Just D.O.U.L. It!

Most of us are reactionary. In the moment when a strong emotion hits us, we would benefit from disconnecting from what may be a poor reaction. Instead, we should observe the situation and reflect on a better decision for the moment. Disconnect and observe unconditional love. This will always start with self-first. Then giving love to everyone around you will make it well in the end.”

Michael Challenger
Just D.O.U.L. It. Disconnect. Observe. Unconditional Love.

Our guest illustrated this process by wearing a t-shirt as a reminder of the steps:

Just D.O.U.L. It. Disconnect. Observe. Unconditional Love.

Michael Challenger feels he’s been able to navigate life better than most because of his awareness abiding by this acronym.

The acronym stops me in my tracks. It’s deep enough to get me out of any situation without anger. I’m aware of different reactions possible.”

Michael Challenger

This is part of Michaels programs based on his personal journey as a dancer, actor, producer, film maker, etc. He admits to feeling paralyzed by fear in many areas of his life. He called it unconsciously competent.

Michael has always been confident in the execution of ideas but was afraid to talk about the emotions of what the idea meant to him. When he understood how paralyzed he would become at times, Michael studied himself, and discovered his own methodology to conquer fear.

Michael Challenger

His programs now help other people to conquer their own fears.  

Michael’s journey is an interesting one of discovery. Both being discovered, and his discovery of self.

When I was a kid I thought I had a superpower. I was raised by a single mother and knew we couldn’t afford extras like board games. Despite that, I wanted some board games. Without ever voicing this, a substitute teacher began to give me board games. I was convinced I made it happen. I knew I had a superpower.”

Michael Challenger

When Michael was twelve years old, he saw a trio of performers on stage. Even though acting had never entered his mind, he liked what he saw. He had always been afraid to use his voice, but a teacher at his high school suggested he try it.

I was invited to attend a performing arts program. Despite the preconceived notions in my mind about actors, I showed up. I liked the teacher and became obsessed with performing.”

Michael Challenger

Soon a talent scout discovered Michael and made a comment to his mother that “if Michael sticks with this he will be successful in the industry”.

Michael was soon in competitions, music videos, and fashion shows. He wasn’t sure it was what he wanted, but he knew he didn’t want to live merely scratching the surface. At age 17 he got his first theater gig in Italy.

Michael was embraced by the country working for a cruise line performing in their shows. He started travelling to different parts of the world and his career took off. The opportunities came for Michael because someone saw something in him he didn’t see in himself. If he had allowed fear to rule his thoughts, Michael would not have done half of what he did.

The “pressure to be” kept Michael going. He was accountable, easygoing, kind, and enjoying the experience of new things. More and more choices presented to Michael brought with them fear. Fear of taking full responsibility for his life going forward.

Public speaking was a fear for me. When time came to open my mouth, everything became cloudy. Nothing made sense. Things slowed down and I couldn’t catch my thoughts. I would think to myself, ‘I’m never doing this again’.”

Michael Challenger

Michael eventually conquered his fear of public speaking, but admits he had to willingly work on it.

If you don’t practice, even programs like Toastmasters won’t help. Fear can protect us. It gives us the heightened ability to sense danger, but we may also associate it with the bigger and better things we want.”

Michael Challenger

Michael was at one time a professional dancer on Dancing with the Stars, a television show which brings celebrities into dance competitions despite not being dancers. They are paired up with a dance professional who teaches, coaches, and prepares them for competition.

Behind the scenes you’re partnered with a celebrity, and you have a very short period to teach them a dance. I witnessed crying, doubt, and fear from these celebrities off camera. They would remark, ‘I’m not going to be ready’; ‘I can’t do this’.

But when the camera came on the fear dissipated. They were ready to go. We are capable of much more than we imagine. Obviously, some people failed on stage, but that’s okay. Being beside them and being the reassurance for them was amazing.

Michael Challenger

Michael has always had a knack for coaching others. Now, as a life, performance, and self-development coach he finally feels fulfillment. He sees in his clients that when pressure is on them, they are amazing and can push through the fear.

When you’ve set intentions and you fail, it’s still a good experience. You learn from it.”

Michael Challenger

Michael provided Todd and I some steps to battle fear and melt it away.

Intention. You must be truly clear about what you want to accomplish.

Action. It takes a helluva lotta work every day. Action cancels fear.

Consistency. Maintain a strong work ethic.

Boldness. Make choices without reservation. If this is truly meant for you, fear will subside.

When the camera comes on, and/or the curtain goes up, you’ll feel ready!

Michael Challenger

You will find The Mini Success Workbook free on Michael’s website. HERE

An Exercise Program for your Attitudinal Muscles

I’m one of those people who recognize exercise as an important path to health. I  also have fibromyalgia which often makes exercise uncomfortable. I took on and completed the P90X workout program years ago because my son-in-law was doing it, bringing out my competitive nature.

If he can do it, so can I” was the thought in my head, despite the twenty years of age separating us. I learned that while growing muscle it must be elongated and stretched at the same time. Yoga, weightlifting, cardio, jump training, and martial arts are all part of the P90X program, and stretching was the beginning and end of each workout. The stretching gave me greater results than the lifting did.

Our most recent guest. Kate Eckman has written a book describing the necessity of stretching our spiritual, mental, and emotional muscles as well. Let’s face it, life is a daily workout with heavy lifting of burdens, relationships, and responsibilities; it’s a bit of jump training when unexpected “fires” need putting out; and it’s like martial arts, too – metaphorically punching and kicking our way out of problematic situations, unfulfilling careers, and healing from trauma or tragedy.

