Monday, August 16, 2010

What Do I See?

How so you see yourself? When you look in the mirror, do you see who you really are or are you too busy picking out your flaws and comparing yourself to other people?

Perfect is boring; flaws are a thing of beauty that set you apart from looking like everyone else. They make you uniquely you and not cookie-cutter. See the beautiful butterfly reflecting back in the mirror.

Owen Wilson’s trademark nose makes him unique.

According to Tyra Banks, she has a “five-head.” But she turned her flaw into a modeling career. "I've always been told by the fashion industry that if my forehead was an inch smaller, I would have been a little too plain-looking. The modeling industry can instill a lot of insecurity in women, but at the same time they find beauty in odd things," she says.

Angelina Jolie’s full lips were not in fashion before hitting the scene in the late 90's. Now everyone’s clambering for the Angelina pout.

Magazines have been responsible for destroying self-esteem in teens and adults for years thanks to the computer age. What you see on the cover and inside isn’t a real person. Those photographs have been airbrushed, even unnaturally enhanced.

This shocking video on Youtube, Dove Evolution, reveals how far an advertising campaign will go to find the ideal beauty.

Exercise 1
What do I see when I look in the mirror? Give an accurate statement about your appearance. You’re not allowed to list anything negative about your features. If you don’t like a particular feature, find a way to make it positive.

Negative example:
My hair is always flat and frizzy.
My eyes are too large for my face.

Accurate example:                                                 
I have beautiful blonde hair.                                          
I have large brown eyes that smile at people.

Exercise 2 How do I think other people see me? Then ask 2-3 people who know you to write down what they see in you, how you look, and what you mean to them.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

I AM a Butterfly!

Who Am I?

Never give up on your dreams. The song in your heart proclaiming who you are cannot be silenced. If you refuse to hear the words and refuse to dance to the rhythm of the beat, you're not only cheating yourself of your destiny, you're cheating the world of the unique gifts only you can give.

Natalie wasn’t a superhero. She was just a girl who had dreams and wanted more for herself than what her family and city was offering her. If she was just an ordinary girl, what made her so unique and special that she had to find herself? It was her determination for a better life, no matter what. She was willing to leave everything she knew behind—her family and her comfortable surroundings to learn the truth about what lay beyond the walls of her community.

Your determination will be your uniqueness that will set you apart from others who only want the small, commonplace life and are willing to put up with that limited life everyone is always willing to offer them.

The power that elevates
is found in a brave, determined spirit.
~Mark Twain

Don’t settle for a small, commonplace life. Demand more for yourself. Declare, as of this moment forward, there will be no more limitations, and you are a butterfly!

“Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely
 in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside,
thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming
— Whoo Hoo — What a Ride!”

Everything we must have in order to become who we are is already inside us. I believe you’re born with your dream. After all, ask any small child and they’ll be happy to tell you their dream, but we lose sight of who we are and our dream when other people tell us negative things.

Be your own unique butterfly that you are and not a brainwashed caterpillar. You have your own destiny and flight path in the world. Don't be afraid to soar to new heights. Inspire. Be inspired.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Chapter Three of Discover Your Wings

Sneek-peak of Chapter Three.  For complete chapters you may order Discover Your Wings at Amazon.

Critic’s Arsenal

Weapons of Mass Distortion

Commander Critic is ruthless, and he doesn’t fight fair. There are many weapons within his arsenal.

It's hard to fight an enemy who has outposts in your head.
~Sally Kempton

Distortions are bad habits of thinking that are based on your beliefs, and they will keep your wings forever locked within you where they will eventually wither and die.

Distortions include over generalizing, which is seeing a single negative event as a never-ending pattern of failure. Inner Critic uses words such as:

 Always
 All
 Everyone
 No one
 Every
 None
 Never
 Can’t
 Don’t

All or nothing thinking is your worst enemy for accomplishing goals. In this mindset, you think if something can’t be done perfectly, then it can’t be done at all, like missing a day of exercise or cheating on your diet. This thinking makes you believe you’ve failed and all is lost, so you give up.

So you missed a day at the gym or ate a few helpings of double chocolate molten lava cake. All is not lost! Your body won’t forget how to stop burning calories, and your muscles won’t turn into instant jelly. Resume your goal the next day.

Filtering is when you only focus on the negative and reject anything positive that happened. If anything, you can take away a good lesson from a bad experience.

Mind reading is assuming you know what other people are thinking about you. Do you ever feel like the whole world is against you?

You’re not clairvoyant! Stop it!

Maximizing or minimizing is when you’re making a mountain out of a molehill or you’re making a molehill out of a mountain.

There may be times when your problems may appear so large they’ll swallow you whole. Are your problems really as large as the bird that tried to eat Natalie, or do they just appear that way?

Emotional reasoning is when your emotions are making your decisions for you. This form of reasoning makes you assume your distorted feelings are fact.

Since emotional reasoning distorts your thought pattern, never make a decision until you’ve had time to regroup your brain cells.

Labeling is creating stereotypes for yourself and other people. Instead of describing the error, you attach a negative label. Labels are limiting and harmful.

It ain't what they call you, it's what you answer to.
~W.C. Fields

Personalizing is when you see yourself as the cause of some negative event or decision that was made and feel it’s a personal attack on you.

Distortions were crawling everywhere in Common Place. That’s what distortions do; they keep you crawling along in a common place in life.

One tragic accident led a former Commander to jump to the conclusion that all caterpillars would be eaten if they ventured into the clearing. That conclusion caused generations of fear. No one was allowed to travel beyond the safety of the city borders. Seriously, all caterpillars would be eaten? This statement may sound ridiculous, but how often do you have these types of thoughts?

Commander Critic labeled everyone as leaf-gatherers and convinced them it was their chosen destiny. Natalie was labeled a trouble-maker for following her heart’s desires and not wanting to conform to a limiting life.

Remember when the Queen of Destiny declared Natalie was too old to change? You’re never too old to do anything you want to do!

You’re never too old to learn.
You’re never too old to dream.
You’re never too old to play.

Age is just a number to identify how long you’ve been on this earth. It has nothing to do with your goals, dreams, and adventurous spirit.

The Commander was quick to reassure everyone of Common Place that how you were born is how you'll be for the rest of your life. You may have been born into a circumstance, but your fate isn’t sealed in that circumstance. You choose your own path and destiny.

Why was Timmy able to transform into a butterfly in front of everyone? He was young and impressionable. His excitement overshadowed what he’d been taught long enough for him to believe in the idea; therefore, he was able to transform.

Learning too soon our limitations, we never learn our powers.

What is holding you back from truly discovering your wings?

Games Critic Plays

Remember playing the game Life when you were a kid? It was fun, and if your life didn’t turn out the way you wanted it to, it didn’t matter; it was all going back into the box at the end of the game. Real life is messy, and you can’t put it back in the box. You have to live with the consequences of bad choices and circumstances.

If Commander Critic can’t fight you in the present, he’ll play with your past and keep you running in circles like a dog chasing its own tail until you’re nothing but dizzy and exhausted.


