All posts by Tanisha Martin

Powerless Victim to Powerful Woman

An Overworked, Underpaid Failure

I remember the days where I was completely lost in my previous graphic design business and as a third partner in another company which wasn’t turning a profit—in those days, I was dealing with my abusive marriage. During a period of several months when we were separated, I focused on work and was putting in anywhere from 8 to 16 hours a day, and making about 500 bucks a month. Seriously.

What was wrong? Oh so many things I’ve learned since then!

Here are some of the big factors keeping me down, broke, over-worked, and in a seemingly endless cycle of failed efforts:

  1. I was a victim to my lack of support, mentor-ship, and knowledge in how to create a successful business (much less two of them at the same time) from scratch.
  2. I was a victim to my hard-wired internal belief system, which told me I didn’t matter and I wasn’t worth money or love.
  3. I was a victim to my disbelief that I could make money as a designer, even though almost every single client absolutely loved what I provided for them.
  4. I was a victim to the other partners in the company and their own blocks and understanding. (By the way, they were both fantastic and skilled people—we were just all so green in the venture, it just wasn’t happening fast enough.)
  5. I was a victim to the mindset that there is never enough, and the economy determines my wealth.
  6. I was a victim to the praise of “hard work” rather than smart work.
  7. I was a victim to the rut I had gotten into where I had lost all sense of joy, adventure, peace of any kind, and hope. I had no idea what I could possibly enjoy again.
  8. I was a victim to my negative self-talk and bad feelings toward myself, keeping me in a downward spiral of self-fulfilling prophesy.
  9. I was a victim not only to the direct actions of my abusive husband, but also to the value I put onto my his behavior and words.
  10. I was a victim to the concept of putting others first, the “Law of Sacrifice,” and God’s healing to the unreasonable extent that I thought I was special in being the one who saw all of my ex’s sides and there were so many ways it seemed I was helping him. I valued “endure to the end” far too much.

Or I could just say—I was a victim!

30-Days from Decision to Breakthrough

Within a few years, after some improvement, a new business acquisition, and some more income, but still not quite enough, I finally came to the point that pushed me to challenge myself for a breakthrough. That’s a story for another time, but the crux of it was that I made a firm decision to find out if I could actually change my circumstances and within 30 days, everything changed!

I tripled my income (to an amount I had never made in a single month before!), and I was suddenly flooded with self-awareness and respect—for the first time I really knew that I mattered and had power in my life! All of that helped me make the decision to leave my husband once and for all (I was safe to do so) that same month.

There were several key elements that created my breakthrough, but the one that encompasses all the rest was that I decided to value this above everything else…

The amount of personal power you have in your life is directly proportionate to the amount of personal responsibility you are willing to take for everything in your life.

This doesn’t mean I’m to blame for everything (or anything, for that matter, and certainly not for the choices of other people!), but it did mean I was no longer willing to be a victim to anything, not another person, not external circumstances, not even myself.

It’s been an amazing journey since then, full of learning, expanding, growing, and I’ve been grateful for the opportunity to help others take their power back as well, through both my kung fu school and personal development coaching programs.

Just One Shift to Change Powerless to Power-FULL!

If you could make one magical shift today that would change your life, start taking personal responsibility for everything. (Again, I can’t iterate enough—it’s not about blame, shame, guilt, or fault, it’s about going from being powerless to powerful!)

If you have a result you don’t want, realize it’s up to you to change it. If there is something outside of your control, either find a new solution or change your reaction to it. There is always something you can take upon yourself to improve your situation!

 


 

Attn: Ladies who don’t want to be victims and do want to embrace their kick-ass life…

If you are a woman in the Colorado Springs area and you relate to or are intrigued by something in this post, I invite you to join me at our next Women’s SELF – Defense – Confidence – Love Workshop.

It’s more than a self-defense workshop, and more than a personal development course! Get more information and upcoming dates at KungFuColoradoSprings.com/self-defense.

Venturing Outside the Echo Chamber

“Safety” in the Echo Chamber

The echo chamber is this awesome place where your thoughts are always validated, everyone in there with you thinks you’re a genius, and this warm, comfy blanket reassures you day in and day out that you’re safe.

But, word of caution, the price you pay for such a love-fest means you stagnate—you cease to learn and grow, and you might even become overly argumentative, or even hostile.

I guess that’s okay if you already know everything, but if you have a sneaky suspicion you don’t actually know it all, you might want to try to step out of the chamber for a minute.