The Full Spirit Workout: A 10 Step System to Shed your Self-doubt, Strengthen your Spiritual core, and Create a Fun and Fulfilling Life could be considered a manual for stretching and strengthening your “attitudinal muscles” as the author put it. And it’s easy to do at any age.

Kate Eckman is a master of physical education. She is an elite, competitive swimmer. Peradventure, her swimming career started with a little “competitive” mindset like P90X did for me, but she stayed with it for years.

When Kate was four-years old she overheard her mother talking to Kate’s swim teacher. The teacher commented, “your daughter is not a good swimmer”.

Kate’s four-year-old mind absorbed perhaps her first limiting belief: “I need to perform at a high level to be worthy of praise, pride, and love from others. I’ve got to be a champion swimmer even though I don’t like swimming.”

Kate did become a champion swimmer, but at a high cost. She was obsessed with performance and perfectionism; in constant turmoil with the pain of insecurity.

Once a limiting belief is established (as it was for Kate) we spend our whole life looking for evidence that it’s true. Eventually we become spiritually and emotionally overweight and unhealthy with our limiting beliefs and will need to consciously delete the thoughts that don’t serve us, like changing our diets to lose unwanted pounds.

It’s like a toxic virus on your computer you delete to the trash. Then you must cocreate a new thought system for yourself; download truth and live your life from that place. Have a purpose greater than yourself.”

Kate Eckman

Kate’s book is for everyone who struggles with mental health issues (That’s about all of us); and is dedicated to her friends Sam and Raf who took their own lives. She has learned life’s important lesson: money, fame, and good looks do not make you happy. In that pursuit you are always seeking for the next bigger, better, more expensive things, and it takes more and more of the same to satisfy you.

Her book is a fun and easy read. You’ll return to it again and again as the need comes up to work out a different spiritual muscle group. As with any exercise program you must be willing to show up and not be great…yet. In fact, a dance coach started her first lesson with Kate by saying, “Let’s start with failure.” Kate thought, “I can do that“, and it took the pressure off.

Kate describes her program as:

The ultimate rebellion against my inner perfectionist.

Kate claims the Universe rises to meet you when you take a risk by getting out of your comfort zone and doing just that is the 1st Step to Kate’s program outlined in her book.

Kate’s 10-Step Plan:

1. Stretch Your Comfort Zone

2. Lift Yourself Up

3. Feed the Burn

4. Strengthen Your Core Confidence

5. Build Your Emotional Muscles

6. Boost Your Mental Metabolism

7. Step Up Your Spiritual Stamina

8. Embrace Your Endorphins

9. Rock the Freedom Freestyle

10. Cool Down with Inner Calm

I was staying with my friend who looked stunning on her way to work one morning, and she began personal commentary about how she hated her hair, and she had gained weight. She was ripping herself apart.

I shouted, ‘stop it right now. That’s my friend you’re talking about. Knock it off.’

I realized I talked to myself the same way my friend was talking about herself. I decided to speak with nonjudgement, and to be kind and compassionate, not only to others, but to my inner critic. I had to get real with myself and say, ‘you have judged and criticized yourself harsher than anyone’.

Kate Eckman

Kate has a 5-minute minimum sit and stare time every day.

It’s a non-negotiable adult time out. I sit, reflect, and check in with myself. I ask my inner child ‘how are you doing and what do you need right now?’ Then I listen; not to the ego, but to the divine wisdom we can download at any time because we always have access to it. I bring it down into my heart; into my body. If you do the same, like me, you’ll start to hear the truth and get the answers you seek.”

Kate Eckman

Kate cautions us that we might feel a little scared or anxious.

Great. It means you care. Show up and bring the joy. Be in the present moment. Be prepared, then picture yourself as a swimmer or track runner in the blocks. Get set. Ready. Go. Just do it. Show up, do your best. That is success.

Failure is our unwillingness to show up. Failure is not being willing to try. Failure is falling asleep to the truth of who we are and not believing how truly powerful we are.

Kate Eckman

The ultimate fulfillment is an inside job. Kate works with people to identify their special sauce and unique gifts, helping them tap into it, and lean into it when they’re struggling. Find out more here:

Leadership Development and Performance Coach – Kate Eckman

A Stroke of Luck, and That Sucks!

On December 14th, 2014, while walking with friends into a restaurant for dinner, Scott Schilling’s legs stopped working and began to tingle. He was suddenly disoriented, and things were spinning around him. Friends noticed his gray color and profuse sweating.

Scott went to the emergency room at a local hospital and was  misdiagnosed with a migraine. He was sent home. That night his head pounded in so much pain he cried out, “God, help!”

The answer Scott received was, “Get on your knees”.

God I’m choosing to believe your plan is to wake me up and serve others for the rest of my life. I need your help and guidance to do that. I was cradled.

Scott Schilling

In answer to prayer, Scott’s headache sub-sided and he had a restful night’s sleep. The next day he worked hard as usual and saw a neurologist as a follow-up.

Scott was surprised to learn he’d had a full-blown cerebellum stroke and consequently spent 6 days in intensive care. While researching these types of strokes, Scott learned he may not speak again; may not have balance again; and may not be able to drive again.

That was all unacceptable.”

Scott Schilling

Scott wanted to make sure other people know they can come through a circumstance when the odds may seem against them, and his fifteenth book emerged.

If you’re living, you’re going to take a hit every now and then. It’s not the events that count, it’s how we react to those events.

Scott Schilling

Regarding his near-death experience a friend commented, “Scott, I didn’t know you’d gone through that. What did you say to yourself after it was over?

Scott answered, “That sucks. What now?” The title of his book was born: That Sucks…What Now? Real World Solutions for Getting Through What You’re Going Through.