Mistakes are assets; you learn valuable information from what didn’t work and why so you can move forward and discover what does work for you. What improvements need to be made?

You need to allow for a certain amount of mistakes to be made. However, if you keep making chronic mistakes in certain areas of your life, you need to find out why and possibly enlist help from friends or other outside sources to help you analyze from a different perspective why you keep making the same mistakes.

Mistakes should be called little learnings. Learn from them; don’t dwell on them. Even your worst mistakes can lead to something positive. Reframe your past failures into a positive experience.

If I hadn’t done _____________________, I never would’ve discovered _____________________.

If you stumble, make it part of your dance.

Everyone makes mistakes, even the most famous of inventors or businessmen.

Thomas Edison, most famous for inventing the light bulb, held 1,093 patents. Not every idea was a success. In 1899, he formed the Edison Portland Cement Company where he made everything from cement including pianos, houses, and phonograph cabinets.

The idea never came to fruition due to the expense of the cement. However, his idea was not a complete failure as his company was hired to build Yankee Stadium.

Edison wanted to bring sound to the silent film. In 1895, he introduced the kinetophone, a peep-hole motion picture viewer with a phonograph that played inside the cabinet. Sound could be heard through two ear tubes while the viewer watched the images.

The idea wasn’t popular and was abandoned in 1915. His motion picture camera, however, was a success.

What about Bill Gates? How many Windows and Office systems did he produce that were less than successful?

A clever man commits no minor blunders.
~Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe

Sometimes even life-threatening mistakes can lead to something good. Natalie ventured out the morning after the rain and failed to see the danger until it was too late. It nearly cost Natalie her life. But her mistake introduced her to Goldie who revealed to Natalie the truth that led her to her destiny.

Mistakes are just part of your cocoon that help you develop your wings.

If at first you don't succeed,
swallow all the evidence that you tried.
~Jane Seabrook

A Twister of Decisions

I should have, I shouldn’t have can leave you twisted up in knots.

No one is perfect and not all the decisions we make in life are the right ones for many reasons.

Are you judging yourself on a past decision or mistake in your life based on the current knowledge you have today? Did you make the best decision based on the knowledge you had at that time, or was it truly just a bad decision? Making a bad decision isn’t the end of the world. It can help you make better choices in the future.

When Natalie became lost in the thicket and panicked, all she could think about was how she should have heeded the warnings from the signs and should have listened to Commander Critic because he knew what was best for her.

She began second-guessing her decision to leave and wanted to turn back. There was no way Natalie could have known the dangers and challenges that waited for her. Not only had she never left the city, but no one else had in decades.

Everything beyond the border signs was new territory and a new experience for her. She made the best decisions at the time based on her limited amount of experience.

However, Natalie should have been paying more attention to her surroundings when she left the safety of the log and realized with the rain the worms would surface and draw out the birds. But she was preoccupied with her big adventure.

Thankfully, she wasn’t hurt. It’s a lesson she’ll never forget that will make her more aware and wiser in the future.

Relax. Forgive yourself for your past blunders. Hindsight is 20/20.

Happiness is nothing more than
good health and a bad memory.
~ Albert Schweitzer

The Blame Game

One of the hardest thing in life is to be accountable for your actions and take responsibility and ownership for your mistakes. It’s easier to blame someone else for them; however, if you can’t take responsibility for your mistakes, you can’t take credit for making the right choices.

As a child you don’t have a choice in how other people treated you; you may not have had control over the situation. As an adult you now posses that the power in how you handle yourself and your past.

Are you using what happened in the past as an excuse or crutch for not moving forward or for how your life turned out? Do you view yourself as a victim or a victor over your circumstances?

You can only blame people for so long. At some point, you become responsible for your actions. No matter what.

Natalie took responsibility and chose her own dreams rather than fall victim to the life that was offered to her.


When someone mentions the word forgiveness, it’s like a four-letter word that can send shivers up your spine. The reason most people have difficulty forgiving is because they don’t understand what it is and how it can set them free. Forgiveness gives you peace. Without it, there is no complete healing.

So let go of the baggage already! It’s unhealthy to hold onto every hurt someone inflicted on you. Unforgiveness is like pouring concrete on yourself; your heart will harden, and it will only turn you into an ugly statue frozen forever in one place.

So what is forgiveness? Forgiveness is a decision that purifies the heart, releases the pain, hate, and bitterness from you when you release the offender over to the Universe to correct.

It’s the antidote for depression, anger, bitterness, spiritual and emotional illness, and loneliness. These all-consuming and obsessive feelings will poison your heart, your life, and every relationship you try to form.

Forgiveness is not forgetting what was done to you. You shouldn’t have to hide your pain; however, make sure you express it in a healthy way. Revenge is often messy.

You don’t need to reconcile with that person or even let them know you’ve forgiven them, just release them.

Saying you’re sorry is perhaps one of the hardest things a person can do. At least accept what they say. Accepting the apology clears the air and helps you heal. It doesn’t mean you don’t have to trust the person again or even have a relationship with them.

Only you can decide if you want to forgive. Until you do, it’s like being chained to the offender for the rest of your life because unforgiveness holds you hostage to the past, the offender, and keeps you from healing so you can move toward a healthy future.

Imagine yourself handcuffed to every person you’ve ever held a grudge against—your ex-spouse, the kid in fifth grade, an ex-friend. The chain is real. The people are real. The weight holding you back from trying to walk forward in your life is very real. You’re either laboring forward, out of breath and tired, or you’re stuck.

Unforgiveness binds you literally, in the spiritual sense, to that person and to the offense. The act of forgiveness is an exchange of power that breaks this binding force. Do you wonder why you walk around always feeling like that person is right there with you, and you can’t shake them from your life?

Only you hold the key to your self-made prison. Break the chains holding you in captivity.

Don’t give the offense or the offender all the power. You are better than the wrong done to you.

Not only is it important to have forgiveness for others, but also to have forgiveness for yourself, so you can make peace with your past and move forward.

We have to learn to be our own best friends
because we fall too easily into the trap
of being our own worst enemies
~Roderick Thorp

Natalie forgave her mother for the hurtful comments and even managed to look past the repeated incidents with Mr. Foland. The things said and done to Natalie hurt her deeply. She didn’t make excuses for their behavior. What they did was wrong, but she understood why they belittled her dreams and didn’t understand her.

After seeing and experiencing the wonders of Destiny, no one could blame Natalie for wanting to stay and never return home. She wanted to give Common Place a chance to see the truth so they could decide their own fate. What they did with that knowledge was up to them.

If things hadn’t changed, Natalie would have left so she could continue to grow and not be held back by her critics.

Natalie never forgot what Mr. Foland did to her. With his transformation, he realized what he did was horribly wrong and he wanted to let Natalie know he was sorry.

At first, she didn’t know how to handle the apology. Could she trust this person after everything he’d done? Was he sincere? Natalie realized how difficult it was for him to admit he was wrong and apologize. If she hadn’t accepted his apology, she not only would have missed out on a great editor, but she would have missed out on her own continued growth.

