Tag Archives: crisis

I Don’t Hate 50 Shades of Grey Because of its BDSM Content

*** WARNING – Graphic Content and Potential Triggers ***

I don’t hate 50 Shades of Grey because of its “BDSM” content.

I hate 50 Shades of Grey because of it’s dangerous messages to those who are abused and to the abusers.

I hate it because so many people are in defense of it in the name of “leaving people to do whatever they want in the privacy of their own home” and “prudes don’t need to take us back 50 years.” While they may have had a point if we were strictly talking about consensual BDSM, that is not the issue, because we are not talking about BDSM with 50 Shades of Grey. These books are taking us back 50 years because they are about abuse—masturbatory literature about abuse.

Abuse is not sexy.

The glorification of that abuse is not sexy. The glorification of that abuse is scary.

The fact that its defenders don’t even recognize it as abuse is even more scary.


50 Shades normalizes sexual abuse and manipulation masquerading as BDSM.

Safe, Sane, and Consensual

The motto of the BDSM community is, “Safe, Sane, and Consensual,” as explained in Techniques of Pleasure by Margot Weiss.

Safe, Sane, and Consensual (SSC) is the mantra of SM in the United States today. Coined in 1983 by David Stein as part of the statement of purpose of GMSMA (Gay Male S/M Activists), the slogan was popularized across the country and is now widely endorsed by BDSM organizations. Stein notes that the slogan was originally understood to distinguish “defensible” SM, practiced on “willing partners for mutual satisfaction,” from “harmful, antisocial, predatory behavior,” “the coercive abuse of unwilling victims.” Beyond being a motto, however, Safe, Sane, and Consensual has become critical to the social organization of SM; it is the primary way practitioners distinguish between good, safe, acceptable SM and bad, unsafe, unacceptable practice. To ensure that the community of practitioners corresponds to SSC rules, several practices have become standardized; the two largest, most institutionalized are negotiation and using safewords.

I am not personally in the BDSM community, but I stand with them in calling out 50 Shades to shed the wool and reveal the rabid wolf lurking within.

Why? Because having been in a similarly abusive relationship, I recognize it when I see it.

In 50 Shades, Christian Grey uses predatory consent, convincing a naive girl who had no idea what she was getting into to sign a contract wherein she agreed to be his submissive for two days a week, and he has the right to punish her in any way he wants if she disobeys. In exchange, he offers her financial gain and “ultimate sexual pleasure.”

Manipulating consent from a naive girl is the first problem that occurs over and over again. Consent is what distinguishes mutual BDSM play from real life abuse. Predatory consent is not the same as consent.

He also ignores her safe word, and on top of that berates her for having her own boundaries. That is abuse.

My Very Own Christian Grey

Like Christian Grey, my ex-husband also used BDSM as an excuse to abuse and manipulate.

Our contract was our marriage certificate, and my compensation was that maybe he would stop looking at porn, stop cheating, and stop the internal fight among his “multiple-personalities.”

I can’t say what his thought process was, but I can share what my experience was.

First of all, I didn’t know anything about the aforementioned rules. At one point we established a safe word, but that was the closest to any type of understanding I had, and I fear his only understanding came from watching violent porn.

I tried to talk to him about what I desired in a loving, sexual relationship between husband and wife, because we had that sometimes. We had that quite a bit, actually. I also told him what kink I was enjoying and what made me uncomfortable, but it snowballed out of control into a perpetual fight over whether or not I truly loved him.

I allowed him to pour hot wax on my body including sensitive areas. It burned, but cooled quickly. It was exciting, and scary, and strange. Ultimately for me it was all lust. It didn’t feel right. It didn’t feel safe. It wasn’t what I wanted. Another time I agreed to do it again, but we changed candles and the wax burned much hotter. I told him to stop and that I didn’t want to do it ever again. When I shared my feelings with him that it wasn’t what I wanted, that it felt like pure lust and I didn’t feel loved, that it felt less like sex and more like he was actually pouring hot wax on me to hurt me and get off on hurting me, he discounted my feelings.

A true partner would have listened and taken my feelings into consideration. His answer was, “You like it. I know you do because that was the wettest you’ve ever been.”

He used that statement over and over again to discount my feelings of discomfort any time they came up. That is abuse. He reminded me that if I didn’t do it I must not love him. That is manipulation. 

