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. 

    what if you aren’t lacking patience, but boundaries?

    what if you aren’t lacking patience, but boundaries?

    When my kids were little, I tried so hard to have patience. Everyone would tell me how patient I was, but they weren’t around at that moment when I lost it. That moment where my head would start to spin and I was outside of my body watching, as this lady I barely recognized yelled and screeched things at my precious babies.

     Five minutes before that scene, I would be overtired and resentful for all the times they pushed my boundaries that day, yet I would still be trying to keep a patient and fun tone with them.

     Then later would come the shame attack. When they were in bed and resembling angels again, my mean voice would take over: “I blew it – we had such a lovely day and this is how it had to end” …the mean voice wasn’t finished…. “They are only little for a short while; I need to have more patience!.”

     Observing me with my children around that time, my Mum lovingly brought to my attention that I had it backward: “Jo, you don’t need to be more patient, you need to be LESS patient!”. I wasn’t clear yet what that would look like.

    I want to share my lessons in being “overly patient,” especially during this time when so many families are cooped up together and moms everywhere are understandably losing it and feeling bad.

    When my kids were small, I was missing an extremely important element to my parenting – that I matter too.

    When I remember that I matter too, I monitor my own happiness throughout the day, as closely as I do my children’s, and I speak up about my needs before I turn into an overtired and resentful version of myself.

     

    Here’s the personal check-in concept that helps me around patience:

    Feeling resentment and anger usually means I need to review my boundaries.

    • What did I want to say “no” to and said “yes” to instead?
    • Who need I need to speak up to?

    For me, this included cutting off their playtime when I was tired, saying “no” to the extra game of tumble purely because I was finding it annoying (and that was okay!), and stepping up my parenting to include immediate consequences for whining.

    Saying “no” to my kids more meant I had to energy to say “yes” to myself in other ways, like having the clarity of mind to make healthier food choices, or choose a 5-minute meditation in the bathroom. All of which served to keep everyone happier.

    The other key I learned to not becoming resentful and angry was taking care of my physical, emotional and spiritual needs during the day, too (for more on that click here). 

    I got a handle on speaking up about my boundaries when my kids were little, and I’m so glad I did because it was a necessary warmup for the teen years. Not only do I need to remember that I matter, but I have to guard my personal boundaries like my sanity depends on it, because it very much does!

    I think we all get that one child – the one who makes you earn your mommy badge. The pre-teen version of mine, perhaps a lawyer in training, would ask repeatedly and in multiple ways for whatever thing he was hyper focused on that day.

     I would say “no” and explain “why,” – then say “no,” and explain “why” again. Then later say “still no” and “here’s why.” It was exhausting. He wanted what he wanted, regardless of the words coming out of my mouth.

     At times I felt bullied by his persistence, and my tone would switch to annoyed and defensive, and then I would lose my patience. Then I would feel bad.

     Thankfully with age comes wisdom and healing. It didn’t take many rounds of this for me to remember that feeling angry and resentful was my personal indicator that I needed a boundaries recheck. I matter too, and this behavior was not OK.

     The problem was that I was being overly patient with his bad behavior.

     So, I set a new boundary around this behavior and a consequence. If he asked me something more than once, and I felt I had provided an adequate explanation, he lost his phone immediately.

     He still loses his phone a lot. I even choose to be a little amused by it. I admire his persistence; it will serve him well one day.

     He does not, however, get to rob my peace with his antics. I set that boundary and I guard it fiercely. While he stomps around phoneless in his room, I am sipping my coffee in peace, self-reflecting on a job well done.

    So, to my fellow peacekeeping, overly patient, people-pleasers out there, may this be a reminder to establish your boundaries and/or recommit to them with all the people in your life, especially in these hard times.

    If would also encourage you to take the Exhaustion Matrix Quiz below, to reveal which other personal traits are creating unnecessary stress in your life. In addition to your detail personal report, you will receive additional tips and tools to help you work back to a state of ‘flow’ in your life. 

    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.

     

    Originally posted on The MOPS Blog

    I Matter, Too

     

      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 you need to step up your boundaries game.

      How to know when you need to step up your boundaries game.

      Did you know that many women equate saying ‘no’ with ‘I don’t care about you’?