What about Natalie’s mother? She went from believing her daughter to be a delusional day-dreamer to helping her print her books. What could you be missing out on in your life?

The Queen of Destiny had to apologize to Natalie for assuming she was beyond the proper age to become a butterfly. She even had to apologize to the inhabitants of Destiny for withholding the truth of the true meaning of Chrysalis and correct a long-held belief.

I'm not old enough to play baseball or football. I'm not eight yet. My mom told me when you start baseball, you aren't going to be able to run that fast because you had an operation. I told Mom I wouldn't need to run that fast. When I play baseball, I'll just hit them out of the park. Then I'll be able to walk. ~Edward J. McGrath, Jr.

Exercise 21
How do I feel when I make mistakes? Am I overly hard on myself or judgmental?

Exercise 22
Do I often feel the need to strive for perfection? If so, when did I first realize I was imperfect or somehow flawed?

Exercise 24

How can I reframe my past failures to find something positive that I learned?

Exercise 25
What do I need or want to change about myself and my life? What are the verbal and mental triggers that keep holding me back?

Exercise 29
Journal about the people who have hurt you. Get out everything you ever wanted to say, but don’t send it to them! Later as you work through your emotions and can form an intelligent letter, write a new letter and send it if you still feel the need.

Exercise 30
The Garbage Can:

Write each failure and bad experience you had on a separate piece of paper.

Wad up each failure and bad experience one at a time, say “This is garbage. It’s not benefiting me and is wasted energy,” and throw it away.

As you throw away the negative away, keep focused on the lesson, and let the incidents go.

Write down the lesson you learned in this workbook below. This is what you want to remember from your experience.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Chapter Twenty-Three of Making Lemonade A Spiritual Journey Through Pain and Divorce

Cinderella Found Her Fairy Tale

God sat, a silent spectator in the theatre of my mind, watching my heart play across the stage. My dreams, hopes and desires He captured, then gave me Travis.

September 29th, when Travis recited his vows, I felt him marry me for life. No glass slippers will be lost after midnight. My prince will not turn back into a frog, and my reality will be better than any fairy tale could ever promise, because this marriage didn’t come from a magic wand; it came from the love of my Father.

I really didn’t want the big wedding Travis envisioned. It sounded wonderful at first, but as the expense grew, I wondered if it was really worth it. Finding the wedding dress I wanted to wear was a complete nightmare. Several times I expressed my thoughts. I finally surrendered to the idea when his friends told me that Travis waited a long time for me.

Travis’ first wedding wasn’t pleasant. He and his wife fought the night before because they, too, were settling. His family didn’t expect it to last. They actually placed bets if the marriage would even last a year.

When I saw the wedding pictures, Travis and his bride looked as miserable as the family photographs from the early 1800’s. I felt he deserved to have a more positive experience.

We don’t subscribe to any formula for marriage other than one: 95% fun, 5% serious. And the serious is saved for when the house is burning down. We simply love and know each other’s heart. No problem or situation is more important than our marriage.

When we do “argue,” most of the time it ends in laughter. Married to Steve, I always prepared for the hurtful words or the look of disapproval. Whereas Steve brought out the worst in me, Travis brings out the best, the unconditional love in my heart and the forgiveness. Neither of us is perfect; neither intends to hurt the other.

We spend time giggling, laughing and tickling each other. My dad came to visit me while we were dating, and he told my mom we were like two kids. When my parents approved of Travis, I knew this union was from God. My mom even gave him a cross necklace that used to belong to my grandmother to say “welcome to the family.”

During our honeymoon at the Grand Canyon, I waited to take pictures of God’s awe-inspiring sunset. As daylight inhaled its last breath, clouds shifted, forming two blue hearts joined together. It seemed even God approved of this union. Quickly I snapped the picture.

Upon development, you could clearly see the image of Cupid stringing the hearts together in his bow. This time, I didn’t want to shoot Cupid back. ( Above right top of the heart is his head followed by the body/wings.)

Cards, once given out of obligation to celebrate an event in my old marriage, are now given just because in my new relationship.

Often I glance over at him or look deep in his eyes and wonder, did I really die that night in October and God is showing me a life that I could have had? Or is he just a dream, a foreshadowing of a future yet to come, and I will find myself back in my bed in Lake Havasu longing to be living my dream?

What did I do right in my life to deserve such a loving person who loves and adores me and supports my ambitions, and has kissed away my disappointments as I strive toward my dreams?

There will be no lost slippers made of glass and no clock that strikes twelve. Truly, we are married until death do us part. No battle that comes our way is fought alone, for we stand strongly beside each other. My circumstances are his; his are mine. One flesh. One heart. One life.

This is the poem I wrote for my husband on our wedding day.

To The Love of My Life

In the spring of 2005, I fired my fairy god mother.
With a simple prayer I enlisted the God Father.
Ask and you shall receive,
For all you have to do is believe.

“God, you know what I want, you know who I need.
You have given me a great life, but I need help in my journey.
Go seek the perfect person for me.
When you find him, write his name upon my heart;
Write my name upon his heart.”

While in the gray shades of my life, I dreamed of enchanted castles
And of shadows of love dancing by the light of candles.
Looking at the world through my garden of milk weeds and thistles,
Heaven responded to a desperate prayer
And sent a Prince who was kind, loving, and who would always care.

Our love endured and grew through a lost job,
A lost and found dog,
And financial happenstance
Because LOVE always prevails through any circumstance.

On this great journey and ride of my life,
I am incredibly blessed that God chose me to be your wife.
Of all the miracles I have received, big and small
You are the greatest of all.

Your love gave an Angel flight;
You have even re-inspired me to write.
Caught in your enchantment, you lift my dreams higher,
Comforted by your love, my heart you inspire.

I believe in you, I believe in us.
I am looking forward to the future God has for us.
I know there will be days I trade my halo for horns
And my temper as sharp as thorns,

But always know I love you
And that my love for you is always true.
At the stroke of twelve there will be no lost slippers made of glass,
No carriages turned to pumpkins because the fairy tale wouldn’t last.
For our love will dance throughout all time;
Forever in my heart you are always mine.

Your Angel

(I would like to add that this poem has been tested since it was written. The day my book was published was the day I lost my job. Yes, another lost job! And my two dogs also died within the year of our first marriage. I'd like to say it's been all wine and roses, but more like sour grapes and thorns. Our love has been tested and still endures because he didn't marry me for money. He didn't marry me for my job. He simply married me.)

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Another Sneek-Peak of The Confident Butterfly

Are you tired of people telling you who you are? Are you a Natalie or just another brain-washed caterpillar accepting other people's beliefs for your life? Be strong. Be confident. Be a butterfly.

After all the new butterflies were gathered, the Queen joined them to speak a final blessing. “Today you are new creatures with an incredible future filled with dreams and hopes. You're no longer bound to the earth. Now you can soar to wherever your spirit leads you. Let your dreams be your guiding spirits as you continue to grow and develop and explore the world around you. Congratulations on your first step to becoming everything you know you can become.”

