she used to climb trees…

she used to climb trees…

She used to climb trees, enjoying the thrill of her strong body skillfully navigating the higher branches, while happily wearing her brothers’ clothes. Riding her bike for hours, excitedly peddling up hills while anticipating the rush of lifting her feet off the pedals as she flew at great speed down the other side. Her body was her fun and robust friend to adventure with; they always had a blast together.

“Soon, your bottom will change,” a family member commented, looking at her. Something in the energy of the words made her stomach turn– why was someone else noticing and commenting on my bottom? She wondered.

Soon afterward, she noticed sideways looks from men her father’s age, observing her body change, as though she didn’t have peripheral vision. There was that icky energy again.

In her teens, she was astounded by the free-for-all on commenting on her body. It seemed to be uncomfortably interesting to so many. Family members, family friends, their co-workers, strangers she just met– legs, bottom, and now boobs too, leering and objectifying disguised as lighthearted jokes that were to be received as compliments. She could see it all clearly. It was not okay, and it made her furious inside, but her small-town community still held this as acceptable behavior.  When she showed any irritation, she was accused of not having a sense of humor, and older females coached her to ‘just ignore them.’ Pushing her fury downwards inside, she quickly developed new survival skills to navigate awkward and often abusive and frightening situations without making anyone else uncomfortable — especially for some reason, the males persecuting her at that moment.

She wasn’t sure how she felt about her body anymore. Her inner fury and the icky energy she was receiving had to go somewhere; she turned it towards herself. She abandoned her strong, fun, and adventurous friend and joined everyone else, objectifying herself. Somehow it made sense at the time, as a piece of her brain snapped at way too many comments that long exhausting year. She bought into the concept that her body ‘should look a certain way’ to please others. 

Wounded, she accepted this as her new truth, which in her teens involved withholding food from herself and then comfort eating, followed by hours in the gym working to be ‘enough.’ She became an expert at disconnecting from her old adventurous friend and the complex and intense emotions about it right below the surface. 

Meanwhile, her body powerfully carried two healthy babies to term, nursed and sustained them. It stayed up all night to nurture sick children, chased them around at the playground, built forts, and later stood in goal as soccer balls needed to be saved for their entertainment. It walked around airconditioned supermarkets, seemingly endlessly moving products from shelves, to carts, to the car to the fridge. It scrubbed, cleaned, pruned, walked the dog, ran errands for friends, and facilitated endless cuddles.  

While carrying an extra 30 pounds, her body was sometimes the butt of some fat jokes (because her body was, of course, still open to be judged and commented on by others). Still, it was better than the earlier attention and all the ‘ick’ she had locked away somewhere very deep inside. Keeping the weight on felt safe.

Much of her blessed and abundant life had a side of sadness attached to it, and she wasn’t sure why. She had not yet identified the emotion as being the sadness of her body. The friend that had loved and supported her family all these years, while being ignored and judged instead celebrated. It still showed up for her fully each day but was sad at the self-disconnection and sabotage. As her body patiently and faithfully waited for the long-withheld love, it began to deteriorate naturally, signaling distress with aches and pains.

Reluctantly having to pay closer attention to her body’s needs at first, more vegetables were consumed for the nutrients needed instead of how they made her body look. Exercise and hydration were focused on improving muscle function, not the appearance of tone or a preferred shape. Without realizing it, she had began to work with, instead of against, her own body. Rest and quiet moments were intentionally chosen for spirit to feed her soul and heal her wounds. She began to choose kind words to describe her body and secretly appreciate and praise it for all it has achieved. She did this secretly because she had learned that her voice alone was the only feedback that mattered to her body. Her body is her business alone – “I’m so sorry,” she whispered, “Thank you, I love you” she added, as they reconnected in light inside of her.

 Her mind-body and spirit were once again in harmony, and she was able to grow in self-love and feel a sense of joy that reconnected her back to her days climbing trees and riding bikes until twilight in her youth with her brother. 

No longer sad and growing in confidence, strength, and durability, her body continued to proudly sustain her through a fulfilling career and as a busy and needed grandparent. Her sacred vessel was finally being treated with the love and respect it had always deserved.

She reflected on her healing journey during long walking adventures, smiling as she past the beautiful tall trees she once climbed with her fun and robust friend, with gratitude bursting from her heart and her soul finally at peace.

 A short healing story by Joanna Peters.

 

Sink deeper into what it means to fully choose yourself, in A Woman’s word by Joanna:

 

“Beautiful souls, our time to rise is now. But first we need to stop believing the lie that every other woman has it all together except us”.

