Rising Up: Raw, Unscripted, Uncut

It All Started When I Decided to Grow in a Big Way

They say, “New level, new devil.” Every time you have a breakthrough, you are thrust onto a new level, along with that comes greater awareness of what’s wonderful and what’s not so much… It doesn’t matter if you’re a single mom with two kids making minimum wage, or Ivanka Trump launching her new jewelry line, everyone struggles with stretching and growing. Both experience fear and anxiety over their next levels. I’m not comparing the level of consequences of failure in these two examples, but I am reminding us that what we go through is universal.

I am working on some things that I am not going to spell out yet, but suffice it to say it’s scary as hell for me—someone whose first 28 years were spent depressed and self-hating, someone who has lived in her car, someone who has been in an abusive marriage on many levels, and has made so many mistakes in the past I am still working on fixing some of them.

But I have also come to achieve so much. I have pulled myself up and become a 5th degree black belt Associate Master in Kung Fu, and I’ve helped women and men with their personal development through the kung fu school I now own and through my coaching practice.

No matter who or where I am, though, every time I stretch myself, a whole new can of worms opens up to try to stop me. As much as I wish it wasn’t so, this is actually to be expected. This is part of our subconscious’ job—to keep up safe and on familiar ground. And it’s our job to say, “Thank you, but no, thank you—I’m doing this anyway!”

Here’s where I was last Thursday morning. Actually this is a little after “where I was.” I was completely down, distraught, bawling my eyes out, alone, and unsure what the hell I’m doing. But I’ve been through that enough to know I can’t stay there. I resisted pulling myself out of my funk for a couple more hours, and while I still couldn’t imagine coming out of it at all, a thought popped into my head to make myself come out of it for you. For anyone who might be comforted or encouraged by watching my experience.

What follows are four videos taken throughout the day illustrating exactly how I kicked my own trash to get back to where I wanted to be emotionally and energetically to finish out the day strong. I’ll be analyzing my progress in terms of the 5 Simple Shifts to Live the Life You Love NOW.

The entire experience as well as the videos themselves are 100% raw, unscripted and uncut.


Video #1—Fear, Doubt, and Worry
10:03 A.M. 6 min. 3 sec.




1—Sparrow: Truth and my BIG WHY

I didn’t catch this moment of pure gold until I watched the videos later. I was describing why I was upset, albeit vaguely, but notice where a CLEAR shift occurred…

At 3:36, as soon as I started to say I was afraid the message wasn’t important enough, or that I wasn’t the right person to share it, I couldn’t even let those words come out of my mouth. Because I KNOW the message is needed, and I know I’m supposed to be on this path to share it. I could lie to myself about me, about not being good enough, but not even my deepest fears could trick me into doubting what I knew to my very core.

When it came to my “big why”—what’s driving me to do stretch in this direction in the first place (the undeniable drive and pull to pursue this path for the benefit of others), I completely, and naturally, shifted and turned a corner.

This reflects the spirit of the Sparrow in recognizing and honoring the divine desires of our hearts. (Ties in to the Crane as well—reaching outside of ourselves.)


Video #2—Already Feeling a TON Better!
10:18 A.M. 3 min. 16 sec.

I took this shortly after the first video, after I noticed how much better I was already feeling!




Further analysis of the efficacy of Video #1:

2—Sparrow: Unashamed About Who I Was in the Moment

I acknowledged and shared some of my pain and worry without shame. (Hello! Unshowered, no make-up, puffy post-bawling eyes mess!)

This is especially hard when we feel like we have to be completely put-together in the eyes of others—as a life coach and kung fu master, I definitely feel that pressure. While I believe we should put our best foot forward, there are times where we can do more for others by showing the other side of our picture as well.

3—Crane: Decision Time—Get Out of the Funk

I couldn’t stay in that funk forever, and it had certainly been long enough. Against my own resistance, I decided to get out of my head and refocus on helping others.

4—Mantis: Take Immediate Action on an Opportunity

In this case, an opportunity popped into my head, “Why don’t you chronicle this process for your audience?” Oh yeah, I knew that was a crazy idea—so crazy it just might be worth it…

Not only was I taking action in the acute issue I was experiencing in the moment, but I was taking action toward my larger goal of sharing personal development methods and inspiration for others. How effective will this be? I have no idea, but it has been a unique and wonderful experience for me, and I hope something will be of value to you.

I immediately got my phone and positioned myself to be recorded via the camera mirroring thing where I can see myself mirrored back at me. But…

5—Tiger: Nothing is Going to Stop Me

I HATED the way I looked. There was NO WAY I was going through with this insanity. I threw the phone.

“Hello, circumstance trying to stop me. Welcome to the party.”