Mesmerized by the Queen’s inspiring words, Natalie began to cry as she felt her wings stirring within her. She wished everyone in Common Place could’ve heard the message and wondered what her city would be like if they had.

Butterflies flew high into the air like wild confetti as everyone headed toward the great feast leaving the Queen, who was always the last to join. Goldie chose this moment to speak to her.

“Your Majesty, Natalie’s missed her deadline to change and she needs to be admitted to the Chrysalis Chamber.” Goldie pleaded.

The Queen was curious. “What’s the reason your transformation hasn’t taken place, Natalie?”

“No one in my city ever told us we’re supposed to change.”

“You’re not from Destiny?”

“No. I’m from Common Place on the other side of the river where our leader never told us about butterflies. He says that all we’ll ever become is what we currently are.”

“So your leader lied to the inhabitants of Common Place?” She was shocked and angry.

Natalie thought about her question and didn’t know the answer herself. “I don’t know if he lied or doesn’t know himself.”

“There are no butterflies in Common Place at all?”

“No, just caterpillars.”

“Very strange. I’ve never heard of this happening before. How did you happen upon this knowledge about butterflies, then?”

“I left my home to go on a great adventure, and that’s when I met Goldie.” She pointed to her friend. “She told me everything. She told me I had to come here so that I could become a butterfly.”

The Queen thought for a long moment before asking, “Why did you leave your home?”

Natalie shared with the Queen what her life was like at home.

“How old are you, Natalie?”


“I’m sorry. You’re too old, and you haven’t been indoctrinated with our beliefs. Therefore, the Chrysalis Chamber’s magic will not transform you,” the Queen stated. She bowed her head, “I can’t help you.” She turned to fly toward the party.

Natalie stood flabbergasted; she could feel her heart breaking. This couldn’t be happening! She had to do something before all was lost to her.

“Wait!” Natalie shouted at the Queen before she could leave.

The Queen was surprised by the insistent command and turned back.

“Excuse me, Your Majesty, but do you know me?”

“You know that we’ve just met,” she answered calmly.

“Then how do you know what I’m capable of? How do you know who I really am?” She didn’t wait for an answer. “I’ve been told my whole life who I’m supposed to be, what to think, that my dreams are unachievable, that I’m a nobody. I chose to leave that life behind and find my own answers for my dreams.

“In the process I’ve been terrified, gotten lost, and nearly eaten by a bird. But I believed my dreams were bigger than my fears and my challenges, and I kept going. Then I learned the truth about myself, and now I’m being denied that truth? I disagree, Your Majesty. I know I’m a butterfly.

"I know who I am, and I know my true destiny.” Her tears verified her determination for her dreams. “I will have my wings. No more limitations will be placed on my life.” She believed nothing less for herself.

To purchase a copy of the complete story:

If you missed the begining of the book:

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Chapter Twenty of Making Lemonade A Spiritual Journey Through Pain and Divorce

The Engagement

While in the gray shades of my life, I dreamed of enchanted castles and of love dancing by the light of candles. For sixteen years I looked out at the world through a garden of milk weeds and thistles and fantasized of a lover who was gentle, loving and would always care. Then one day, on April 7th, real unconditional love came my way. Travis asked me to be his wife.

When Travis and I first met, our hearts contained walls of titanium. Inside were laser beams, steel traps, barbed wire and barking dogs dripping with anticipation of biting the next person who tried to break our hearts.

I could hear the soft, near silent screams of the person behind the walls and barriers Travis wanted the world to see. He wanted people to see past the pain from all the broken relationships, past his faults and see his true heart and true potential.

But people only look at the outside package, the sparkling wrapping paper with the perfect ribbon. If they see the sign Caution: Damaged Contents Inside, they run.

As I began trusting God, my walls came down. I knew God wouldn’t put me into another relationship that was harmful, just as he would not allow the same for Travis. God knew that we had both been hurt and wanted love. Because Travis didn’t have a great experience with relationships, I had to convince him I was different, that I’m my own breed of woman.

During my divorce, I never thought I would trust anyone again. As much as I wanted to get married and have a healthy relationship, I never thought I could get to the point of trusting. But when you trust in God, it changes you. I trusted Travis through God until I got to the point where I could just simply trust Travis, then fall in love with him.

There were issues that I had to face as our relationship progressed, but I was honest in how I felt and wanted Travis to help me through them. I had to learn that not every man was my ex-husband. Just because one person was unable to love me and know my heart did not mean that God couldn’t find someone else for me who could.

I had to learn how to let another man touch me, kiss me, look into my eyes without me looking away. One night Travis took me to a nice restaurant, and I spent most of it looking out at the city or counting the peanut shells on the floor as he held my hand.

When he tried to kiss me, I turned away or put my head down. As much as I wanted to be kissed, I was still shy and felt awkward. I finally had to tell him to just grab me and kiss me. He happily obliged.

Travis was cautious at first because it was such a short time after my divorce that I met him. My marriage was unique in the sense that I was alone during most of it. I also had nine months to grow in the Lord and in myself before I met him. Just because Steve couldn’t love me or appreciate me I was not going to allow him to continue holding me prisoner. I couldn’t let one person influence my thoughts on love and marriage. Life equals risk. And love is the greatest risk of all, but it’s worth the risk.

We helped each other and learned from each other. Our determination to have a better life gave us the strength to move forward. Now we have a beautiful marriage that inspires our single friends.

To order Making Lemonade - A Spiritual Journey Through Pain and Divorce

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Chapter Seventeen of Making Lemonade A Spiritual Journey Through Pain and Divorce

Severing the Past

Reaching acceptance of my new life was like winning the lottery, like meeting a mega-movie star—it was exhilarating. I was finally free.

I quit fighting for my marriage to be restored. My energy for life came back. Things would never be the same again, but it was going to be alright.

I faced many seasons in my life. Where there was a wintery death, a cold frost that left my life dormant, a spring finally followed. New life was being reborn, unexpected life in unexpected places. But the past, like a fog, needed to be lifted for the sunlight to enter.

I sent out all my pictures of Cancun to everyone, including Steve, via e-mail. I wanted him to see I was healing and surviving without him, and I was actually having fun.

My ex-husband called me the next morning at work astonished that I went to Cancun by myself and even ventured to get in a shark tank. Briefly we talked, and he said he was coming by next Saturday for a few hours. I did want to see him, but it wasn’t to persuade him into taking me back, but to officially end our relationship. I didn’t want to tell him on the phone. I needed my closure.

I didn’t tell Travis up front that Steve was coming because I thought it would be better to wait until he left. I wanted no secrets in our relationship. Steve told me that she had gone home to see her family and did not tell her where he was going. That confirmed why I needed to end our relationship. If I stayed in contact with him, he would continue to see me in secret, and it would make me no better than what they did to me. If they did go their separate ways in the future, I didn’t want to be blamed. I had to be the bigger person. It was difficult to completely sever a sixteen year relationship.

“Do you still think about me?” was the first question Steve asked when he saw me.

I told him no. I had found a good life here, and I even met someone.