It overflowed outside of sex into our day-to-day life. He wanted to punish me over disagreements, often threatening to whip me with the buckle part of his belt, rather than the strap, which I could sometimes tolerate during sex.

He told me several times that if I would just do what he wanted for 24 hours with no caveat, things would get better. According to his words, if I agreed, I would be showing him how much I love him and he would get his many conflicts out of his system, including his desire for extreme porn, his infidelity, his habit of choking me when we got into a fight, and in his internal conflict with his “multiple-personality”-type issues.

It was tempting after having hoped for so long and having fought through hell for him and us, to just believe him and give in. What if it really did get better? What if he would finally see that I did love him because I was willing to do this?

As far as the “no caveat” rule went, we couldn’t acknowledge any boundaries whatsoever. I just had to trust him—a man who had sexually assaulted me through a hostile “personality” named Animal, who the first time I met him forced me to swallow or he would “stick it in my ass;” a man who masturbated to internet porn of varying extremities, including women being whipped until they were bleeding, women who were clearly drugged with insects crawling over them, a woman being taken from behind while her face was shoved into a flushing toilet, and one who had her breasts nail-gunned to a board. He described the latter to me and said he felt a bit guilty for getting off on that.

No, I couldn’t trust him. I didn’t believe he would actually go so far as to bring in a third person to abuse, as his verbal fantasies reveled in, such as the time he described a fantasy of an ex-girlfriend (whom I knew of in real life) hanging upside-down and us having sex while he decapitated her and blood splattered everywhere. I certainly didn’t believe he would kill or have me kill someone or anything that extreme, but I didn’t know what he would do. I couldn’t trust him with myself.

I always believed him when he said he wanted to be free from the chains of porn and infidelity, that he loved me and wanted a love like I wanted. In a last ditch effort to “help” him, so I naively believed I was doing, I did agree to a compromise of two hours. I thought maybe I could endure it for just two hours and maybe, just maybe he would end this madness once and for all.

I hated every second of it when he told me to strip down to nothing in the bathroom, then pee in a glass and drink it. As I brought it up to my mouth I still didn’t know if I was going to drink it or throw it in his face, but he ended up stopping me. At least he had some limits. It turned out to be a test to see if I was really committed to our agreement.

I did stop the agreement soon after that, however, when he took a photo of me naked in front of a mirror covered in insults he had written with marker like “fat whore” and “Legion’s toy.” No, I didn’t enjoy that. I stopped the whole thing. I made sure he deleted the photo. It was an older phone that he since replaced and I believe that photo no longer exists. I hope I am correct.

Some I consented to, some I consented to under predatory and coercive circumstances, and some I refused. He wanted me to enjoy BDSM, but I didn’t. I couldn’t, especially under such physically and emotionally unsafe circumstances.


50 Shades normalizes the idea that girls love rape.

The line between consent and predatory consent was crossed in 50 Shades, which only serves to reinforce the overall message that girls love to be forced, “punished,” taken advantage of, and raped.

My ex mirrored that when all of the porn he was exposed to and indulged in only further twisted his mind that girls like to be abused, and my level of “wetness” as mentioned above was all the proof he needed. What I said and actually felt meant nothing, as if I’m some animal whose chemical reactions trump all reason, logic, and emotion that set humans apart from animals.

50 Shades‘ message to abusers is dangerous; the message is that they can just keep doing what they’re doing until the girl gives in, or until they get what they want, because either way, she of course secretly likes it is regardless of what she says. We want men to stop rape? We have to stop telling them abuse is not abuse, rape is not rape, and girls love it all.


50 Shades normalizes the dangerous idea that the abuser will change.

Why did I stay with my ex for so long?

Faith and compassion.

The “love story” of 50 Shades illustrates that through abuse, they can get married and overcome all of their trials until they finally arrive at their happy ending, influenced by the pending arrival of a baby. This reinforces the all too common hope of victims that if you have compassion on your abuser because of his past or because of what took his childhood innocence away, and if you just do what he wants, he will eventually come around because “love heals all wounds.”

Almost worse is the idea that a baby will bring you together. Have some men and women risen up to meet the challenge of having a baby? Certainly, but the hope that an abuser will do so is far too risky.

I’m sorry, that is not the happy ending for most women who suffer at the hands of their lovers, nor for the children involved.

