with regrets?

Wake Up to Live with Desiree Leigh

Related Links: Choices Don't Exist In A Vacuum; Thrive Rather than Survive

I invite you to leave a comment below.  Let me know how you liked the post and what sorts of posts you would like to see more of. 

Friday, May 27, 2016

Wake Up to Live! Make Peace With Your Past

Make Peace With Your Past

Wake Up to Live with Desiree Leigh

I bled all my life up until I was in my early 40's.  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 the healing process.  Whenever I wanted to give up, whenever it felt like I couldn't endure the pain anymore, I went back to the thoughts of my children and how I wanted to be as a mom.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Wake Up to Live! 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.  Interview a few before you make a commitment.  My psychotherapist, a few years back, stated quite clearly to me that there are good counsellors and there are bad one's.  I,too, have come across some pretty shady one's that would more likely hurt than help. Don't give up. Even in the worst conditions, it is possible to keep an outlook that things can and will change.

3. Do you know a lawyer or a friend that knows a lawyer? Get some legal advice.  I can tell you that there are good lawyers and bad lawyers.  For some reason, I came across the bad one's giving outrageous advice!  Be cautious and be courageous. Just because these lawyers have a degree, it doesn't mean they all have your well-being in mind and give you the best advice.  They all grew up with their own issues.

4. If there is a drug or alcohol abuse issue involved in the relationship, who needs the support?  This, for sure, needs to be addressed immediately for anything to change!

5. Keep at it. Walk, meditate, journal, read great books-just don't take them as absolute, or pray, for example. Do what you need to do in those moments.

Remember, too, that sometimes within that relationship things change.  Amazing things are possible!

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Wake Up to Live! Rape Victims Coming Forward

Why Does It Take So Long for A Rape Victim to Come Forward?

Wake Up to Live with Desiree Leigh
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 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 the top.

I can tell you from my own personal experience of being sexually assaulted twice, once at the age of 13 just after I entered grade 8 at McNicoll Junior High in Penticton, B.C. and again at 16 when I was at Pen-High, that getting sexually assaulted whether by a high profile individual, a white-collar or some blue-collar individual does not make you feel or do anything differently.  The reaction is still the same!

I came forward regarding the rapes when I was about 43 years old.  I reported the incidents to the West Vancouver police since I lived in that community at the time, and a case file was open at the Penticton RCMP branch. It was about the time when my two youngest children just moved away to attend university.  It took me, from the first assault, 30 years before I came forward.  I was busy with my coaching and counselling practice and studying psychology part-time.  It was also at the time when my own therapy was coming to an end, and, honestly, I believe that is was all the inner work that I did that freed me to come forward and finally reveal the truth of what happened.

So why did it take me, now a rape survivor, so long to come forward?  Initially, I was embarrassed, ashamed, and humiliated.  I felt like an idiot that I didn't fight my perpetrators off.  I felt weak and stupid. I felt as though it was my fault.  At the same time, I didn't speak up about the rape because when I spoke up about the childhood sexual abuse at the age of 5, my voice was 'slammed' down.  I was told I was a liar and I should never speak of such a thing again!  So, then, why would I speak up about a rape that happened 7 years later. My belief was that no one would believe me, and then I would be accused that it was my fault.  Did I need to feel anymore shallow than I already did?  No.  So I kept this secret for many years. Absolutely not telling another soul.  Over the years, I kept it so far down my throat that even I almost started to believe it didn't happen, but I started gagging on it.  My behavior, my choices, and my emotional reactions were a dead give away that something was wrong inside.

Still, what made me finally come forward and talk about the rape?  It was for my children, and I finally realized that it was the 'right' thing to do.  Through the work of healing, it took me a few years before I felt strong enough to endure the back lash that may come with speaking up.  Healing was my preparation, and it made me strong because I finally began to see how distorted my way of thinking was regarding the sexual assaults and the chronic childhood sexual abuse.  This distortion, me believing that it was my fault, had to be cleared up.  Now I put the blame where it is supposed to be rather than on myself.

It may take a long time for a rape victim to come forward regarding her or his sexual assault experience, but by taking so long to come forward after the heinous crime has been committed does not make the story invalid! Every woman or man has their own reasons for coming forward at a later date.  Do not persecute them once again for how long it has taken them to come forward.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Wake Up to Live! You Are Worthy

Wake Up to Live! You Are Worthy 

Wake Up to Live by Desiree Leigh
How many times have you resolved 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 distorted self-concept in public, but if you don't acknowledge this current truth to your self, you stay in the dark and what you want or hope to change cannot.

Once you realize and accept your distorted belief--once you put it in the forefront--which could be that your value does decrease if someone does not see it, you now have the ability to change, to reprogram, what is distorted to the correct version.  This process is actually quite simple, but it takes work; it takes effort.  The acknowledging itself is usually the struggle.  It's moving past denial and speaking the truth to what is 'really' happening inside your brain--your thoughts.  

In order to Wake Up to Live Life fully you must be honest with your authentic Self.  This can be the most humbling process you will ever experience, but it is worth the effort! 

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Your Untamed Spirit

Your Untamed Spirit?

Wake Up to Live with Desiree Leigh

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 wild with your untamed spirit.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

The Journey of 1000 Miles

The Journey

Wake Up to Live by Desiree Leigh
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

Monday, May 2, 2016

Emotional Attachment to Thoughts

Wake Up to Live with Desiree Leigh

Emotional Attachment to Thoughts, 
and How It 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 memories--those thoughts, are always at the forefront.  We never forget them!  So, why not attach strong, positive, and passionate emotion to what you do want.  Events and circumstances in life will then present themselves in such a manner, because the strong, positive, and passionate emotions have attached themselves to those desired thoughts, to achieve your destined goal.

Life is not always this simple and complete, nonetheless.  When things--situations--come your way that are unexpected, unpleasant, or unwanted, remember to breath and let those feelings, emotions, and body sensations pass because, once again, we are talking about emotions, and if you let those emotions heighten uncontrollably, the unwanted circumstances always seem to remain longer and/or morph into something greater.

It is also important to remember that achieving goals is never a straight line because we are not perfect or uniform in our desires.  We are human.  We are always changing, morphing into something new.  So be flexible and adjust your desires accordingly when needed by continued reflection.

Wake Up to Live with Desiree Leigh