A stroke of luck and That Sucks!

Survivor’s guilt can come into play, as it did for Scott. He noticed everyone who’d had a stroke with their facial deformities and twisted limbs. “Why me?” He thought. “Why did I survive without problems? What’s the reason? What do I do from here?

Scott remembered creating his mission 11 years before his stroke: “To create a worldwide community of over a million people; cause over 100 million dollars in charitable giving; and impact 100 million people on the planet.

God’s plan and timing is perfect. You can believe it’s perfect, or you can believe the event shouldn’t have happened, but you can’t believe them both at the same time. Pick one and live it.”

Scott Schilling

Besides his amazing story and mission, Scott also shared during our interview the Four Stages of Competence:

  • 1. Unconscious incompetence: We don’t know what we don’t know
  • 2. Plausible deniability: You know that you don’t know. It’s decision time
  • 3. Consciously Competent: You know that you know. You decided to learn a new skill which you didn’t think you could master.
  • 4. Unconsciously competent: You know that you know, and it has become second nature. You operate on autopilot in that new skill

Since Scott is a trainer and coach, he clarified ways to mentor others:

Model from stage four but teach from stage three.”

Scott Schilling

“Leaders act differently than those who are not leaders” is a philosophy Scott shared.

Scott suggested we need more balance, and there are little things we could all do better. He urges us as a nation to return respect, honor, and dignity to the planet.

Respect is how I treat you; honor is how I lift you up, dignity is how we both feel after that’s done.”

Scott Schilling

Over the last couple of generations, we’ve taken responsibility from individuals and it’s not helping them. Respons-ibil-ity is the responsibility to respond. Take control of your life by taking responsibility for everything in your life.”

Scott Schilling

Three positions we often take are:

“It’s your fault” – blaming another“

I screwed up” – shaming ourselves

“Well…it was because…” – justification and making excuses

Scott offered us many gems of information during our interview and throughout his book. He is kindly inviting you to join his Bee Konnected Community.

Bee Konnected is a worldwide global community. It’s dating software for the business world. We match people with their ideal customer in less than two minutes, and there are courses to help people grow businesses.

Scott Schilling

As a Life Mastery Radio listener, Scott is giving you a free Bee Konnected account. Fill out your profile and join the community of world changers. It is all permission based, so no one will spam you or contact you without your approval.

Go to ScottSchilling.BeeKonnected.Com and give it a try. Read Scott’s book as well!

Empowering the Empath in You

Growing up as part of a family of 8, and being the second oldest, Wendy De Rosa was a very sensitive child. She picked up anxiety because she didn’t have much play time and was overly responsible.

Wendy became disconnected from herself as her existence settled into taking care of other people. At the young age of 19 Wendy had a nervous breakdown.  

The empathic sense is the first of our senses to develop in the womb. We are created with the ability to feel through our sentient body. Experiences from a young age will either develop our sensitivities or disconnect us from them.”

Wendy De Rosa

As hard as her childhood was, Wendy feels grateful for the overcoming; the wisdom, stamina, and understanding that came of it. Wendy is now an intuitive healer, and when she began to understand chakras, realized she is empathic as well.

While growing up, no one was talking about being an empath. It’s not part of parental conditioning to develop empathic skills in our children. Today, more empaths are coming out of the empathic closet because there is so much trauma to heal from.”

Wendy De Rosa

In her book, Becoming an Empowered Empath, How to Clear Energy, Set Boundaries, & Embody your Intuition Wendy relates the divine intervention which set her on a path of healing and understanding.

Empaths are leading the way since we are not about having a surface conversation, we’re about going deep and having connected relationships, transforming the world with creativity.”

Wendy De Rosa

Wendy explained an empath feels the energy of others in space, in person, and/or in the collective through their sensory system. It can be emotional energy – a vibratory energy. Overly empathic people may feel that the energy of others has crossed over the boundary of their own energy body.

This happens because we have a central channel and a grounding cord, & seven spinal chakras. The chakras underlay the anatomy of our body. It is spiritual. The energetic anatomy is the presence of our light, truth, and essence.”

Wendy De Rosa

Wendy explained profoundly that childhood wounds to our chakras may cause contraction and powerlessness in the energy and vibrational sources of our body. Our boundaries are breached, and we become victim to the beliefs and conditions of events that happened in our family of origin.

Most often this wounding happens in our Root Chakra. Wendy called this “Marinading in root chakra” which happens from womb to age 7 of childhood.

The societal systems around us do not nurture development of self during the root chakra years. We are not only developing our physical construct, but additionally, how to survive, how to bond and build attachment to others, a sense of safety and security, and the ability or inability to trust.

Wendy De Rosa

Sadly, what happens often is our safety during the root chakra years is compromised on some, or many levels. We subconsciously learn, “I’m wrong, I’m bad, and/or it’s not safe to be me.

When we feel disconnected to ourselves, the root chakra contracts, and other energy centers (chakras) must compensate for the lack of grounding.

The second chakra blows open and our spirit energy is elevated higher in the energy system. We are forced to open to, and operate from, what everyone else is feeling. This leads to peace-keeping, becoming overly responsible, and hyper vigilant.” 

Wendy De Rosa

Wendy reports the second chakra is the empathic power center. Its job is to feel subtle energy and emotion, to be soft and sweet. When the compensation for the loss of the root chakra takes place, we may feel shame, and learn to mistrust our own intuition. We disconnect. Our grounding and sense of empowerment is broken.

The signal from, and to, the central body is: “I am not whole”.

The good news is WE CAN HEAL! Wendy’s book explains how.