The abuse and manipulation was a consistent part of my relationship with my ex, but it wasn’t all of our relationship.

I didn’t see myself as abused for a long time because it wasn’t as bad as being physically beaten and raped, or as bad as having a loaded gun to my head. Those seemed obviously dangerous and terrible, but in my case, “It was ‘just’ a love vs. porn battle. It was ‘just’ him choking me when we got into a fight. I was ‘just’ trying to help my husband get a handle on himself. And my husband whom I loved and loved me too ‘didn’t do anything like what those other men did.'” I couldn’t see it for what it was.

He told me more than once that he chose me. He told me he chose the life I thought we were working towards—a porn-free life of love and respect where kink may or may not have been a part, but certainly not manipulation nor abuse.

Some of his personalities were the most loving, amazing beings I had ever known and they treated me like a queen. They begged me not to give up on them. I promised them with all of my heart that I wouldn’t. They tried to fight off the harmful personalities both from gaining control of the body and hurting me physically or emotionally, and from gaining control in the inside world.

Sometimes they won. Sometimes they failed.

Sometimes they would text me while we were separated wondering where I was and were shocked to learn we were going through a divorce process. They’d fight until “he” and I gave in to hope and we’d cancel the divorce and try again.

The “main” personality was “middle of the road,” like you would expect from a “normal” relationship. He had his strengths and weaknesses, but I believed him when he said he loved me and I believed him when he said he wanted to be someone better for us.

How could I give up on the part of him that was trying? How could I give up when I promised the best of him I wouldn’t? How could I give up on the seven year old little boy that was first exposed to porn, who eventually became this sick and twisted monster? That little boy was surely still somewhere inside, and the loving part of him was certainly worth it. How could I give up on someone who had lost his way from the good, strong family of values in which he was raised? How could I give up and prove to him his worst fear is true—that he is unlovable? How could I turn my back on him, and not only him but my faith in God and a Savior who I believe really can heal all wounds?

No matter how much I tried, how much I changed, tolerated, participated, reasoned, etc. No matter what I did, his promises were empty and he always returned to his abusive, manipulative, and reckless behavior.

This is sadly the norm.

It was never up to me to change him, not even to support and love him through it. His choices were his and if he exceeded my boundaries, if he abused and manipulated, that was enough to leave immediately. And now I know. Now I understand how far it can go, I know what the red flags are, and I will never naively tolerate it again.

I won’t pretend to know each individual situation and their specific answers and timelines. I have a friend who stuck by her physically abusive husband because he said he wanted to change and actually followed through. Was it a hard road? Absolutely. But he did actually progress, while she became more assertive at the same time, and their relationship is safe now. Is it perfect? Of course not, but she is safe, their kids are safe, and they can focus on acceptable marital issues rather than on the abuse.

In my relationship, I finally did give up, and it was the best decision for me. I went through a major personal breakthrough that empowered me with self-respect. I didn’t even know I was missing self-respect, when I had thought I was doing good in the world and for him. I realized that I have to be the most important person in my life because I am the only person I have control over, and I can’t afford to give my power of choice away to anyone or anything else. And if I’m hurting or caught up in a twisted mess, I really can’t do myself or anyone else any good, not even him.

My self-respect engaged and made me realize I was worth so much more than that, so I told him I wanted to get divorced. It was basically mutual, he was tired of fighting too, mostly over sex, porn, cheating, and abuse. He moved out and we filed right away. No loving personalities tried to contact me this time, thinking we were still together. He did, however, call me to ask me to reconsider. It was about a month after we filed, with two months left in the waiting period before it would be final. I told him I would reconsider after he got his life straightened out, and not before. I did love him, but I would no longer tolerate the way he treated and manipulated me.

He hung up on me and immediately sent me four photos of naked girls and followed up with a text that there were actually five girls he’s with since we filed, but he could only send those four photos for some reason. I deleted it all and never looked back.


“Prudes” and “Kinks” Stand Together Against Abuse

Now that I have personally had a taste of the horrors of abuse and the effects of extreme porn, including human trafficking I have since learned about, I have zero tolerance for abuse and manipulation. 50 Shades of Grey and its defenders enrage me because before my “education” I, too, was naive. I didn’t realize how close to home abuse and sexual misconduct would come, nor how damaging, prevalent, risky, and dangerous it is all around us. I too may have thought of 50 Shades, “That’s just BDSM, don’t watch it if you don’t like it.” I would have been wrong. I would have been part of the problem.