      If you struggle with speaking up about what you want, often feeling like your relationships are not reciprocal, you are not alone, my friend! That big old heart of yours is playing tricks on you, and as a recovering people pleaser – I’ve got you.

      Boundaries are either taught to you, and you are encouraged to use them growing up, or – like me, you reach exhaustion at some point and start researching what you are doing wrong!

      When you don’t set healthy boundaries, you are at the mercy of others – how much they ask of you, what makes them happy – you are letting someone else decides how you feel or should act.

      You may tell yourself that this is “okay” for a while, but you are human, and your soul will become lost, disappointed, sad, and more resentful the longer this continues.

      Boundaries are a good thing!!

      They are not about telling others that you don’t care about them or being selfish or mean.

      They are how you define your relationship with YOURSELF.

      They help honor YOUR needs, feelings, and values.

      What is important to you matters. Who will represent and protect those essential personal needs, if not yourself?

       

      Boundaries, when used well, protect your joy and conserve your energy. They make you a better version of yourself, which benefits everyone you are in a relationship with too!

      The first important step in setting boundaries is learning more about yourself – your true self.

      Letting go of, perhaps, the version of you that others have needed or wanted you to be in the past.

      For example:

      If you were praised in the past for helping people, maybe you do that often, and it does make you happy – until it doesn’t, because you need your own space to recharge sometimes too.

      There is no right or wrong with boundary setting. You make the rules and get to decide how people treat you, how they behave around you and what they can expect from you.

      If you have been running on empty like me and suspect you need to step up your boundary game, the next step is to uncover what is behind the exhausted feeling. When left unchecked, many inner traits exacerbate the hard things we are going through.  

      I invite you to take my 2-minute quiz below to identify what your Exhaustion Archetype is; I will explain how the shadow aspect of your archetype may be draining you and will send you free tools on how to create the life you want, personalized to your results.

      You matter! 

      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.

      I let go of things I cant control – wait, how to do I do that again?

      I let go of things I cant control – wait, how to do I do that again?

      I remember feeling as a little girl, when my Dad was driving us somewhere, that I was totally safe. Lying down in the back seat in the 70’s without a seat belt was peaceful for me.  I knew my job was to rest in his care, and I did so completely.

       I like to remember this feeling often, and remind myself that I can – when I remember – feel safe now, because my higher power is driving.

       Frequently however, I wake up from my slumber in the back seat of life, and try to grab the wheel back from my higher power. 

       I do this all the time! I imagine myself fighting for the wheel, and then being gently and lovingly reminded to trust Him.

       In these moments, I have to gently remind myself – again, that I am not the managing director of the universe. That He’s got this. 

       As an adult, I can get super anxious and sad about ‘all the things’  – from a news story to climate change, so I have to work hard at managing my emotions on a daily basis. 

       Just because the thought entered my head and I have compassion around it, that doesn’t make it my responsibility.

      I also need to remind myself often that worrying doesn’t count as action taken to resolve anything. 

       I believe that we are all given different concerns and empathy levels to motivate us to take inspired action, it can be a good thing!

       But drawing the line between acting on that ‘nudge’, and living in a state of worry and overwhelm can be a challenge for many of us.

       The ‘nudge’ about which things we care about is our intuition, so deepening this connection is key to being able to discern both the direction of where you are being guided, and to what extent your involvement is required in that area.

       Without this important piece developed, we are often left spinning in deep caring and empathy, with an overwhelming to-do list.  

      Reasons you may not be hearing your intellect clearly include:

       

      • Past wounds have you doubt or mistrust either yourself, or that you are loved and supported.
      • You value your intellect so both your ego and your rational mind are louder.
      • You habitually disconnect from your body because the feels have been uncomfortable in there in the past.

      Working to heal yourself and deepen this connection is critical to your peace, my love!

      After doing ‘all I can’, whatever that means to me personally, I then use various tools I have created to say ‘no’ to my worry thoughts and implement my emotional self-care steps.

      So, my love, the thing in the world that you are worried about right now, did you practically do all you can? (whatever that looks like to you), are you being responsible in the world around you as it impacts others? Think. Make a list. Check it off.

      Absolutely do what is within your control to make a positive impact, taking some action steps will help you feel fulfilled and ease your anxiety. 

      It’s the part after the action step we sometimes miss. Which is letting go of the responsibility of the larger outcome, and working on our emotional self-care. 