Each of us must have healthy root and sacral chakras to be in balance. The root chakra that is shut down can be opened back up.”

Wendy De Rosa

By recognizing the break, bringing breath and awareness to this area, and claiming safety for ourselves, you and I can take our bodies back. We can be safe. We can trust ourselves again.

Wendy provides journaling exercises and meditations in her book to help us begin and learn the process of healing.  She explains most of us can benefit by working on the root chakra.

We may always be working on the root and sacral chakras. Some of our energetic history is multigenerational and may be deeper than our own human experience.

Wendy De Rosa

A personal note from this newbie to the chakra/energy center community – I’ve tried a few of Wendy’s mediations and am thrilled with the insight I’ve already gained. As an untrained chakra learner, I’m certain her book will benefit those of you with even deeper chakra prowess than I have.

Learn more about how Wendy De Rosa can help you at WendyDeRosa.com and SchoolofIntuitiveStudies.com

Wendy offers intuitive healer training as well as a Divine Healing Circle.

Doing Nothing As Much As Possible

Diana Ross and the Supremes

Diana Ross and the Supremes had it right all those decades ago when they sang, “Stop! In the name of love!”

Our recent guest, David Kundtz had a personal crisis years ago in which he learned the importance of STOPPING in the name of self-love.  Unhappiness hit him suddenly and knew he could not carry on with his schedule at the time. He had lost sight of what was most important.

David walked away from work, friends, and family for a month and stared at the ocean. He did nothing. The benefits of this grinding halt of life became evident later.

I was scanning my life; what was important; what my values were, and who I wanted to be.”

David Kundtz

David Kundtz is now author of The Art of Stopping – How to Be Still When You Have to Keep Going

We are born with inner wisdom and a voice of self-awareness. The distractions of the world keep us from hearing that voice. David claims if we shut up and are still, we can hear that inner voice. We will discover who we are.

David defines The Art of Stopping:

Doing nothing for a moment or a month to wake up and remember who you are and what you want.

While stopping, just be still. Don’t try to figure anything out. Close your eyes and be still. No rules. Do nothing as much as you possibly can.”

David Kundtz

Many people may not STOP. David thinks they fear facing themselves.

Imagine yourself in a room for 30 minutes doing nothing. Is that scary? Would you be pacing? Would you feel alone without your smartphone? There is no horrible monster waiting for us, and if there is, isn’t it time to face that monster? Instead, maybe you’ll find you can enjoy being alone with yourself.”

David Kundtz

In his book, David explains three ways we can STOP:

  • Still points – brief moments of pause
  • Stopovers – taking a break for a day or two
  • Grinding halts – a week or a month of getting away

We’ve been taught over the years to make a daily task list, to journal, to find time to meditate, and to save up our breaks for vacations once or twice a year. David would claim none of these are STOPS. He might say they’re counterproductive.

Making a list sets you up for failure because you’re likely not going to get it done. You’re going to be disappointed. The list doesn’t matter. Burn it or throw it away. Open yourself to every day and let things happen.”

David Kundtz

Mediation is not STOPPING, either. Mediation requires rules, methods, and procedures. We’re told to clear our mind, and that when a stray thought enters, we are to immediately dismiss it. David says STOPPING has no rules. Sit still. Be quiet. Go inside and get to know yourself better. STOP in the name of love – love for self.

Stopping is about accessing your inner life where distractions are gone, and you can be authentically you, which makes all your relationships more authentic. Mental illness is increasing, depression is increasing, suicide rates are increasing. If people tuned into their inner self, those problems might be solved.”

David Kundtz

What are the features and benefits of STOPPING?

  • Learn to pay attention
  • Relaxation
  • Solitude
  • Boundaries are set
  • Embrace the shadowed, hidden side of ourselves
  • Sense of purpose. Why are we here?

More is not better. Bigger is not better. Faster is not better. Stopping is counter cultural, but when you practice it, you’ll see how important it is to each of us. It takes no money and no special equipment. We just have to shut up and listen.”

David Kundtz

Do nothing as much as possible. The more you try, the better you get. You might discover you’re not a bad person to hang out with after all.

Be sure to learn more about David Kundtz here: https://davidkundtz.com/

Burnout, weight gain, and chronic diseases

Celine Anelone Brozovich, our recent guest, was once flying high as an engineer and MBA. She was receiving awards and being rewarded. With working all the time, not sleeping, and not exercising, Celine burned out. With that all-too-familiar physical, emotional, and mental burnout there follows weight gain, chronic diseases, and even an attempted suicide.

Celine learned of lifestyle medicine. This is a type of care supported by a medical doctor which includes mindfulness, nutrition, and care for your entire body – not just treating disease. Celine lost a great amount of weight, and her depression became controlled.

Today, Celine Anelone Brozovich is the founder of FromHow2Wow, a health and productivity company created to build employee morale and reduce employer healthcare expenses. In a nutshell Celine works across the organization to teach and coach. She leverages Lifestyle Medicine programs that are scientifically based with proven results and sound business principles to deliver a program with sustainable results.

Celine explained on the show that Lifestyle Medicine is defined by six pillars:

  • Nutrition
  • Mind/Soul
  • Life Purpose
  • Body
  • Environment
  • Connectedness

When these pillars of care are coordinated with a medical doctor who understands Lifestyle Medicine, chronic diseases can be reversed.

I ate whole foods 100% plant based. There are 80,000 edible plants in the world, and if 80% of your diet can be plant-based you will see dramatic results.

Celine Anelone Brozovich

Celine is a proponent of eating every day from all five food groups, drinking plenty of water, exercise, and working on your emotions.