Bombarded with unrealistic societal messages about what being successful as a woman looks like, A Woman’s Word is a compelling and refreshing confirmation that we all doubt ourselves, break down in tears, struggle with comparison and wonder if we are ‘enough’ at times.

Joanna Peters has had the honor of standing beside some seriously remarkable warriors on their healing journeys. Leveling the ‘secret shame’ playing field with no topic off-limits, she shares her first-hand account of nine women’s heartwarming, emotional, and empowering healing stories and their brave journeys from darkness to light. She shares their courageous and complicated stories in support of all women, so we can see ourselves in their struggle and find a way forward in our lives.

Too often, our journey to peace is compromised by trying to hide the fact that we are a human with flaws. Darkness is a part of everyone’s journey that needs a light shined through it to heal.

Follow Rosa’s heart-wrenching journey through teen addiction and homelessness, Sophia’s relatable struggle with perfectionism and anxiety in corporate while battling secret shame, or cry with Brenda as she fumbles through motherhood battling depression and devastating grief.

A Woman’s Word shares the raw and empowering true stories of nine brave women healing from the darkness of trauma that beckons and inspires healing, acceptance and self-love in us all.

www.joannapeters.com/books

a woman’s guide to self-love and survival during hard seasons

a woman’s guide to self-love and survival during hard seasons

We all experience “survival only” times of our lives; a pandemic is for sure one for them, especially when you add whatever hard thing you were already walking through.

You know you are in such a season when your heart hurts, your brain is melting, and you want to crawl under the covers for a while or move dimensions.

‘This too shall pass,’ and when it does, you can ramp up again and live your best life according to that circumstance.

For now, it’s essential to give yourself a break as much as you can.  Perhaps you have already let some things go – good for you!

I hope that you have also released the guilt of not keeping up with your regular life.

 Letting go of some of the things that seemed important before will create the space you need to heal your emotions – but only if you fully embrace having no guilt at all about doing so.

You get to choose how you survive this period.

Your core values, when boiled down, most likely don’t include many “to-dos” to execute. They are typically ways of being (loving, kindness, etc.).

So be kind to yourself and cross some more things off that to-do list, have fun doing it!

 You are divinely supported and loved. You are worthy regardless of how you handle this challenging time, so what do you want and need this next week to look like?

There are no rules here, and this is a truly personal thing. Here are some examples, though:

 

For the next week, I will:

  • Accept less work effort from my kids. They are struggling/adapting too.
  • Close doors on rooms, I release myself from cleaning during this time.
  • Request help from someone.
  • Reach out to support others, seek connection.
  • Hide the vacuum
  • Only cook and do dishes.
  • Stick your hair together with dry shampoo and put it up.
  • Declare kitchen as ‘self-serve’; help yourselves!

 Within each of us, we have many rules in our heads about how we would ideally prefer to live and what daily success means. Our partner has another version of those rules. Our parents had theirs, and society has many “shoulds” sprinkled on top just for fun.

 Here’s the thing, though, my love, this is your life. You can do whatever you want –for real.

 Discern what taking it down a level might look like for you in an area of your life, evaluate if it adds or decreases stress to you in making that change.

 If maintaining a higher standard is coming from pleasing others, notice that and evaluate accordingly. (Loving reminder: YOU matter).

Since you have not added the typical layer of guilt or “I am failing/I am a mess” self-talk that would be making you feel worse, you will have created the needed space for healing.

Here are some ideas to process your emotions and heal:

  • Pray/meditate
  • Journal out your thoughts freely about all the things.
  • Take walks in nature to gain perspective and ask for spiritual support.
  • Do one thing that makes you happy every day, even if it makes no sense.

And finally, please love yourself so fiercely that once you have a vision of what this could look like, speak up for it and say, “and so it is.”

You deserve to make whatever that is, happen for yourself.

 I am sending so much love to you during this time!

Joanna Peters, Coach & Author: Guiding soul weary women to heal from their painful pasts, shed shame and finally live with the peace and self-love they deserve. 

 

would you like to be validated and inspired by other women who have walked through hard seasons?

In my book “A Woman’s Word”, you will get a first-hand account of 9 brave women courageously rebuilding their lives in every sense after walking through some of the hardest things that humanity has to endure – you will fall in love with, identify with, and root for these real women.  

By reading A Women’s Word readers are sure to be inspired and encouraged.  Joanna eloquently shares deeply heroic, empowering stories. I have to tell you—when I got to the last line, I cheered out loud! – Elizabeth D, Editor Balboa Press. 