      You are not the managing director of the universe, thankfully your higher power has that job.

      When your mind wanders to something that you can’t control, gently remind yourself that you don’t need to micro manage your higher power, and yes, He/The Universe did already think of that too.

      Letting go is hard! (see my personal struggle with surrender here), but once we let go, our main job is then to look after ourselves. 

      We are important to this world. When we take our emotional self-care seriously, we can show up for others as our best selves.

      Self-care might be turning off the TV with the triggering news and playing a board game with the family, meditation or prayer, or perhaps reading a fun book or cuddling with our pets.

      You deserve and are meant to access and embody peace! 

      Breathe, create your peace and enjoy it.

      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. 

      Inner Child Connection and Healing

      Inner Child Connection and Healing

      One of the most healing experiences I personally experienced, after many years of different types of talk therapy, was spiritual inner child work. I love sharing this modality with others, to other healers and individuals looking to heal in a deeper way.

      What is the ‘Inner Child’?

      The ‘Inner child’ refers to that part of us that we can connect with, the girl version of ourselves inside, who likes to play and feel loved. It is also where we store our childhood wounds in our bodies energetically.

      We can still feel that pain from our youth some days, or maybe it’s there but we are disconnected from feeling it; either way, our personal triggers are created from having that trapped emotion or energy in our body.

      Spiritually, we still have the wounded inner child within us – split off, or frozen at the age when the difficult event happened that wounded us.

      You may have a sad eight-year-old girl inside of you, because that’s the age when you moved away from your first family home. Or maybe you’re an abandoned ten-year-old girl that needs comfort from when your parents divorced, or perhaps you’re still angry about the divorce because you were never allowed the space to release it at that time.

      For some, obviously the traumas were much harder. It doesn’t matter what the trauma was, just that it was significant enough to change how you feel about the world or yourself after that event.  

      Part of going through any spiritual awakening involves these childhood wounds coming up to be healed, whether you like it or not. You simply cannot increase your vibration significantly while carrying them.

      Holding space for another human during the inner child revelation is beautiful, getting to be there for the big relief of a “a-ha!’ moment and feeling the joy and freedom that delivers for the person often brings tears to my eyes.

      “Oh, so eight year old me felt she had to defend herself to feel safe! – I see it, and I’m still doing it!”

      They see the world differently after that moment. It’s lighter and with more freedom.

      How do I know that I have inner child wounds?

      In short, most people do. Our parents are human and were doing their best with their personal unhealed wounds when they raised us.

      We all have reactions to current events that are based upon our unhealed wounds. For example, if you have a tendency to feel defensive when criticized, it is likely that you are viewing the situation through your personal lens of life, which includes a childhood wound of feeling betrayed.

      Of course, this happens in milliseconds and subconsciously, so you are not always aware this has happened to you.  It feels super true in the moment that it’s the other person’s fault and they are attacking you. 

      That’s why the work is so important, because it brings to your consciousness what is actually driving your adult reactions, and once you have all the information, it gives you a chance to choose differently.

      Will I feel any different if I do this?

      With each memory, discovery, release and healing, you will feel lighter and closer to who you really are.

      If emotionally disconnecting was your coping strategy to avoid the difficult feelings, then you will start to feel more connected to yourself. If you were using other ways to numb the difficult feelings (comfort eat, drink etc) these urges will gradually decrease.

      It will start to create a small amount of space between your typical automatic reaction (reach for food, yell at someone etc). Enough space for you to make a different conscious choice of how you want to respond.  

      I used to be super disconnected, it was a strategy I picked up during my childhood so I wouldn’t feel any sadness or anger. But I learned that we can’t live our lives this way. We cannot cherry pick which emotions we disconnect from.

      If you are disconnecting yourself from the pain of an unhealed past, you are disconnecting from joy too. Healing is the only way to radical self-acceptance and to a joy that grows with every layer healed.  

      Releasing the trapped energy is also beneficial by itself, chronic emotional and physical ailments are often caused by this trapped unhealed energy.

      More on this beautiful healing modality:

      When you connect with, listen to and nurture your inner child you can find and heal the energetic roots of your ‘issues’ as an adult.

      This is a truly spiritual, sacred and rewarding experience.