Forgiveness is key.”

Celine Anelone Brozovich

Once Celine’s health so dramatically improved by the changes she made, she began to share the information to as many people as possible. Once her doctor (who wanted to put her on medication) saw results of Celine’s new diet, he started listening to her. Now The American College for Lifestyle Medicine exists, and doctors receive training in the six pillars mentioned.

 “It’s a growing community of doctors who are learning the power of food and nutrition on the health of their patients.”

Celine Anelone Brozovich

Not convinced that Lifestyle Medicine is for you? Here are some shocking statistics:

  • Every 36 seconds, an American dies from heart disease
  • Four seconds later someone dies of a heart attack
  • Six to ten Americans suffer from chronic disease
  • One out of three children born today will develop diabetes

The cost to treat these diseases may be astronomical for businesses. Prevention, and personalized nutrition is the answer.”

Celine Anelone Brozovich

Americans eat 190 pounds of sugar a year. There are 61 different names for sugar hidden in foods. Foods are produced to make us addicted and keep us that way.

Sugar is as addictive as cocaine. When you change your diet, you must remove the sugar. It’s poison. Get your sweets from whole fruits. Instead of getting only bad carbs, you will benefit from fiber, vitamins, and minerals, too.”  

Celine Anelone Brozovich

Celine provided a recipe for a no-bake healthy brownie. The ingredients include dates, 100% cocoa, walnuts, vanilla, cinnamon, clove, and pinch of salt combine in a blender.

It’s a brownie that heals you!

Celine Anelone Brozovich

Celine was very clear in her advice to us:

Step one is to become aware that change in your diet is needed. Start making those changes. Take a short walk daily and throw out the sugar. There are no super foods. Eating a little of all five food groups is the super choice. Go slow. Educate yourself.”

Celine Anelone Brozovich

Find Celine and her programs available for you right here: https://fromhow2wow.com/

Hurt People Hurt People

At the age of 20, Michelle Jewsbury left Idaho for Hollywood to be a movie star. She starred in some independent films and plays; and was just beginning to see success.

Then Michelle met a blonde haired, blue eyed, handsome man who swept her off her feet. He courted her, sent her flowers and gifts, sent amazing text messages. She loved the life they were creating together and became caught up in the allure of that dream.  

Three months into the relationship the first sign of trouble showed itself.

On the closing night of a play I was in, Paul invited the cast members to our hotel room for a party. A long-time friend of mine pulled me into the bathroom and warned me about Paul. She didn’t like him, thought he was cocky, said that he gave her the heebie jeebies.

Paul overheard this conversation and claimed the friend was trying to seduce him. Paul seemed to be protecting me and forced me to choose one or the other: him or my friend.

In those three months Paul had painted a picture of us together, and I was certain it would be a reality. I should have identified the sign, but I didn’t.

Michelle Jewsbury

The isolation began, and Michelle found herself being separated by more and more friends, and Paul continued to paint a lovely future.

At four months into the relationship the first act of physical violence was perpetrated on Michelle by Paul. She didn’t leave then either.

I stayed with Paul for four years. During that time, I endured psychological manipulation, financial abuse, physical violence, and sexual violence. I had never witnessed abuse at home and didn’t realize what was happening. The allure of the life I imagined with him made it difficult to leave. I was his savior. I knew his darkest secrets.”

Michelle Jewsbury

After all the abuse she had suffered, Michelle’s breaking point was his affair with another woman.

I lost my mind. He let me go home to my family, but he still had a grip on me emotionally and financially. In November 2015 I got a phone call from his new girlfriend. She was pressing domestic violence charges against Paul. I contacted the DA to help with her case and filed my own lawsuit.

Michelle Jewsbury

Michelle took her power back!

She began to document her story. In 2016 her story appeared on stage as a 65-minute one-woman play about domestic violence, starring Michelle.

You can now read her book:

God taught me I can make beautiful things out of the broken pieces. I could feel Him carry me. When you sit in silence you can hear Him.”

Michelle Jewsbury

Michelle felt compelled to start a nonprofit called Unsilenced Voices. She began by helping women in Ghana and Sierra Leone. Her organization has today impacted thousands and thousands of women.

Michelle is seeking sponsors (corporations and businesses) for a live event July 22nd in Las Vegas. She asks that interested parties email her at Michelle@UnsilencedVoices.Org

Michelle has a giveaway for our listeners. Text “Obstacles” to 26786 and receive a complimentary introduction to her book.

Provided below are some tips about domestic violence. Michelle asks you to consider a time when your partner may have become angry and hurt you. He/she has probably assured you it won’t happen again.

What if you’re wrong?

California Judicial System explains the cycle of domestic violence in three stages:

1. Tension-building phase:

a. Batterer-may: pick fights; act jealous; be critical; yell; swear; use angry gestures; coercion; threats; be moody; unpredictable; and drink or use drugs

b. Partner-may: feel like they are walking on eggshells; afraid; anxious; try to reason; act calm; appease the batterer or keep silent and try to keep children quiet.

2. Violence-crisis phase:

a. Batterer-may: verbally, emotionally, or physically abuse; sexually assault; restrain or threaten partner and destroy property.

b. Partner-may: experience fear; shock; use self-defense; try to leave; call for help; pray for it to stop; do what is necessary to survive.

3. Seduction-calm phase:

a. Batterer-may: apologize; minimize or deny abuse; ask for forgiveness; be affectionate; promise it won’t happen again and to change; give gifts (this also explains how three dynamics love, hope, and fear, keep the cycle in motion and make it hard to end a violent relationship)*

b. Partner-may: forgive; feel hopeful; manipulated; blame self; arrange for counseling; return home and minimize or deny abuse.