Even though I knew so much (with good reason at the time), I have still been extremely lucky to have been well-rounded with friends with or without similar religious or spiritual beliefs to mine, from Mormons to Muslims to Buddhists to Atheists.

Being willing to openly discuss views and opinions with them has been wonderful to keep me growing, though up until a few years ago, I did so with my mind already made up. Even so, I wasn’t offensive and the seed for seeking truth in a bigger and better way than I had known before was planted.

Opposing Views

Surprisingly, social media influenced me during that time as well.

Getting out of your own echo chamber means having an opportunity to see another view, and maybe even changing your own.

For those who say you can’t change someone’s mind on social media, I say “BS!” My views on public breastfeeding totally flipped a 180!

To be fair, no one else could change my mind, but they did influence me to change my own mind!

With enough exposure to reasons for the opposing view, followed by a stranger’s suggestion to step back and honestly ask ourselves why we viewed it our way, I was able to discover “filter” I was seeing the situation through was completely off-base.

I’ve met others who have said their minds were changed through social media as well. Here is a fantastic example from a former member of the Westboro Baptist Church!

The key is to get out of our own echo chambers and be willing to understand another view, even if you still disagree in the end. If you can say, “I don’t agree with that but I understand why they view it that way,” then you’ve made it!

These connections with acquaintances or even strangers of different views can have lasting meaning.

Demographic Differences

Same when connecting with different demographics.

I have an amazingly open friend, with whom I relate on many spiritual and life experience levels, even though we have a big difference in age. Because of our similar mindful and universal law studies and practices, I recently assisted her in a Mindful Aging course she taught for people over two decades older than me.

Some similarities I appreciated were that I turn 40 tomorrow, a number I can’t even comprehend, and to see some of the concerns I have discussed so openly with them was extremely comforting and helped me shift my mindset around them. I can start now before I get to the age where they are just starting…

A surprise bonus connection was that one participant was caring for a spouse who had dementia, and she expressed the difficulty in not knowing who she was going to be interacting with from one moment to the next. Even though the circumstances were different, I related to her with my own experience with my ex and his multiple-personality-type behavior, which meant my asking “Who is it?” more times a day than I care to remember.

Between various views and demographics, when we leave our echo chambers with an open mind and heart, we soon learn we have a lot to gain from our differences, and we have so much more alike than we ever thought.

Share some of your own connection stories in the comments!

Is God in Charge or You?

Ah, the everlasting balancing act of making things happen in your life, and letting go and letting God.

(Or the Universe, or higher energy, etc.—I’m going to use “God” in most of this post, but feel free to substitute with your own personal beliefs.)

I’ve heard this popular saying many times in my life (and I’ve seen it, or something almost identical, attributed to St. Ignatius Loyola, St. Augustine, and Dave Ramsey, all within the first few results of a Google search…)

Pray like everything depends on God.
Work like it all depends on you.

Who is really in charge here?

Is it all in God’s hands and going to happen as He wills regardless?

Is it up to you to decipher His will and fulfill it?

Is it up to you to decide what you’re willing to go for then make it happen?

Some might simply say, “What’s the question here? It’s so obvious—we pray to know God’s will and ask for His help in gratitude, and then we go do all we can.”

And they’re right—it is that simple… in our minds…

But take a good, honest assessment of your experiences and results in life, and the way you approach that “pray and work” balance. Are you really doing everything you can, or when failure appears imminent, do you stop your efforts with comments like, “Oh, well. I guess that wasn’t God’s will after all.”?

Look, there is nothing wrong with recognizing a bad turn here and there, but it is an epidemic when so many of us end up using “God’s will” as an excuse to stop short of excellence, to stop short of our goals.

Your Unified Relationship with God

Some scriptures state that when you do what He says, His hands are tied, but when you don’t, you have no promise.

Others remind us the lily in the field takes no concern for its care, it just thrives where it is without worry as the sun and dew nourish it.

Yet others remind us of the great power of choice we have been divinely given in this life.

So how do these fit together in our daily lives to move us forward, following the ultimate Law of all—the Law of More Life?!

Regardless of your spiritual or religious affiliation, here’s the high truth in this concept:

Whether you believe God is fully in charge or not, you must get up and get it done.

Whether you believe you are on your own or not, you must trust in at least the natural Universe to respond to your efforts.

This goes back to the “Straight and Narrow” concept where what seems to be polar opposites dwell in perfect harmony within you.