HOW TO SURRENDER WHEN YOU ARE STUBBORN, BUT ALSO EXHAUSTED

HOW TO SURRENDER WHEN YOU ARE STUBBORN, BUT ALSO EXHAUSTED

I don’t know about you but I’m kinda stubborn. Surrendering anything is super hard for me. Control in parenting, choice of paint color, anything.

The curse of the recovering perfectionist.

In addition to that personality trait, my childhood experience had me toughen up and take responsibility for things I shouldn’t have at an early age, which can be a hard habit to shake.

That type of experience also tends to have us put up some protection walls somewhere, that makes words like “vulnerability” or “surrender” be less desirable than ‘strong’ and ‘powerful”.

It feels strong and powerful to resist ‘what is’ and put up a fight.

But then we feel exhausted and overwhelmed. What if there is another way…?

It’s a little funny how I came to the ‘surrender realization’ I am talking about.

 I was not raised to be particularly spiritual. I was invited to a church in my 20s by a friend, and when I went, I felt alone and sad.

 There were people there with joy in their eyes, with peace and genuinely hugging each other hello. I knew I didn’t have what they had and I didn’t know how to get it.

 During the worship that day, my mind was wandering. I was so bored, they were singing the same verse of a song over and over again.

I was not entertained, so my mind was wandering on how I can get to the level of peace and joy that I had witnessed.

 What was I missing? What did I need to do?

The boring song was repeating that same verse over and over again..(I had such an attitude) “I sur-render. All to you. All to you”

“ I I I sur-render. All to you. All to you”…. “

As soon as it connected in my brain that I was being given my answer in the song, I had opened a teeny-weeny gap in my armor and spirit flooded into my body.

Physically feeling spirit pour into my veins, head spinning and my heart pumped with loving energy and support instantly.

Tears were coming to my eyes, although like the warrior I was, I was trying to swallow them down so no one saw or knew I was crying.

In that moment I knew it was true. There is a loving force, I am not alone. I skipped home smiling randomly at strangers because I loved them all.

I feel that powerful loving energy when any faith is praying, my Jewish and Muslim friends access the same energy. We are so loved.

I know this to the core of my being, yet there are days I feel overwhelmed and throw a tantrum. Why?

Because I am human and this surrendering thing is super hard!

We have to do it daily and our ego hates it.

If we want to BE in control (which ego does, because we feel it is in our best interests and protects us), we wind up FEELING in control and responsible – that is – to have the weight of the universe on our shoulders.

I like to call that process ‘promoting myself to managing director of the universe’. I feel responsible for the outcome of all the things around me, and get overwhelmed.

Then my thoughts escalate to things like “how am I going to get this done? Will it be good enough? Will I fail?

I continue to add more thoughts to this ever growing overwhelm, increasing my anxiety, until I remember – finally – that I am not actually the managing director of the universe. (phew!)

My job is to:

  • Take my little action step, then surrender and trust.
  • Trust that He (God/the Universe) is better at this than me.
  • Trust that since He created the entire universe, He can probably handle my situation.
  • Trust that his way will work out even better than the version I am trying to ‘strong arm’ into existence.
  • Trust in His timing (my personal worst struggle, I’m so impatient).
  • Breathe and trust. That’s how this whole thing works best for everyone. Especially when things on earth here are super hard, we need to do our part, then let go.

So when I remember, here is what I know to be true, and it’s the opposite to the way my brain is naturally wired –

The hardest thing possible for a human to do is to trust something, or someone enough to surrender our ego’s will.

Faith therefore takes tremendous continuous strength, not weakness.

The challenge, daily, is to quit the self-appointed position of being the managing director of the universe, in exchange for being divinely loved and supported instead.

Doesn’t seem so bad a trade when I remember.

If any of this resonated with you, I invite you to take the quiz below to determine which inner traits are currently blocking you from living in flow and connection with yourself and the universe.

Sending so much love,

Joanna Peters, Coach & Author: Guiding soul weary women to heal from their painful pasts, shed shame and finally live with the peace and self-love they deserve. 

 

    do you know what is causing your personal exhaustion?

    If you want to gain a complete picture of what inner traits are draining you the most right now take my signature Quiz.

    After the 2 minute quiz, I will send you more goodies tailored to the top three causes for your exhaustion, including a personalized report.

    HOW TO INTEGRATE SPIRITUAL SUPPORT INTO YOUR BUSY LIFE

    HOW TO INTEGRATE SPIRITUAL SUPPORT INTO YOUR BUSY LIFE

    I received this vision a while ago while I was venting to a friend in complete frustration. I knew I wanted to connect to spirit and receive more, yet “in actuality,” I vented, “I zig and zag to complete exhaustion!” – ah-ha. That felt big to understand.