But I couldn’t quite let it go. The idea came to me for a reason, even if I don’t have a clue what that reason is.

After about 5 minutes of entertaining my feeling ugly and ashamed, I got the phone again and simply tried a different angle and moved the lens further away. I still didn’t like it, but I could live with it. I guess. I hit record and you saw the results in Video #1.


 Video #3—Truth Seeker
12:50 P.M. 6 min. 13 sec.

(I got a phone call as I was signing off, which abruptly stopped the recording.)




6—Sparrow: Self-Care

Made myself feel better on the outside as well by simply showering and doing my hair and makeup.

7—Mantis: Joyful JuJu Kit—Truth Seeker

Took action on another opportunity I had at my fingertips—happiness exercises from my Joyful JuJu Kit, created just for this purpose—to help lift you up when you are down.

In the Truth Seeker exercise, I laid out all of my fearful thoughts on the left side of my paper. On the right side, I addressed each item and replaced it with the real truth.

Examples directly from my list (the truth matches with its respective fear):


  1. I’m not good enough
  2. I always fall short
  3. I have to do it alone
  4. No one will save me and I can’t save myself
  5. I should give up.


  1. I am called to do this. I HAVE to do this. Therefore I must be good enough.
  2. I have done the best I can and am now becoming excellent.
  3. I have a TON of support to draw from.
  4. The whole point of it all is to LEARN to “save myself.” I am exactly on track and right where I should be.
  5. I should push through because everything I want and need is on the other side of my fear!

8—Monkey: Have Fun!

I took what started as a terrible day and did a crazy thing by videoing myself, plus I really enjoyed the fun activity I picked from my Funk to Fabulous list. :)


Video #4—Fine Art & Martha Stewart
4:18 P.M. 5 min. 14 sec.




9—Mantis: Joyful JuJu Kit—From Funk to Fabulous

Thoroughly enjoyed my Mary Engelbreit’s Home Companion magazine and some cuddly time with Charlie. (Ties in to the Sparrow, because time with my cat and the magazine are directly fulfilling to me, and the monkey because it’s fun, bright, and creative!) See my pick-me-up list here on Facebook.

10—Mantis: Accomplishment, the Cure for Depression

My sense of urgency soon kicked in and I couldn’t wait to get to work and get a ton done. It turned out to be a fully productive afternoon! (Ties in to the crane as well, in doing work that affects others and the tiger in charging head-on. In fact, none are mutually exclusive from the other, every truth and facet of our lives intertwine with every other truth and facet.)



Since then, I have had some wonderful experiences that really stood out as a result of my pushing through.

Some of my students helped man a booth I purchased to vend at a fair to benefit Sarah’s Home, a place for women and girls to safely recover from having been trafficked. I was able to get everything done I needed, even though I only got three hours of sleep before a 6-hour kung fu day! It was wonderful to have such great support, though, since I couldn’t man the booth myself due to the special breathing and meditation class I was teaching.

In that class, I had a specific moment of awareness that I was still resisting being seen, and I had to admit I truly don’t want anything to hold me back. That was when I knew without a doubt that I needed to share these videos.

Yesterday, I was interviewed by a journalist and PhD candidate who is doing a year of research on porn and human trafficking. I shared some things I’ve never told anyone before about parts of the abusive marriage I was in, specifically details on the extreme porn addiction he had and his sexual abuse and manipulation toward me. This was my first experience sharing some details that will inevitably come to light, and I was very well supported and can see even more clearly how my story will benefit others. (Visit 150Husbands.com to learn more about my memoir and get a copy.)

And last, but not least, I received a flood of appreciation sent to me, the kung fu school, my experiences, and my coaching. It was very humbling and made me feel so honored!

I would love to help you kick your own trash and jump all over your next goal, whether you’re in a rut, or just want some extra support to ensure you get there!

Please join me and others like you DESIGN YOUR EMPOWERED LIFE with Tanisha Martin, beginning in January.


BONUS 11—Monkey: I Love Art!

Here are the two art pieces I was talking about in Video #4, both my first ever completed portraits, which my clients loved!

First work with soft pastel ever:

Pastel Baby

First watercolor portrait:

Watercolor Couple

You can see more in my personal Facebook Art Commissions album.

I have gotten better since these two very first ever completed portraits, but now I don’t create much art anymore. One of my goals is to complete my next life and business foundation, then free up some hobby time so I can play with my art. :)

4 thoughts on “Rising Up: Raw, Unscripted, Uncut

  1. Thank you SO much for sharing! I loved how you showed the process of getting out of your funk. Very helpful! It’s nice to know I’m not the only one who goes through crying sessions and getting down. We ALL go through hard times and you have tools to help. I really appreciate you and your desire to help others!!!

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