If you are “straight-laced,” that is fine. If you are into kink and BDSM, that is fine. Just keep proper consent where it should be, and DO NOT defend real abuse. Whichever camp you are in, don’t sit idly by ignoring or condoning that abuse, because if you do, YOU are what’s wrong with our culture of rape and sexual assault. YOU are what’s wrong with society’s blind eye turned away from the tens of millions of sex slaves globally, including the 100,000 – 300,000 children in America who are tortured and abused today.  YOU are what’s wrong with the suffering not being able to have a voice. YOU are perpetuating this heinous behavior into the mainstream lives of innocent people—men, women, and children.

Instead, get educated, hear my story and others like mine (and worse). See abuse for what it is. Protect yourself and your children from it. Take a stand with me and the “prudes” and the “kinks” to prevent, heal, and eventually END sexual violence, domestic violence, and human trafficking.

If you are suffering, you are not alone.

Resources for Sexual Violence, Domestic Violence, and Human Trafficking/Sex Slavery

National Sexual Violence Hotline
RAINN.org
(800) 656-HOPE
Rape, Abuse, & Incest National Network. Get help or get information.

The National Domestic Violence Hotline
TheHotline.org
(800) 799-7233
“…no fees, no names, no judgment.” Get help or get involved.

National Human Trafficking Resource Center—Polaris Project
PolarisProject.org
(888) 3737-888
Get help or call if you suspect human trafficking including adult women prostitutes under force or coercion of a pimp, and all minors regardless of “consent.”

Morality in Media / Porn Harms—The Dirty Dozen List
PornHarms.com/dirtydozen
Just released 1/21/15, 50 Shades of Grey makes the list of 12 leading contributors to sexual exploitation!

 


HELP VICTIMS OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AND SEXUAL ASSAULT

Instead of watching the 50 Shades of Grey movie, please donate to a local DVSA shelter, like TESSA in Colorado Springs.

Learn more or find a directory for a shelter in your area here.

Help TESSA help victims. Donate here.

 

What is Stopping You from Taking that Next Major Step?

Be Honest & Dig Deep

When was the last time something stopped you from bringing in a new client, being on your best behavior, indulging in a deserved retreat, saying no to that poisonous snack, or achieving a goal you really wanted?

It’s not enough to simply re-motivate, re-inspire, work harder, or try new productivity or income generating practices.

I’m so thankful I first learned to do this from David Neagle. And even though I have evaluated this many times, sometimes I get stuck and forget and my coach reminds me—that’s what she’s there for!

The sooner you identify what actually stops you, the sooner you can stop giving it power over you and step right through it next time.

It’s best to stop what you’re doing right now and get clear on what stops you, than to wait until you’re in the thick of things and try to figure it out then, when the pressure is on.

However, if you’re in that crisis moment now, then it is even more critical you do this now.

A quick exercise in “exorcism”:

1.) Think of the last goal you didn’t reach.

  • Ex. A: You wanted to add a product line targeted to men in addition to the line for women you already have.
  • Ex. B: You wanted to shed 20 pounds.

2.) Why did or didn’t that happen?

You may come up with some external reasons, or personal reasons.

  • Ex. A: Your investor fell through; it was more work than you thought and you were exhausted.
  • Ex. B: The holidays hit and you overstuffed yourself at all of your family meals and friends’ parties.

3.) Why did you let those factors stop you?

What was behind your reasoning for letting those circumstances stop you?

  • Ex. A: You didn’t seek another investor because you were previously turned down by ten, the one you had was the last one you had access to, and you don’t know where else to turn at this point. Or you didn’t consider finding one of the many solutions to your exhaustion other than the easy way out—to quit.
  • Ex. B: Family time is the most important thing to you.

4.) What drove you to think that way?

Dig even deeper. The deeper you go, the clearer you will see the real reasons you stop and the faster you can knock them out. Also notice what about it keeps you “safe” where you are.

  • Ex. A: You believe that once you’ve tried everything in front of you, there’s nothing left. You allow your feelings and mood to take over your body and to make your decisions. You’re terrified of marketing to men, so it’s just easier to stick with your current and successful target market.
  • Ex. B: You use the truly wonderful priority of family as an excuse to not honor and respect your own self. You restrict to the point of excessiveness when you aren’t “there” yet. It’s easier to allow other factors to control you than to have the responsibility of stretching yourself to the success you really want.