Several other questions came up. “Are you happy? Did you like Lake Havasu?” He continually asked weird, probing questions, as if he wanted to know if I would consider taking him back.

It was getting quite irritating. Later that afternoon I discovered he was fighting with her and had been for quite some time, most of it over me. Then he apologized to me for all the hurtful things he had done in the past. I told him I forgave him.

Confirming that I was moving on with my life and not interested in rekindling our relationship, I took him to the house I was buying. Some of his comments about my little home were insensitive, and I told him I was blessed to be able to have a home. I had a home of my own, and I did not have to put up with conditions to have it. That was truly a blessing.

On the way back we got into a terrible argument and I wasn’t nice. I was ashamed of myself for laughing at his pain.

“All we do is hurt each other, even when we don’t want to.” I told him why I was severing our relationship, and it hurt him because he wanted to keep me as a friend. This wasn’t the meeting he intended. I had my closure, but it was more painful than the divorce.

Travis called as soon as I walked into the house and all I could do was cry. Eventually I was able to tell him what happened.

To this day, we briefly make contact if the need arises. We have our own lives and I don’t wish to interfere.

On this day, I wrote out the death certificate and buried my past completely. I discovered when he came to see me I was no longer attracted to him. I no longer loved him or saw him as my husband. I didn’t want him back under any circumstances.

To purchase a copy of the entire book:

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Chapter Two Discover Your Wings

Sneek-peak of Chapter Two. For complete chapters you may order Discover Your Wings at Amazon.

War Tactics

Now that you understand how your beliefs and perceptions are formed and how they form your thoughts, it's time to begin reprogramming your brain. You now have to find ways to go into your "software" and eliminate the damage that has been done to your self-confidence and attack it like an anti-virus program.

Have you ever felt like a lightning bug that’s lost its thunder? On the days you feel like you’ve hit the windshield of life, Inner Critic chatters on the most.

These next four chapters will explain how to change your thoughts, beliefs, and perceptions and the exercises will help you begin forming your own so you can shine brightly.

Have a Willingness to Change

First, before you can do anything, you must want to change. You can’t help someone who isn’t ready to change, and no one can help you unless you’re ready to awaken the magic of chrysalis with in yourself. Be careful to avoid co-dependent and enabling relationships, for these will only hinder your progress.

By recognizing the times when the Inner Critic is running or, more accurately, ruining your life, you can take back the control.

Change Your Thoughts, Perceptions, Beliefs

Action begins with a thought. There is power in your thoughts that controls your future. Positive and negative thoughts are equally powerful, so be careful which one you’re focusing on consciously and subconsciously.

Your brain is like a fertile garden that’s ready for planting. You have a choice between planting petunias or poison ivy. Whichever you plant, the garden will return to you. Be careful of what you create. Positive thoughts bloom dreams. Negative thoughts poison and destroy.

Watch your thoughts, they become words.
Watch your words, they become actions.
Watch your actions, they become habits.
Watch your habits, they become character,
it becomes your destiny.
~Author Unknown

While you’re on your journey, you’ll get weeds of doubt, worry, and frustration; after all, you’re human, and it’s impossible to stay happy and positive in every part, especially the middle. I do believe that having feelings of frustration and being tired are just a part of the process, but don’t let the negative, spirit-killing thoughts detour your from your dreams and goals. They are wasted energy and aren’t benefiting your future. In fact, they’re harming it. You need to find a way to stay focused and move forward.

Change negative thoughts into positive ones. This may be difficult at first, so you’re going to have to do this exercise on purpose until it can become natural to you. It may take awhile to retrain your brain, but it’s crucial you learn how to do this in order to start forming your new beliefs that will change your future and bring forth your wings.

Change Your Friends/Evaluate Your Family

It’s been said, “Show me your friends, and I’ll show you your future.”

Your friends usually share the same beliefs and values as you do and help shape you. If you want to change your beliefs and values, you may have to change your friends in order to move forward.

Find supportive, like-minded people whom you admire and can gather strength and information from. Remove yourself from the negative influences and from those who reinforce the Inner Critic. You can choose your friends. Unfortunately, you can’t choose your parents.

If your family is not healthy for you, you have the option of removing them from your life; however, if you’re not able to cut them from your life, you can limit the amount of time you spend around them and set up healthy boundaries.

When you’re trying to change yourself and move toward your future, your current friends and family members may become jealous or angry and want to hold you back to hold onto the old you.

Everyone in your life will not celebrate
the unfolding of your authentic self.
Some people, believe it or not,
were comfortable with your limitations,
your old roles, your old denials,
all of which got along very nicely with theirs.
~Barbara DeAngelis

Like mother, like daughter. Like father, like son. How many times have you heard this? This is true to some degree, but you do have a choice as you mature whether to follow their examples, beliefs, and values or set your own course.

Children often mimic what they see even if they hate what they see and feel they’re trapped in a certain life-style. People tend to blame this on generational curses. Generational curses are a myth! They only serve as excuses and trappings to hide behind.

 Your ________is/was an alcoholic; therefore you will be.

 Your ________is/was a drug addict; therefore you will be.

 Your _______ is/was a criminal; therefore you will be.

You are not your family! You’re a unique individual with your own destiny, your own dreams, and can make your own choices. You can become whoever you want to become despite your circumstances. Embrace opportunities presented to you so you can be the one to break the cycle.

Each new generation should be a generation filled with hope and renewed life rather than repeating the same patterns of self-destruction. It comes down to choice. What do you want for your life?

Natalie was expected to follow in her parents’ foot-steps—graduate, start a family, and gather leaves. When she clearly displayed she wanted more for her life, her mother was cruel, her family distant.

She chose to walk away from her family, her home, and everything she knew in order to honor her heart and to find what she needed to have a healthy, fulfilled life. After discovering herself and uncovering the truth, she went home to share her knowledge.

In real life, your family may still reject your findings and continue their beliefs or they may change. If they don’t accept you and what you have to offer, you’re not responsible for their choices.

Personal Note:

My father’s side of the family are alcoholics and drug addicts; therefore, everyone thought I would struggle with alcohol and drugs. It bothered me that they weren’t giving me a choice in who I wanted to become.

In their mind, they thought they were trying to warn me. I didn’t like the option presented to me and made a decision that I would follow my own path.

Most children would’ve believed the precaution as a premonition for their future.

Exercise 11

What affiliations do you need to change? Who are the negative influences in your life? Do you need to walk away from or limit your time with family members?

Exercise 12

Do you have encouraging people in your life? Mentors? A support structure? Who are they? If not, where can you find them?

Friday, May 14, 2010

Chapter One of Discover Your Wings

Sneak-Peak at Discover Your Wings. This book sites examples from the short story, The Confident Butterfly, in the book. However, you should be able to understand the meaning throughout the chapter.

Chapter One:
Critics and Coaches

In order to understand how to have better self-esteem and more confidence, you have to learn who your number one enemy is and how to fight it: Your Inner Critic.