    When we are putting others first, it’s super common to find ourselves running from task to obligation, hoping to schedule some time to ourselves at some point “later” to recharge.

    The longer we put off the connection by doing more tasks or obligations first, the worse we feel, and the larger our need becomes to rest. We then start to believe we don’t have the time to dedicate to our mental, spiritual and emotional wellness because we imagine it will take an afternoon to feel better, which we don’t have.

    The misconception is that we need a large chunk of time to reconnect.

    The vision I received was the zig and zag in this visual below. We are to develop the habit of weaving moments into our day to receive spiritual connection and support, thus clearing fear regularly, receiving love and support from the Divine, and promoting overall wellness.

    We are not designed to do this alone!

     During these pit-stops, remind yourself to Breathe mindfully, Connect (to your body and then Spirit) and Receive (spiritual love and support).

    From a reconnected state with a higher vibration, you can choose a new mindset for your next task.

    The new mindset will likely feel lighter in your body and create more desirable results in your life.

    Ways to open portals to connect and receive the ‘one-minute positive energy boosts’ include:

     

    • Simply say ‘help, please reconnect me to your love and support’.
    • Send up a prayer/request for support
    • Listen to your favorite worship music
    • Listen to any music that lights you up
    • Imagine yourself being visually cleansed with white light being poured down.
    • Essential oils
    • Hold crystals and set intention for what you need them to do
    • Put your hand on your heart and recite your favorite mindset affirmations
    • Step into nature of any kind, and BE with it.  
    • Cuddle a pet

    Don’t leave it until you are exhausted and about to “lose it”, before you use some of these tools to support you. Or in other words:

     The Zig-Zag Method – Use it or or “lose it!” 

    Sending so much love,

    Joanna Peters, Coach & Author: Guiding soul weary women to heal from their painful pasts, shed shame and finally live with the peace and self-love they deserve.

    do you know what is causing your personal exhaustion?

    If you want to gain a complete picture of what inner traits are draining you the most right now take my signature Quiz.

    After the 2 minute quiz, I will send you more goodies tailored to the top three causes for your exhaustion, including a personalized report.

    How to know when your strong emotions are lying to you

    How to know when your strong emotions are lying to you

    Here’s a super subtle thing I teach, that winds up making all the difference in the world to a girl’s self-perception, inner confidence, and divine connection:

    There is a difference between ‘the truth’ (Divine truth) Vs what ‘feels true (wounded truth) about ourselves.

    For example:

    Wounded truth: Feels true that “I am alone. If I am fully myself no one will like me.”
    Divine Truth – “I am loved and supported. When I am fully ‘me’, I attract who I am meant to.”

    Another example:

    Wounded truth: “I need to work hard to prove myself and earn respect and approval”
    Divine Truth: “I am already enough, loved and supported.”

     So, what is a “Wounded Truth”?

    Wounded truths are stories our minds came up with when we were younger to explain or rationalize life events; they attempt to cover or protect us from subconscious wounds.

    They feel super true even though they also make us sad, because they were built from self-doubt.

    Conversely, wound-free and connected to Source, our higher selves know how loved we are and that the difficult life event was perhaps a lesson, but had nothing to do with our self-worth.

    I can intuitively see and feel my client’s wounded stories about themselves, as well as which wound is causing the confusion and creating the disconnection from self-love.

    This is an important topic in my REVIVE group coaching and soul support program. We look at which wounded truth is most in our way, and keeping us ‘stuck’ right now.

    We also cover in REVIVE: How to reconnect to our intuition and KNOW which is divine guidance compared to a wounded mindset trying to protect us.

    Whatever difficult emotion is coming up for you, a great question to ask yourself is – What am I thinking this situation is saying about me?

    It typically isn’t the current event itself, but a deeper and older wound being triggered causing your intense emotional reaction. 

    When you know your triggers, awareness brings with it the ability to heal and change our life experience. 

    Breathe beautiful, I’m sending so much love to you as you navigate your journey! 

    Joanna Peters, Coach & Author: Guiding soul weary women to heal from their painful pasts, shed shame and finally live with the peace and self-love they deserve. 

     

    would you like to be validated and inspired by other women who have walked through hard seasons?

    In my book “A Woman’s Word”, you will get a first-hand account of 9 brave women courageously rebuilding their lives in every sense after walking through some of the hardest things that humanity has to endure – you will fall in love with, identify with, and root for these real women.  

    By reading A Women’s Word readers are sure to be inspired and encouraged.  Joanna eloquently shares deeply heroic, empowering stories. I have to tell you—when I got to the last line, I cheered out loud! – Elizabeth D, Editor Balboa Press.