Whether your beliefs relate to the natural Universe, God, higher energy, Source, quantum physics, or something else, you are completely responsible for your efforts and how you experience life, AND you can rely on that force outside of yourself to respond back to you with a mirror and expansion of what you put out there.

  1. Trust your inner desires, because if they are not dysfunctional, they are assuredly divine.
  2. Trust in your personal development work—grow to stop putting out there fear of what you don’t want to receive, and put more out there of what you do want to receive!
  3. Do let go and let God, in the sense that all of your efforts carry an open energy, as you watch for the clues and opportunities around you.
  4. Do work like it all depends on you. Create a sense of urgency to drive you forward, while keeping the energy open and non-restrictive so you can receive all that is available to you, which is everything the Universe is and has.

Find that straight and narrow place where those truths coexist in perfect harmony and go out and LIVE!

From there, you can do anything! You can pay your bills on time. You can stock your favorite food. You and your children can create magnificent experiences. You can bless way more people in your business and charity work.

Start here now, and start experiencing what is “there” right away.

Stop Doing it Alone

Seriously, stop.

(And I can say this because I am the queen of doing it alone, and I’m so done with that, as evident by my own resurgence through high-level coaching and speaking support.)

I guarantee finding that balance, moving forward, creating real change, and transforming your life to the next level of your greatness is so much harder alone than with the right support.

If you are serious about the next level you want to experience, then you are equally serious about being a part of the universal community of giving and receiving in order to achieve it!

Remember that what you put out there comes back to you. Everything naturally works together in this way for your benefit and for the benefit of those around you.

Here is one opportunity to get that level of support, and get the give and take flow moving:

For May 2017 (or until spots fill, whichever comes first) I am slashing my coaching prices as I launch my new S.E.L.F. (Self-Empowered Life Formula) Coaching Program.

Send me an email with “schedule a session” in the subject line to Support@TanishaMartin.com. I will respond to schedule a complimentary SELF-Discovery session to see how your self-love mindset and success-driven actions rate and where they are stuck, holding you back from having the time, money, or energy to excel to your next level and to love your life right now.

You can absolutely rely on God and the Universe, and you can absolutely trust yourself to do what it takes. You just have to really want it, and set yourself up for success!

(I can help you with both of those.)

You’ve got this!

Why Forgiveness is No Longer for Me

I Forgave Myself

I forgave myself…

  • for not being as good a friend as I could have been, especially during times of their grief.
  • for getting into debt. Well almost. My plan was to fully forgive after I had finished paying off all of my debts.
  • for being socially awkward many times in my life, including a few recently that embarrassed me.
  • for taking too long writing and editing my memoir.
  • for not recognizing that I was in an abusive relationship, for putting him first to the detriment of myself, for staying way too long…

 

In fact, this major awakening around the concept of forgiveness I’m about to share started a few years ago, as I learned how the subconscious mind works, but really developed because there was a part in one of my book drafts where I made those exact self-forgiveness statements regarding my abusive marriage.

As I read that section again later, it occurred to me that other women who have been (or still were) in an abusive relationship might internalize those statements, and I absolutely did not want them to think that they needed forgiveness!

And if they didn’t need forgiveness, why did I

It became crystal clear in the context of having been a victim to a perpetrator abusing me, that I needed no forgiveness. What an absurd notion—to need forgiveness for the acts of another person?!

But what about the aspects that were my choice, such as staying with him when I knew I could have safely left. Those facets were at least partially attributed to his lies and manipulation, which convoluted my choice. However, regardless of whether my choice was absolutely clear in the big picture or twisted by circumstances, the answer is still obvious that still no forgiveness is needed.

Subconscious Programming and Awareness Levels Matter

I did exactly what I was programmed to do—sacrifice myself to be loved. In this case, that deep-seeded belief system showed up as my sacrificing myself for God’s bigger picture, for my husband to have a greater chance at healing and redemption.

Why would I need forgiveness for executing a hard-wired program that, in addition to being the filter through which we all process all of our life experiences, was (in theory and intent) completely in line with my religious upbringing?

No, I didn’t need forgiveness for my acting through my subconscious program (based on the fact that that is simply how humans function)! Nor did I need forgiveness for my then-level of awareness.

I didn’t need forgiveness any more than a child needs forgiveness for falling during her attempts to learn to walk.

Thus I have two solid reasons for not needing to forgive myself—I didn’t make his choices, he did, and my programming and awareness simply were what they were.