Commander Critic is just a character in the story. Regrettably, your Inner Critic is real. He’s loud, annoying, and distracting you from reaching your potential. He’ll always keep you in the caterpillar stage in life if you let him.

Unfortunately, silencing him isn’t as easy as pressing a mute button or grabbing a roll of duct-tape, but there are methods you can use to make him less persistent and harder to hear.

You also have a cheerleader, portrayed as Natalie in the story, who desires for you to reach your potential. Sometimes she can be hard to hear.

By the time you reach the end of this book, you should be able to silence the comments and criticism he offers and hear your coach cheering you on.

The Inner Critic will be referred to as he and the Inner Coach as she to reflect the story and as a disarming technique that will be addressed in chapter two.

I’m Hearing Voices

“I think I want to _______________________.”
“Nope. You can’t do that. Remember when ______________ happened?” Inner Critic reminds you.
“Oh, you’re right. I can’t do that.”

If you hear a voice within you saying,
“You’re not a painter,”
then by all means paint and that voice
will be silenced.
~Vincent Van Gogh

Do you feel like you have a split personality? Does one part of you want a change or to do something outside of your norm while the other is holding you back and reminding you of all of your failures with every dirty tactic he can throw at you?

Which one is louder, the Critic or the Coach? Which one is running your life and making the decisions?

Your thoughts are the key to your self-esteem and how you handle circumstances in life. You can’t change the past and you sometimes can’t change your circumstances, but you can change how you view them. How you view yourself and being okay with yourself are the keys to discovering your inner butterfly.

That’s nice, but how do I achieve this? Know and understand your enemy, strategize and build your defenses. You’re about to win a battle. Be patient with your progress. Allow for setbacks. Adjust your strategy when needed. This book is your weapon to strengthen the Inner Coach and let you transform into the butterfly you’re meant to become.

Gaining more confidence and developing self-esteem is a lot of work, but contrary to popular belief, it doesn’t have to take years to achieve. It’s up to you on how long your journey will take. It’s all about choice.

Enemy Mine

What is the Purpose of the Inner Critic?

In the story, Critic was reminding all the graduates not to leave the city and explore the unknown because it’s very scary and dangerous in the world.

He encouraged caterpillars to be happy and content with who they were and knowingly hid the knowledge of transformation.

The Queen of Destiny withheld the truth of chrysalis to keep a ritual filled with celebration alive.

Your Critic’s real purpose is to annihilate your confidence, keep you feeling small and safe, and keep you feeling unsatisfied with yourself by exaggerating your weaknesses and failures to keep you from becoming the butterfly you’re meant to become.

The Critic sets such high standards of perfection that anything less than perfection is deemed a failure. If it can’t be done right, it can’t be done at all. He believes he’s protecting you from failure, and the pain associated with that failure, but in reality, he’s holding you in a prison of mediocrity.

The critic undermines you by:

 Blaming you when things go wrong

 Making you feel guilty or bad

 Comparing you to other people and their accomplishments

 Convincing you people don’t like you or are mad at you

 Calling you names and putting you down

 Judging you in everything you do

 Never reminding you about your accomplishments, only your failures

 Making you believe everything he says is true

When your defenses are down, he attacks more frequently and louder, drowning out the other personality, the Inner Coach.

How and When was the Inner Critic Created?

The Critic is derived from your conscious and unconscious memories formed by your own experiences and experiences with other people such as parents, peers and teachers and your perceptions of those experiences.

Parents are supposed to know the answers, and you trust those answers and build your world around what they tell you. What happens if their beliefs and perceptions are wrong and harmful to your future?

Beliefs are passed down from each generation, just as in Common Place, and then become engrained in the next generation. The pattern of thinking becomes the norm.

Perception is recognition and interpretation of sensory stimuli based on memory and creates your reality. What happens if that memory is incorrect?

In Common Place, beliefs, perceptions, and lives were changed based on a tragic accident when one young caterpillar was eaten when he left the protection of the village; therefore, no one could leave the village because all caterpillars would be eaten. The world was perceived to be such a dangerous place no one could venture beyond the small world within the protective border.

Someone perceived there was jealousy among the caterpillars toward the butterflies’ and others’ accomplishments; therefore, caterpillars weren’t encouraged to strive for their dreams, to explore who they were, and were forbidden to transform.

Over time, these false beliefs became the new truth and were passed down to the next generation. The truth was buried and forgotten.

Even as perfect as Destiny seemed, the inhabitants were led to believe the Chrysalis Chamber was responsible for their transformation. The Chamber started out as a meeting place and the ritual morphed into a belief that the bottle held the magic of chrysalis and not the caterpillars.

If the wine bottle wasn’t a Chrysalis Chamber, then why did every caterpillar that entered change? Because they believed in the power of the wine bottle so much, it was impossible not to change. Imagine what their lives will be like now that they know they’re responsible for their transformation. Goldie indicated it was life-changing to know that kind of power existed within her.

Imagine what your life will become when you believe in yourself that much! Your power in your accomplishments will mean more as you believe in yourself, build your strength, and conquer the challenges ahead.

Are your beliefs built on a solid foundation or on a foundation of lies, half-truths, or misunderstandings?

Think of your brain as a computer. When you’re born your brain is a blank program. As you get older and accept “upgrades” of negative and positive experiences, you learn to accept them as your new belief and programming.

The positive experiences include:

 Being accepted by your peers

 Being loved by your parents

 “You’re pretty.”

 “You’re smart.”

 Finding you’re good at something

 Passing a really hard test

 Graduating to the next grade

 Getting a promotion or a raise

Now imagine all the negative experiences and self talk from you and from other people is like a computer virus.

 Getting laughed at and made fun of by someone

 “You’re ugly.”

 “You’re not good enough.”

 Finding that you’re not good at something

 Failing a test

 Not finding the job you want

 Not making enough money

Take time to reevaluate yourself and your beliefs. You don’t have to accept other people’s beliefs. You can create your own that represent you and your future.

The Enemy has Reinforcements

The Commander also represents your outer critics, people who’ve given up on their dreams and are ready to squash yours. I call them dream-killing vampires. They will suck your dream from you if you let them.

In some cases, your own family and friends can be your worst enemy and can hold you back from your dreams of wanting more. They may even be jealous of your successes.

They may be afraid of losing you if you follow your ambitions. They may think you’ve become better than they are and now they feel inferior.

Natalie’s mother wasn’t encouraging Natalie’s dreams. In fact, she called her daughter delusional and called her writings scribbled nonsense. Her peers didn’t like her.

When following a dream,
make sure you buy a good set of earplugs
to drown out your critics.
~Angela Chase

Drowning out your outer critics is sometimes easier than silencing your Inner Critic. For some reason, he gets more credibility. That’s why I named him Commander.

One experience may or may not make a difference, but constant reinforcement becomes beneficial or detrimental in how we think about ourselves as certain situations arise.

In the story, Mr. Foland constantly wrote on Natalie’s assignments and punished her for her creativity. She had a choice to believe the hurtful words or believe in herself and a better future. Sadly, this happens in real life.