5.) Decide (or remember) what you really want and why.

Refocus on the result you want.

  • Ex. A: You were inspired to build the new line because you saw men had a need you want to fill. It both grows your business and allows women and men to bond over your product, which satisfies your overall purpose of unity and equality.
  • Ex. B: You know you’ll feel better and be able to give your family and friends even more of yourself when you shed that extra weight. You know that your daughter looks up to you and is learning how to overcome her challenges by watching you and you want to show her that she has control in her life, especially in choosing to be healthy.

6.) Put TRUTH higher than what stops you.

This will vary depending on what is beneath what is stopping you and what mindset and belief systems are driving your choices. Turn to Universal Law and principles you know are true and weigh your thought process and limiting beliefs against them.

  • Ex. A: Remember the Law of Polarity – you can’t have a desire without the means to achieve it existing somewhere in your life right now. If all known options have been pursued to dead ends, search your resources of people and opportunities for the solution that may be disguised as something uncomfortable.
  • Ex. B: Think “easy,” not “hard.” It’s easy to choose what and how much to eat when you stop focusing on how hard it is, and instead focus on how easy those choices are because you deserve to feel and be healthy! And don’t beat yourself up over a little indulgence.

Will shifting and stepping through your fears and pain be perfectly flawless? No, but the more you discredit what stops you, the easier it will be to move past it!

As you start the new year with a fresh outlook on your goals, I can help you make certain you have set the right goals and that they are achievable. Join me in the lowest cost program I’ve offered yet for support and coaching over 30 days.

Learn more and register here.

 

Love Your Life 2015 KICKOFF

(Hurry, the bonus for the first registrants is still available, which is that you get to vote on the date/times of the calls so chances are you’ll be able to make them  all live!)

Why My Depression Gets to Win

I’ve Decided to Stop Fighting My Depression

Hi. My name is Tanisha and am a depress-a-holic.

I have said, and it’s true, I have largely overcome the depression and self-hatred that I somehow endured practically 24/7 from childhood until I was 28 years old. (I was told I had a chemical imbalance, ironically only a few short years after internally rolling my eyes at a high school classmate who said she had the same thing. Karma?)

Even though I have come a long way, I still have to watch myself daily, as it’s so easy for it to creep in and flatten me. My lows are just as low as in the past, with the wish that I could not only die, but stop existing in every way altogether. But my “normals” and highs are much higher and much more often.

In fact, my “normal” is indeed normal—it’s my general state of being, and it’s generally full of positivity, drive, and fun. That was a foreign concept when my “normal” meant depressed all the time.

Aren’t I too short for this ride?!

I generally claim that I’ve overcome depression because I have. But I thought that being an effective life coach and kung fu master and instructor meant that I could never be depressed and have such horrendous lows.

With that type of belief, you can imagine how much worse I felt about myself when I struggled with depression over the last two holiday weeks of 2014, when I had extra time off from kung fu classes, coaching appointment, or networking events. I planned to get a huge chunk of work done in my businesses, but instead spent most of my time crying in bed wasting time binge-watching Netflix. (Kind of like the Martha Stewart story I shared on a particularly hard day during this period, from which I rose up beautifully like a phoenix.)

Those two weeks were a massive roller coaster with some crazy awesome successes, but still littered with these intensely deep lows. Those successes included yet AGAIN breaking through my income ceiling in my belief system and in my literal results by topping both my biggest single day and week (in only 5 days!) of income generation. I did things that took me out of my comfort zone on some specific personal development areas I’ve been working on and had amazing experiences doing so. I made some health upgrades with so much ease, it was almost as simple as breathing. I mean things were (are still) really progressing well for me!

But the yo-yo back into the lows made me feel like “What the hell is wrong with me?!”

This is not normal for me. That down side is something from my past and the worst part about it was feeling like a hypocrite when I am all about empowerment, being happy, and living the live you love, but here I was hating myself again the next day.

Perfectionism Rears Its Ugly Wolf-in-Sheep’s-Clothing Head

Until I remembered that being a coach, kung fu master, and a person who loves herself and others never meant being perfect and never having lows. I remembered that my deep-feeling, analytical strengths come with the potential for hyper-sensitivity, over-self-evaluation, and heightened emotions most of the time. I would never give up those strengths that allow me to so effectively coach others and myself, and to bring people down to their wall-less core so they can communicate truth and needs to each other, and so many other benefits, for the freedom of never being depressed again.