      Examples of inner child wounds that I have been honored to support clients through are from abandonment (perceived or actual), verbal, physical or sexual abuse, or fear of lack of something (such as food, money or a place to sleep).

      Most abused children perceive that these events were their fault in some way. They feel responsible to effect change at the time but are unable to. They start the “I am not good enough—/I don’t matter” type of core self-beliefs that damage our self-esteem as adults and lead to anxiety and depression.

      There is evidence that these types of wounds are linked to addiction, because the desire to numb the emotion pain with food or other substances is so strong.

      Other types of wounds are caused by parents reprimanding their children for being children, “Stop crying, you are so sensitive, etc”. “I’m tired of you forgetting things, what is wrong with you?!”

      This feels to the child as being shamed and criticized about the core of who they perceive themselves to be, so again the “I am not good enough” wound is born. Likely the story the child makes up to make sense of it is “people don’t like me when I’m myself”.

      These wounds and stories are deep in our subconscious and feel very much like the truth. With work and support though, it is possible to bring the event into consciousness, soothe the inner child within, and in doing so, release the trapped energy the emotion is causing.

      Once this process is conscious, you are able to get clarity on the real truth with your adult mind, that a difficult thing happened, but it never had anything to do with your self-worth.

      The release I personally experienced, and now get to see in individuals while coaching them, is truly a sacred and beautiful thing to be a part of.

      In private soul sessions, I guide you through the process of how to access this part of you, rediscover what lights you up, and what is holding you back, all with Divine guidance and intuitive insight.

      I have also developed this low cost work-shop to guide you through how to connect with your inner child, and support your healing, in connection with your Source at home – check it out here. https://joannapeters.com/products-and-services-inner-child-connection/

      Reach out with any questions or insights to hello@joannapeters.com. (Seriously, I love to hear from my soul sisters!).

      I’m rooting for you!

      Much love,

      Joanna

      PS: Remember, I can ‘see’ and feel other peoples’ unhealed inner child wounds, so if you want guided healing and support at any time, reach out.

      Beautiful Sad – A day of grief

      Beautiful Sad – A day of grief

      I know there are many hurting in this page with grief. This is what I wrote about my uncle passing last year and my beautiful experience with my bloodline that day. Sharing in case it helps anyone.

      Yesterday my uncle died 7 months before reaching 100 years old. He was an amazing man and lived fully as a world war 2 hero and professional soccer player. My kids loved listening to his stories.

      He moved to Canada so I only met him in adulthood when he moved back and it was the first time I met someone who was like my Mom, because she lost the rest of her family before I was born.

      Meeting him was like ‘ooohhh that’s who I am/we are’. Family is so connected whether we know them a short or long time, or we never met them.

      He was the last person alive who knew my Mom’s Mom and Dad who died when she was young, and also her own brother who died at ten years old.

      The ability to talk about her memories with anyone who also remembers them was fun for her, so she is kinda saying goodbye to them all again today.

      I have always been able to feel this grief in her. She has a permanent ‘side of sad’ alongside all of her experiences. She coexists with it, for some periods in my life it took her over, but more recently it has softened. She will be able to navigate this now because she is stronger.

      You know what’s true for me though today? This “beautiful sad” feeling.

      When I channel my bloodline on that side right now they are all happy and peaceful and sending so much love to us right now because they know we will miss him.

      It’s a really powerful love that is sad and makes me want to cry all the time, but it is truly so beautiful.

      I can zoom in on how her brother who died at ten feels ..(my uncle) he’s still youthful and innocent feeling and so joyful and loving.

      Feeling her mom’s flood of love makes me ball crying because it would have been amazing to know her and get that love from an in person hug. The grandma I never met, but she is sending her love to me today.

      Her dad is, even in death, a man of few words and I get that vibe but also a peace about him, and a gentleness towards me.

      And now my great uncle is back with everyone and it feels much more complete there somehow. They are happy to have him.

      Being able to connect to their love whenever I want is powerful. It feels comforting that it exists as a permanent force, even though they are not here and even though I never met them.

      I can feel the duality of their feeling complete and being happy to have him, as well as their sending so much love for us because they know we are sad.

      I was told a while ago that I could access the medium realm “if I want to”. I guess today I want to.

      It has been truly beautiful. Even though I can’t stop crying. ???