According to the Domestic Abuse Intervention Project of Duluth, Minnesota, certain behaviors of abusive men have been identified. Some characteristics of the early stages of abuse that precede physical battering are listed here. Women who recognize several of these traits in their partners should take a good look at the relationship, and carefully consider getting out before it becomes violent.

1. Your partner has a history of growing up in a violent family, a setting where he learned that violence is normal behavior.

2. He tends to use force or violence to try and solve problems- as indicated by behavior such as a criminal record for violence, a quick temper or tendency to overreact to minor frustrations, fighting, destructive behavior when angry, cruelty to animals.

3. He abuses alcohol or drugs.

4. He has a poor image of himself, often masked by trying to act tough.

5. He often exhibits jealousy, not only of other men, but also of friends and family members.

6. He exhibits hypermasculine behavior- he feels he should make all the decisions, tell you what your role as a woman and his as a man must be. He has very traditional ideas about appropriate roles and behaviors of men and women, and thinks women are second-class citizens. He expects you to follow his orders and advice and may become angry if you can’t read his mind and anticipate what he wants.

7. He emotionally abuses you or other women with name-calling, putdowns, humiliation, and attempts to create guilt.

8. He isolates you by telling you who you may see or talk to, controls what you do and where you go, even what you read. He keeps tabs on your every move and wants you with him all the time.

9. He intimidates you and makes you afraid through looks, anger, actions, a display of weapons or gestures. He destroys your property or abuses your pets. He enjoys playing with lethal weapons and threatens to use them against those he feels wronged him. You do what he wants you to do and constantly work to keep him from getting angry.

10. He portrays “Jekyll and Hyde” behavior. He goes through highs and lows, as though he is two different people, and he swings from extremely kind to extremely cruel.

11. He uses coercion and threats. He tells you he will hurt you, leave you, or kill himself if you leave. If you file charges against him, he makes you drop them by threatening violence or suicide. Have you changed your life, so you won’t make him angry?

12. He treats you roughly, and physically forces you to do things you do not want to do.

13. He often denies his actions, minimizing or making light of his own abusive behavior, refusing to take your concerns seriously, and blaming you for his behavior.

14. He economically abuses you by preventing you from getting or keeping a job, controlling all the money in the household, making you ask for money, or concealing his income.

15. Weapons are important to him as instruments of power or control, he is unusually fascinated with guns or other weapons, without or beyond any reasonable explanation for such an interest (such as collecting antiques, historical reenactment, or hunting).

16. He has battered or stalked a partner in a prior relationship and/or has a history of police encounters for assault, battery, threats, or stalking.

17. He tried to inappropriately accelerate his relationship with you when you were dating, prematurely discussing marriage or other commitment, then expects the relationship to last forever, no matter what may happen.

18. He refers to his use of alcohol or drugs as an excuse for hostile or violent behavior.

19. He can’t accept rejection, resists change or compromise, is generally inflexible.

20. He is not just devoted, but obsessed with you; he spends a disproportionate amount of time talking about you, watching, or following you, and derives much of his identity from being your partner.

21. He is paranoid, believes others are out to get him, and projects strong feelings such as hate or jealousy onto others when there is no evidence that would lead a reasonable person to perceive such emotions.

22. He refuses to take responsibility for his own actions, and always blames others for problems of his own making.

23. He is usually moody, sullen, depressed, or any about something.

24. He tries to enlist your friends and family in his own campaign to keep you with him or get you back if you have left.

25. Perhaps most important of all: If you have an intuitive feeling that you are at risk from this man, if you fear he might injure or kill you, listen to your own instincts!

Just because we went through a certain experience, it doesn’t define who we are. We can use our stories to help other people.”

Michelle Jewsbury

Kristi is a grief recovery specialist and hosts The Grief Girl Podcast.

Eight years ago, Kristi’s husband died by suicide. That was tragic enough, and even more so since he stepped in front of a train on which his father was a passenger.

After living through the aftermath of such deep loss, and not having tools at the time to ease her pain, Kristi vowed to help those who might suffer as she did. This sparked her passion to write her first book: B

There is a stigma regarding depression and mental illness. All of us are going through hard times right now. Businesses have been shut down; kids are learning remotely. No one was prepared for, nor had the tools to navigate this pandemic. Teens need a manual for selfcare.”

Kristi Hugstad

Kristi explained young people are wired for social connection. When they don’t  get that connection there will be problems, and she is doing her best to prevent those problems.

Youth are feeling guilty for feeling depressed or having anxiety. They say, ‘I don’t know why I’m feeling sad, because no one in my family has died’. I tell them grief is not just about death. I point out they’ve lost social connection, and they can grieve for something that never was such as a prom, athletics, and/or graduation. I tell them their feelings of separation and loss is valid.”

Kristi Hugstad

Kristi’s book provides something all teens, young adults, parents, you, and I need: tools of self-care.

  • Physical
  • Mental
  • Emotional
  • Social
  • Financial

The reader may focus on one of these more than another on any given day. Kristi gives the why for each tool, allowing you to make better choices. She offers ways to track your progress and report often about the outcomes of your choices.

Journaling is an important self-care tool. Many people wonder what to write in a journal, and how often to write. The book provides questions and prompts for simple and effective ways to compose your feelings.”  

Kristi Hugstad

Prompts may be:

  • What I’m I grateful for?
  • What positive things happened today?

In a brilliant way, Kristi also provides occasional check ins for the reader. She has included a stopwatch within the pages of her book and questions such as, “how long have you been sitting? Why don’t you grab a healthy snack and get five minutes of fresh air right now?”

