Hello and wellcome to some of my life experiences.
Horses and Other Animals
I grew up in San Diego California working with animals. I helped deliver my first litter of German shepherd puppies when I was six years old. Nine puppies later, and what seemed like all day to me, we had a beautiful litter. I have always felt a connection to animals, I worked with vets helping deliver (animal) babies of some kind well into my 20's.
I started riding horses when I was 5 years old at a local stable with a friend that had a horse. I have always had a connection and understanding of horses. When I was about 14 yrs old, friends started asking me to help them with their horses, this is when I started making money at riding and training. I started a horse training business, which was very successful for over 10 years.
Often times when I had a horse in training, I would show up to work the horse and ended up in the owner’s kitchen talking to them about life challenges. I have worked on many horse ranches in my life in California and have met and known some amazing people as well.
I believe everyone has gifts to offer. I found that if I paid attention, watched and listened, people would show me how incredibly amazing they are. I feel very blessed to have been able to do what I love and make a living at it.
In my early 20's I got my Cosmetology Certification and have enjoyed my creative independence as a hairstylist. You may have heard, people tell more personal things to their hairstylists than they do their therapist. I found that to be very true. So as my life journey continued, a Life Coach just seemed like the next logical place for me to go at that time in my life. Now with an education through iPEC (the most reputable and highly accredited coaching school) and PTSD training with Brain Stimulated Wellness (BSW) and Family Law Mediation, to go with my intuition and life experience, I am able to continue helping people with life’s challenges and encourage them to be thankful and focus on opportunities in personal growth.
I don’t train horses or give riding lessons anymore, but I still have horses of my own and spend as much time as possible riding my horse with my two wonderful dogs.
Best day ever: I was on a coaching call (headset) and riding my horse at the same time. Wow! :0)
I got married when I was 26 years old. I was married to a man with good intentions. He was very smart and ambitious with high hopes for his life. He, unfortunately, didn’t have the personality or coping skills to handle life challenges with optimism. When life threw him a curve he escaped to pain pills (opioids) or Whiskey while hiding behind the veil of Christianity (as an ordained minister). What I went through in my first marriage became emotionally debilitating. I felt like a failure. I studied every book I could read on mental illness, drug and alcohol addiction, co-dependent behavior and raising children in this environment. I went to self-help workshops and classes on mental illness and addiction. I was also in therapy myself for a year. I was determined to “survive at all cost” and raise my children. Staying strong enough to possibly help my husband and being a good example to my children was very important to me. After two interventions through the church and three rehabs with no lasting success, I thought divorce through long and hard. How would this affect my children and what would my ex do in court? Making this decision was very difficult.
The divorce proceedings took over a year. I thought the battle was over until a year later. I went back to family court on average three times a year for the next eleven years, six of which I was Pro-se (represented myself). All total, twelve years later, the air is clear and I have spent nearly $100,000.
During this time of court hearings, I met my current husband at the end of 2007 and moved to his small community. The court battles were not only at my end but at my husband’s as well. It's unfortunate but when people are hurting…………it can distort their ability to make decisions focused on what is best for the kids, instead of their own personal pain and fears of not surviving.
So in mine and my new love's first three years together, we were in court with one ex or the other. I got really good at preparing court documents with the help of my husband and representing myself in court. It seemed all we did in our spare time was prepare for court. We made great warriors back to back, being there for each other in battle. But in the downtime, reconnecting with each other as lovers was challenging, but learning to focus on being in the moment helped us re-connect when we had the time.
But through all this, my husband and I got to observe and support each other in very challenging situations early in our relationship as “warriors”. There is something that happens when a person enters into situations that pushes them to the brink and brings to the surface what triggers their emotional fears. It provided the opportunity for us to grow, and build “trust in battle” to accept each other in weakness, as well as strength. I can honestly say, it was very challenging, to say the least. We used to say "this too shall pass" while we stuck to our commitment to grow closer to each other through each experience, and look forward to our future together with excitement.
My last day in court was November 2014 where the court ruled that my children now have a choice in visitation and what kind of relationship if any, that they will have with their father. This was the result of him passing out while driving down the freeway with them is the car. My daughter 13 at the time, drove from the passenger seat in and out of traffic until he was conscience again. Thank God, this was the last straw for our Judge, finally after years of emotional abuse. They survived that day but not without having been traumatized. Since this ruling in court, they never heard from their father again.....
It’s amazing how, as a parent (when you) calm down, lead yourself and strive for balance, clear your own PTSD triggers....the kids seem to relax and put most of it behind them. Occasionally flickers of what they went through pop up, depending on what triggers them and how much time has passed. But for the most part, they will mirror the parent’s behavior and energy around the new life, family, and journey. You have the choice to lead both your children and yourself – not easy but a very powerful position to be in.
The example of positive personal leadership has made my children the responsible self-directed and confident people they are today. A divided family or conflict doesn't have to leave you or your children powerless.
I have so much empathy for families in difficult situations. My desire is for the families and parents going through a divorce or trying to make a new start, to be able to grow and learn valuable skills going forward. My hope, as a life coach, is to be able to help them see the opportunity, through acceptance and compassion towards themselves and others.
So my perspective on all this is – First and foremost are the safety and well being of you and your children. Get a hold of yourself, think it through, envision the possible outcome(s) of your options and then proactively manage stress to deal with the consequences and results. In hindsight, it is also vital to see personal growth opportunities. Being examples for the children on how to handle life’s challenges with courage, an open mind, forgiveness and a positive outlook for your new future is immeasurable. This can be the most rewarding thing you will ever do.
Most people have heard someone say one time or another, “stress is bad for your health”. This is true! But to what extent does stress affect a person’s health? How long until you start to see evidence of being at the effect of stress in your life? How aware are you to notice the physical (warning) signs in your body?
As I think and look back on my childhood, I had a blessed life. Tragically my little sister was severely injured in a car accident at 17 yrs old and laid in a hospital bed for 14 yrs with a head injury and a feeding tube until we all had to make that terrible decision to let her die. Each of us managed our emotions around this differently, but it gave us a profound appreciation for each other that will last a lifetime. Every family has its ups and downs but for the most part, I was loved and supported in every way.
When you're young you think everyone has a family just like yours, be it good or bad. As we get older we gain more perspective on life, which I think gives us better insight into ourselves.
My first marriage was not as I had witnessed as a child. I can say that my first marriage and the challenges of that, definitely affected my health in a very negative way. I ignored the physical warning signs of stress, and almost lost my health because of it. My advice on stress and your health is this;
“Clear the emotional effects of your trauma or abuse, focus on the good stuff, have an attitude of gratefulness! Be aware of how you see your self and others, take judgment out of it. Change begins with you; see life’s challenges with a hopeful perspective. Find the courage to take risks and move through difficult decisions and what may seem like un-survivable challenges, with an open mind to learn from your experiences and enjoy your journey”.