Rex Rolland, a sixth-grade teacher in Buncombe County, North Carolina, actually wrote this on a little girl’shomework on several occasions. He claimed it was his way of ‘relating’ to the students:
Over and over again she read the destructive words written to her. Imagine the damage this teacher is causing her? Imagine all the times someone called you names, convinced you that you couldn’t do something, you consistently received bad grades in certain subjects, or you received an inadequate job performance review.

This constant negative reinforcement becomes truth and, thus, your new belief system. The more “viruses” the human brain receives, the harder it is to hear your Inner Coach cheering you on, encouraging you, reminding you that you can become whomever you choose to be.

Communication and Wrong Word Usage

If the wrong words are chosen such as, “I’m disappointed in you,” it leads you to believe that you are being disapproved of rather than your action.

If this type of communication continues, you begin to believe you are a disappointment every time you do something wrong. You don’t learn to separate who you are from the negative action in your subconscious. What should be said is, “I’m disappointed in what you did.”

The Critic doesn’t just use phrases that cut and wound deep within your heart, he also attaches a voice with each one. When Natalie sat in the dark thicket afraid, giving up all hope, she thought of herself as a failure and heard her mother’s words reinforce her feeling about herself and her situation. You’ll never be anyone important, Natalie. I don’t know why you’re so delusional in who you think you really are.

Why Do You Listen to the Inner Critic?

The Commander gives an order and you listen and obey because he’s easier to hear and believe than your Inner Coach. According to your brain, he commands more attention. People with low self-esteem rely on the critic as a coping mechanism and easily fall prey to his commands.

In Common Place, Commander Critic discouraged the graduates from leaving. They believed his warning because it seemed reasonable and logical. They believed they had it good in Common Place and their lives were just the way it should be because he told them to accept the way things were. Critic was their leader, an elder, so he must know what was best for them.

Although you know the critic is self-destructive, he still makes you feel safe, causing you to run from things that frighten or worry you rather than facing and solving the problem.

Low self-esteem makes you ineffective in problem solving and dealing with life’s challenges. The higher your self-esteem, the more you’re able to handle the uncertainties and chaos of life.

What you conclude about yourself is always more powerful than what other people conclude or say about you. The negative is always easier to believe than the positive.

Do you believe what other people tell you?

Whatever course you decide upon,
there is always someone to tell you that you are wrong.
There are always difficulties arising which tempt you
 to believe that your critics are right.
To map out a course of action and follow
it to an end requires courage.
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Are other people around you really a credible source of information about you? After all, you know yourself, your dreams, what you’re capable of doing. I believe if you can envision it, it is possible. And remember, people are jealous creatures. If they didn’t succeed, they probably don’t want you to, either.

To illustrate this point, go to the following website: This is a video called Famous Failures. Hear what other people believed for these famous people:

 Lucille Ball

 The Beatles

 Ulysses S. Grant

 Michael Jordan

 Thomas Edison

 Walt Disney

 Abraham Lincoln

Can you imagine the world today if these people listened to their critics?

Here is a book you may be interested in reading: Famous Failures: Hundreds of Hot Shots Who Got Rejected, Flunked Out, Worked Lousy Jobs, Goofed Up, or Did Time in Jail Before Achieving Phenomenal Success, by Joey Green.

Chapter Exercises:

Exercise 1
Rate your level of self-confidence.

Caterpillar 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Butterfly

Exercise 2
What do you believe for your life? Present and future? Why?

Exercise 3
Which voice is louder in your life, your Inner Critic or your Inner Coach? Why?

Exercise 4
Make a list of how your Inner Critic developed. What were the negative experiences that shaped your current self-image? If there is a voice behind the statement, identify it.

Exercise 5
List the comments your Inner Critic says to you, why you think he says it to you and, if there is a voice behind the comment, identify it.

Exercise 6
In what areas of your life do you feel inadequate? Why?

Exercise 7
How might you view what happened to create a different conclusion that is founded in love, understanding and forgiveness?

Available on Amazon
Published by Goodnight Publishing

Remaining Chapters:
Remaining Chapters with sneek-peaks in select chapters.

Chapter 2: Strategizing
Chapter 3: Critic's Arsenal
Chapter 4: Conquering Fear
Chapter 5: I AM a Butterfly
Chapter 6: Developing Your Wings

Professional Reviews:

Melanie Tighe is the owner of Dog-Eared Pages Used Books/Written for the City Sun Times, Phoenix, AZ
Chase begins with a story about Natalie, a misunderstood caterpillar in a village called Commonplace. We all know the caterpillar-butterfly connection, but her surprising story layers lesson upon lesson which she then outlines in the workbook portion of the text. Lessons such as how to silence your inner critic, how to deal with outer critics, and how to hear your inner coach or cheerleader.

If you know a young person struggling to find their way in the world, and you don’t know what to say to them to help, give them a copy of Discover Your Wings. Chase’s part fable-part workbook can help both teens and adults work through their fears, frustrations, and failures and realize their confidence to soar.

By Barbara Watkins "Freelance Reviewer" (Missouri) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME) This review is from: Discover Your Wings (Paperback)
`Discover Your Wings' by author, 'Angela Dawnell Chase', is a poignant story that will touch the life of everyone that reads it - will not only touch your life, but will change your life. It is for everyone that has ever been persecuted and held back because of another's lack of belief in them. This read is for the little girl who dreams of being a ballerina, but is sadly told it would never happen because she is too awkward and shy.

Reclaim your self-esteem; walk tall with confidence that you can do anything when you accept your own unique abilities. Ignore those around you who insist on holding you back - `Angela Dawnell Chase' gives you the tools you need to succeed and takes you down the path of splendid possibilities with this thought - provoking read.

You might be asking, "What makes Mrs. Chase an expert on such a topic?" She is a Certified Life Coach, and an Ambassador for the `Yes I Can Project' - A wonderful project that teaches our youth and adults how to remove those limiting beliefs, so that they can find the confidence to move forward. I highly recommend this book and I thoroughly enjoyed reading and reviewing this piece of excellence.

Carra Riley Author of Cosmic Cow Pie...Connecting The Dots
Angela Dawnell Chase is also the author of, `The Confident Butterfly' and `Making Lemonade - A Spiritual Journey Through Pain and Divorce.' Keep and eye on this talented author as she spreads her beautiful butterfly wings and soars high!

The book is created in a format that allows a freedom to develop new ideas with the interesting characters and really points out lessons that can easily be overlooked.
Parents, friends and neighbors can unknowingly cause people to question their ability to accomplish anything they set their mind to. They ask questions like: Are you good enough? Can you really do anything?

Does your background limit your forward progress?

Angela shares from the heart a story that will inspire the reader and help remove fear from life experiences.

After reading about the confident butterfly, there is a series of exercises that will show how to overcome limiting beliefs and break free of the "cocoon consciousness" that could be holding a person back.

It is great to find out that flying is an option after spending life crawling on the ground.

Black Diamond Lifestyle Management / Linda Christensen
Angela has written two wonderful books! I admire her strength, courage and faith to see her through various types of abuse and write about it in Making Lemonade.