And besides, I am not like I was my first 28 years—I can manage my depression. I normally do. I am normally everything I portray with my positive outlook and friendly and happy spirit. That is my normal. This is just a low I have to deal with sometimes (this one came with more consecutive days than usual), and it’s okay to be that way. In fact, it’s not just okay, it’s beautiful. It’s beautiful because it means my dreams and goals are bigger than they’ve ever been and that scares the little girl inside who is still getting used to the idea that I matter. It’s beautiful because I can love ALL of me, the best and the worst parts of me.

But here comes the coolest thing ever.

I read an article somewhere about some guy’s battle with depression and how he still managed to go to school and get a job and create some good things in his life. There was nothing really spectacular about this article, but it showed me what I needed in that moment—it reminded me of this truth as a metaphor for life…

When it’s time to go on stage, we do it even if we’re scared. We don’t have to eliminate the fear in order to perform on stage, we just need to do it regardless of how much fear we feel.

Our lives are our one stage production with no dress rehearsal, and we are living it even if we are depressed. If it’s okay for the actor or speaker to perform with fear underneath, then it’s okay for me to live with depression underneath.

The INSTANT I realized it was okay for me to be depressed and I didn’t have to “fight” it or hate myself for it, I wasn’t depressed anymore.

The moment I realized it was okay if depression won me over once in a while, 90% of the depression got knocked out of me, and a song came on that hit me just right with its empowering base and touching harmony that knocked the last 10% out of me. (It wasn’t even a song of hope or motivation, it was just a regular song with the right tones, vibrations, beats, and harmonies for me in that moment.)

I returned to my normal self-honoring and self-respecting place with ease. There was no pain or hard effort, just pure acceptance of either choice, which led to my ability to make the better choice. I didn’t even have to actually make the choice, I merely set my subconscious (which makes 99% of our choices for us anyway) up for success through my realization, and it responded with the best choice, and that was it.

The pressure and negativity was simply cleared away and what was left was the real me.

I spent the rest of the evening listening to a new empowering playlist for 2015 while organizing areas of my home, dancing on the stairs and being me.

Whether or not depression is “bad,” makes no difference to me at this point because it’s far more important for me to love myself through whatever I go through than to tell myself to “stop being bad,” which only makes me feel worse about myself and pushes me lower.

Besides, going through lows and feeling terrible isn’t bad. It is just part of each of our cycles, and we all go through them differently. Of course I don’t want my life to waste away sinking into a depression I can’t get out of, but when most of those low moments are riddled with self-beratement for being depressed in the first place—when that stops, the depression is free to stop as well.

Then what?

Um, hello?! Live the life you love, of course! What all of this is about in the first place. Growing and embracing our best selves.

I have two 30-day programs to jump start our goals as well as health & fitness in 2015! You haven’t done anything quite like these, and they are affordable for everyone! Click the image or title of each to learn more. Save $10 when you register for both programs!

Love Your Life 2015 KICKOFF
Love Your Life 2015 KICKOFF

and

Master Tanisha's 2015 HEALTH & FITNESS CHALLENGE
Master Tanisha’s 2015 HEALTH & FITNESS CHALLENGE

I can’t wait to have you in one or both of the programs! We are going to have a blast!

Until then, enjoy the roller coaster!

Book: Mastering the Massive Cash Injection

Mastering the Massive Cash Injection ~ David Neagle

Watch this short 3-minute video to learn why the Law of Polarity is my best friend whenever fear, doubt, or worry creep in to try to keep me from achieving my next goal.

Get your copy of Mastering the Massive Cash Injection here. (On the same page, you’ll see how to get a free Kindle reader for your devices as well.)

To achieve your goals with individual guidance, consider joining my next Inner Circle group coaching program!

(This is the last time the program will be offered at 2014 prices.)

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.

 

 

KEY TRANSFORMATION FACTORS

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!

 

 

KEY TRANSFORMATION FACTORS

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.)

 

 

KEY TRANSFORMATION FACTORS

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):

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.

Truth:

  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.

 

 

KEY TRANSFORMATION FACTORS

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.)

 


Aftermath

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. :)