We take for granted people know how to do these things. Teens may not; you may not. Some people need this roadmap for selfcare, and these are reliable tools.”

Kristi Hugstad

Besides financial tools to help the reader avoid stress and anxiety related to money issues, Kristi’s book includes ways to change negative thinking.

Young people can learn to attract more positive energy. Routine creates habits. Habits like exercise will raise endorphins in the brain, alter its chemistry, and encourage more effective action”.

Kristi Hugstad

Kristi had advice for parents and kids during the pandemic:

Get your kids motivated again, lower your expectations right now. Their mental health must come first. Parents should lead by example. Dial it back a bit and take the pressure off. Make room for fun.

Kristi Hugstad

Kristi suggests you don’t simply hand her book to your young adult. YOU need to read it first and apply the principles, then lead by example. Mention the highlights that helped you make changes, and tools that were helpful to you.

Kristi ends her book with a message of hope. She feels compelled to help you and your young adult to develop a positive lifestyle and mindset. By reading it you’ll figure out how to be a better you.

Good Grief!

Good Grief, Charlie Brown!” was often spoken to and by that loveable cartoon character who seemed to be living life with constant loss and disappointment. It was an exclamation that perhaps we should take more to heart that we’ve considered before.

Our recent guest, Claire B. Willis shares in her book, Opening to Grief – Finding your Way From Loss to Peace that we should not hide from grief, but instead give it full expression. GOOD Grief.

Claire quoted Jamie Anderson: “Grief, I have learned is really just love. All that unspent love gathers up in the corners of your eyes, the lump in your throat, and in that hollow part of your chest. Grief is just love with no place to go.”

While leading bereavement groups, Claire has discovered many aspects of grief, and she shared some of her enlightened knowledge with us, even clarifying the decades long standard of death coined by Elizabeth Kubler-Ross in her well-known book: On Death and Dying in which she describes 5 stages of the end of life.

Elizabeth Kubler-Ross first wrote about the five steps people go through who are dying. Through the years, many have mistaken that theory to mean the five stages of grief. It’s not to say those stages don’t happen. But they don’t happen linearly. There is anger, there is denial, there is shock, there is bargaining, there is acceptance, but it’s not sequential.”

Claire B. Willis

Claire wrote her book to support people in knowing they aren’t supposed to be feeling certain things in certain stages of grief. Claire feels we’ve misrepresented the original idea.

The way YOU’RE grieving is normal.

Claire B. Willis

We think of grief as having a very particular face: sadness, sorrow, despair, depression, and hopelessness. But grief is also anger, rage, irritability, impatience, regret, gratitude, and relief.

Grief has as many expressions as there are people grieving.”

Claire B. Willis

Sometimes people judge other family members. When family members don’t act in ways we believe is expected, they may be accused of not grieving. Claire makes it clear it’s important we all recognize grief in the various forms it comes.

People criticize themselves for not ‘grieving right’. Don’t feel silenced or shamed by the way you grieve. This will add suffering to an already difficult time.

Claire B. Willis

Providing support to family and others who’ve lost loved ones helps them not to feel alone. Many times, it’s hard to recognize another’s grief when it looks so different from our own, and it takes strength and vulnerability to express our own grief when others may not understand.

Claire was clear to say that grief can be scary to feel, and that it comes in waves instead of all at once. This is a way our mind protects us from significant pain. She used a metaphor to teach us about the waves of grief.

If we try to look at the sun, we make a quick glance, then look away. We try again a little later and look as long as we can but turn away when the light is too intense for our eyes. Grief is often experienced in the same way. We can’t sustain the deep feeling of loss all at once.

Claire B. Willis

That wave of grief is often referred to as S.T.U.G. a Sudden Temporary Upsurge of Grief. You may burst out crying completely out of the blue weeks, month, or years after the loss of your loved one.

This doesn’t mean you’re going backwards. It’s simply S.T.U.G. Ride it out. It will be gone in 24 hours. Your grief changes in intensity, duration, and frequency. At first the loss causes a searing pain and your whole life is seen as grief. Slowly, different things come into your life, and it moves from a searing pain to a dull ache.”

Claire B. Willis

Think of grief another way….like a broken bone.

Jackie Bailey’s first broken ankle a day after surgery

A broken bone at first is very painful. You have surgery, wear a cast, go through physical therapy, and you walk again eventually. But on rainy days the ache returns to the bone. We all must choose at any given moment if we’re going to cope or deal. We can’t cope when we’re dealing, and we can’t deal when we’re coping. It’s a conscious choice we make.”

Claire B. Willis

Most of the time we don’t get the closure we’d like when a loved one is lost. Claire says that is doesn’t help to think of all the woulda, shoulda, coulda scenarios.

The last few minutes of someone’s live can often take on too much significance and overshadow the whole of their life. It we don’t get a chance to have the loving departure with our loved one we hoped for, we often judge ourselves and ruminate on what we could have done differently.”

Claire B. Willis

Claire suggests a better way to honor the life of your loved one is to take action which can increase our capacity to help ourselves and others who are grieving.

1. Writing as a refuge. Writing 3-4 times a week about our loved one may decrease depression. Start each entry with “I remember….” In this way you can recreate the life you had together.

You can also write letters to the person you’ve lost. Your entry in that case could be, “Here’s what I wish I could have told you today…” These can become memories for young family members who didn’t know the person as well.

Find your unencumbered voice. Set aside the censored voice we use daily. Writing allows us to be healthier, as we release those hidden feelings we can’t actually verbalize.”