But what if I still felt like a stupid idiot? If so, I lean toward attempting to forgive myself anyway as a solution. I’m not going to go that direction, though, because the only reason to feel stupid is if I feel shame for what happened to me, shame for what he did, shame over my choices, or shame over any other aspect.

Judgment Creates Shame, Which Creates the Desire to Be Forgiven

 

Shame is merely me judging myself as being wrong.

While I would make different choices today, that is only because my awareness has expanded and I have grown as a person. It’s not because “I was wrong back then and I am right now.”

Without judgment of being wrong, there is no need for forgiveness.

Judgment leads to shame, which leads to suffering, which understandably can lead to the desire to forgive oneself (or others) in order to ease that suffering.

Most of us were taught through subtle (or not so subtle) messages that judgment is the overriding law of existence—live to be judged for it, so you better be good.

I submit that the truth is something better…

I submit that we exist to LIVE!

There are natural consequences to our beliefs, thoughts, and actions. There is no judgment attached those in nature or in the Universe.

If you are a jungle cat, you either hunt to eat or you don’t eat. You don’t worry about how stupid you were that your hunt yesterday failed. You just keep going until you succeed at filling your belly.

I propose we recognize the lack of judgment in nature and remove it from ourselves. I propose we stop forgiving ourselves altogether.

Removing judgment removes shame, which removes the need for forgiveness.

I’d far rather assess whether or not my life matches my divine desires, and assess if I am currently (or will be by achieving my desires and goals) harming myself or others. From those assessments, I can make result-based decisions—what serves me and others well and what doesn’t?

There is still evaluation and improvement, if one so desires, but it is all without judgment.

So much more can be done to improve ourselves when we are not caught up in judgment and shame!

Yes, forgiveness traditionally has helped with that shame, but how infinitely more effective is our joy if we remove the root cause of it in the first place?!

I propose that we love ourselves unconditionally. I propose that we see ourselves and others without judgment.

This open approach is even more complete and effective than forgiveness, because it eliminates the need for forgiveness and it is based in pure love.

I propose that we simply love.

Why We Can’t Leave it Alone

“You Leave But You Can’t Leave it Alone”

That is the criticism every non-silent former Mormon (or other religious tribe where this is a common issue) hears from still-member friends and all the way up the the leaders of the Church.

This is why people can “leave the Church, but not leave it alone” and “tear apart their family” in the process.

(No doctrine, history, or “anti” info here. Just an analogy to answer the question.)

I know its hard for those who believe to be left by those they love and to feel attacked. I was one of them. I know exactly how that feels, both in times when truly hurts and times when you easily “let go and let God.” I know how it feels to trust God and love them anyway.

…Love, but not truly hear…

The Family’s Favorite Uncle

It’s always the person willing to expose the family’s favorite uncle for abuse he’s committed, who gets blamed for tearing the family apart, rather than the uncle who actually committed those crimes.

Why?

In many cases it’s because the other family members can’t fathom the accusations are true. Even if there is proof—they already KNOW he’s wonderful, no matter what evidence there is to the contrary (including evidence actually admitted by HIM).

Or because they value not rocking the boat more than they value the truth, in spite of the accounts of those who have been hurt by him. Rocking the boat directly affects them because it is negative and feels horrible.

Or because of the great good he also does in the world.

Or maybe they feel he “got better,” thus don’t feel its important everyone knows about it, even in order to be informed and aware for the safety of their children, just in case.

Or they have seen some of the evidence but feel his rebuttal debunked it to their satisfaction.

Or they heard some of the accounts of abuse and felt forced to believe the victim was lying, or that it didn’t matter as much as the greater unity of the family, or that the victim somehow caused the incident, or other discounting views of the victim’s experience.

Or any number of other reasons.

Tragically, the one who was willing to step out of the family’s/tribe’s status quo to raise awareness about the harm, is the one who gets the heat.

Now, you may feel this analogy does not apply—you may feel it is false accusation, and for this discussion that is okay! We are not getting into the proof or debate on that.

All I ask is that you try to understand that many others you love feel it does apply, and thus it warrants compassion at the very least (how would you feel being the one having knowledge of the favorite uncle’s abusive behavior?), or even better, open listening and honest understanding.

Does this Change Anything?

Considering this analogy, do you feel there is a way to now mend the bridge over the pain between the two perspectives?

Why or why not?

Under what terms?