Claire B. Willis

2. Kindness. People can be so judgmental of others who are grieving. It’s important to remember to simply be kind and know each person grieves in their own way. Claire shared a mediation (one of many in her book):

May I start right here. May I offer myself kindness and compassion. May I accept myself as I am.”

Be kind to yourself and others. There is a lot of private pain. Make your healing process a no-compare zone.

3. Restoring in nature. Nature asks nothing from us. We just take in what’s happening. Being in the natural world can help us rest. In nature we see the cycles of life, death, and rebirth which will provide a sense of hope.

Claire read a poem by Wendell Barry titled: The Peace of Wild Things

When despair for the world grows in me, and I wake in the night at the least sound in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,

I go and lie down where the wood drake rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.

I come into the peace of wild things who do not tax their lives with forethought of grief.

I come into the presence of still water, and I feel above me the day-blind stars waiting with their light.

For a time, I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.

Learn to give your grief full expression and find a companion in Claire’s book.

Connect to Your Empathic Superhero Power

How often have you been told to shake it off, get a grip, move on, let it go, or you’re too sensitive only to realize that these platitudes make you feel worse? Traditionally, empaths are so sensitive that many recoil from the world. Our recent guest, Michelle Welch teaches empaths (and we all have some empathic power) to connect rather than disconnect.

She is the author of the new book, THE MAGIC OF CONNECTION: Stop Cutting Cords & Learn to Transform Negative Energy to Live an Empowered Life.

Growing up in the Bible belt of Texas in a religious family, Michelle was not taught, nor encouraged to learn about, empathic skills or anything regarding the metaphysical. However, she remembers being intuitive from a young age. Her religious family would define her sensitivity as The Gift of Prophecy and/or discernment.

Michelle attended law school and worked in prosecution, defense, and appeals cases. She had a desire to be a judge – perhaps because of her “discernment”.

One day I woke up and I wasn’t happy. I was empty. I was not feeling anything. I knew there was more to what I had studied in seminary and law school. I questioned everything. I pondered it all.”

Michelle Welch

Michelle began to learn the metaphysical. She learned her highly intuitive self was not a choice, and it didn’t matter which side of the brain we operate from. We were given both, and Michelle began to own her power.

Later when she told her legal colleagues she was leaving, they were relieved because they recognized Michelle was making a move to a more authentic side of herself.

I believe in creating your reality and speaking your reality.

Michelle Welch

Michelle is now the owner and operator of soon to be three SoulTopia metaphysical stores in Dallas, TX, where she offers intuitive readings and healing sessions in addition to teaching classes on crystals, tarot, energy work, and intuition. As a “reformed attorney,” she is still licensed in the state of Texas and has lent her intuitive abilities to numerous court and law enforcement cases.

Michelle is also the host of the SoulWhat podcast and the Michelle SoulTopia YouTube channel. Furthermore, she is an ordained minister and holds many certificates in various divination and healing modalities.

While working in her stores before and during the pandemic, Michelle was troubled by what she was hearing her customers say about their inability to tolerate other people, and their desire to break off relationships (cut cords) thinking they would be less traumatized by the energetic climate of the times – political and otherwise.

Her clients were trying to be more authentic by cutting these relationship cords, and Michelle knew it wasn’t right.

Customers were stating, ‘I can’t go to that party….; or I can’t be around that person…; or I can’t be friends with him/her… because of their negativity’. I wasn’t hearing people say, ‘I choose’. They wer saying ‘I can’t’ and taking no responsibility for their own energy.”  

Michelle Welch

Understanding that we are all energy, and we’re all one, cutting  those cords could have negative effects on all of us. Michelle pondered the idea that we could learn to transmute or change that negative energy into something positive.

Why can’t we transmute our bad energy instead of cutting cords and severing relationships? If we are one, then we can’t cut the cords. I was compelled to write my book.

Michelle Welch

In Michelle’s book, The Magic of Connection: Stop Cutting Cords & Learn to Transform Negative Energy to Live an Empowered Life, she has provided a handbook on how to navigate the many energy cords we get hooked by—people, news, global events, all the many distractions we are continually bombarded by—and offers techniques that anyone, especially empaths, can use to transmute difficult energies that otherwise can alter our mental and emotional health.

You can become a Superhero who can confidently engage in the world.”

Michelle Welch

The ability to spontaneously transmute energy will help us lose our need to always come from a defensive and even powerless standpoint so there’s no more need to cut cords. We heal cords through transmutation. It’s a win-win prescription for healing and engaging!

Michelle’s book has over fifty meditations and exercises to assist readers in embracing their spiritual connection to live more empowered lives. Superhero’s Tools and Sidekicks are introduced and affirmations, mantras, tarot cards, candles, and incantations—along with a cast of assistants (ascended masters, archangels, deities, and others) at the ready to help you make magic happen.

Start from the beginning and do each of the exercises in order. They are repetitive on purpose.”

Michelle Welch

Her book is for everyone, since we all have some form of empathic power. As you progress through the book, you’ll learn how to transmute energy. We all have been programmed to respond or react to energy. Our programming can change to lean more empathic. Sometimes “vibes” people give off have been interpreted wrong, and we can all learn to react to energy in a better way.

Scan your own energy before you make judgements about the energy of others.”

Michelle Welch

You can shop at Michelle’s online store for crystals, beaded bracelets, healing bracelets, herbs, candles, statues, charms, books, cards, gifts, etc. https://mysoultopia.com/

Living a spiritually attuned life can come with challenges. Discover how to transform and transmute difficult or unwarranted energies to become a grounded source of love and light, able to withstand the dynamic energies of the times. Discover the Magic of Connection in your life. Get more information at MichelleWelch.com bookings@soultopia.guru