In her newest release, Discover Your Wings, there are over fifty exercises that are appropriate for anyone who is searching for skills to raise self-confidence through the story of a caterpillar. She touches the heart with her message of hope, and strategies for self-empowerment.” November 4, 2010
Top qualities: Great Results, Personable, Creative

Reader Reviews:

Natalie is a little caterpillar who daydreams of life beyond the everyday expectations in her leaf-gathering communmity. Through sheer moxie she decides to make her dreams reality and sets off into unknown territory where untold adventures await. Through a happenstance meeting with a beautiful butterfly, Natalie learns what it will take to move into a life far grander than she has imagined. Follow Natalie's courageous journey and then begin a journey of your own into self-discovery that can take you, too, beyond your wildest dreams. Author Angela Chase has provided thought-provoking exercises that will assist you in exploring those beliefs that hold you back so you can break free of their bondage and learn to soar like the butterfly you were meant to become. This book is well worth the price and well worth the investment in time. If you follow in Chase's footsteps, you will indeed discover your wings and come through the experience a more confident, courageous person. Sherry Porter editor/reader

 Reading "Discover your Wings" was a wonderful delightful experience! I laughed I cried and was encouraged by the story and reminded never give up, there is always hope and dreams do come true even when they have seemed shelved so long they have collected dust. Angela gives divine inspiration and Holy Ghost courage to press in and on and never let go of your dreams. I highly recommend this book to everyone and anyone the old and young alike , especially teenagers before the wet blankets of the world put out their fire. The younger the better while dreams are young and fresh it will inspire greatness. I recently sent it to my grandaughter so she will dream big and believe in herself. Good job Angela, and thanks for your encouragment! Vickey Close

I LOVED this book! It's for women of all ages, and is full of relevant, practical illustrations and applications of confidence. Every woman knows all too well that nagging little voice of "Commander Critic" who slowly or torrentially drains the confidence from your walk, talk and image of yourself. Author Angela Dawnell Chase guides you through ways to silence him, reclaim your confidence and go after your dreams. With the exercises, you do the work of investigating what is holding you back, but more importantly, they're thought-provoking, aimed to give you insight into who your are and what motivates and inspires you to keep going. This book is like having an honest and positive conversation with Chase--she's on your side, she relates to you like a friend, and encourages you forward in your dreams and life. Get ready to soar, butterflies, and discover your wings! Danette Utley

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Watch Out Who You Meet In Networking

I had a wonderful morning yesterday while attending my Masterminds Roundtable event. I talked with wonderful, successful people, met new people, and sold five copies of my newest book, The Confident Butterfly. Three of those copies were sold to people who didn’t even know me.

After the meeting, a few people came up and spoke with me and we shared information about subjects. I congratulated one individual for his drug and alcohol recovery and made a connection with him. Then I shared information with someone else who wanted to publish their own book.

You can say I was feeling like a Confident Butterfly! That was until the last person found me.

When coaching or speaking to a person about who they are, word choices are extremely important. You ALWAYS want to leave the person you’ve spoken with feeling good about who they are and what they’re doing. You can criticize or give constructive comments. I choose constructive comments with positive words.

The person and I sat down and he began to tell me my self-image was pathetic and then proceeded to make fun of me. I was shocked to say the least! I had no idea how to respond. Quite frankly I was ready to get up and tell him where he could stuff his opinion and meet my nickname, Pit Bull, full on.

However, I stopped myself. Maybe he wanted to give me some pointers, but just chose his words badly. Wait and see how he follows up, I thought to myself as I bit my tongue. People believe I’m 10-15 years younger than what my actual age is and it gets annoying when you’re trying to run a life coaching business. I’m sorry my family found the Fountain of Youth and hid it from the rest of the world.

He finally did come back with powerful words to describe me. But I was still stuck on “Your image is pathetic.” I’m still angry at the word choice and the fact he was making fun of me. My mind was flooded with past memories of Jr. High, and it hurt.

He proceeded to tell me that I needed to TAKE power away from people to be taken seriously. That statement hit my heart as it goes against everything I believe in. As a person and a coach, I GIVE power.

Turns out this situation got worse. When I was with him after the meeting, he started playing this 'creepy' role-laying game with me and I felt uncomfortable. To make matters worse, we had moved out of the cafe to my car to finish talking to give the small cafe back their space for customers. In order to get rid of him, I told him I had an appointment and needed to go. I did have an appointment, later that day, but I needed to process what just happened. Somehow I got lured into his decietful web without knowing until it was too late.

Then it seemed he began stalking me. I'm not kidding! He called me later that day, I didn't realize it was him when I answered the phone, and he started the 'creepy roll-playing game again. I told him my husband was home and I had to go. How creepy was the role-playing? He was using me as his verbal dominatrix. Yes. It was that bad! He kept wanting me to say he was weak and pathetic and he was actually getting off on it!

At this point I sent him an e-mail to let him know how I felt about the way he approached me and how I wasn't going to put up with it.

I had befriended him on Facebook, through others in our network, before this all happened. Now he started instant messaging me the following day on Facebook. I deleted him.

Networking or not, be careful of weird people out there! It was a lessen learned for me that not everyone is out there with good intentions. I still have to attend meetings with this guy, but so far, he's left me alone. I also told our facilitator about the encounter and he's done it to other people, including my new friend in the group. She, however, told him off immediately and that was the end. It was nice to have someone to talk to about it.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Chapter Sixteen of Making Lemonade A Spiritual Journey Through Pain and Divorce

Triple Blessings From the Father

All around me people were getting blessed with the things I wanted. One of my favorite evangelists preached a sermon on how God will bless the people around you, sometimes with the very things you want, in order to judge your attitude. My neighbor next door, the one who checked in on me, was buying a house. A girl at work announced rather loudly one morning that she was engaged. Good for them, I thought. Other little things began happening around me as well.

“God,” I said, “I don’t care if you bless the whole entire world with everything I want, because I know my turn is coming. If you’re blessing those within my sight, then I must be standing in the right line, and my number is coming up!” I kept my attitude pure because I wanted to be happy for them. Everyone deserves to be happy.

I want to go on vacation. It came out of nowhere. The desire to get away and do something I always wanted to do was growing inside of me until I thought I would burst. Five months of grieving and healing left me exhausted. It was May and a time when the world was reborn and renewed; therefore, it was time to shed the death garments and be rejuvenated myself.

I felt free for the first time in my life. Living and surviving without my ex-husband became a reality. I was adjusting to the change, just as I always did when he was on deployment. My walls went up stronger than before.

Mexico. That was where I wanted to go. I wanted to see the ocean, walk the beach and leave the country. Always wanting to see the Mayan pyramids, I booked a trip to Cancun for the first part of June.

Unable to contain my excitement for the next two weeks, I started smiling for the first time in nearly a year as I prepared for my adventure. My coworkers begged me not to go by myself, fearing that something would happen to me. I didn’t share the same fears. I figured that if anything did happen to me, it was while I was having fun and living life. I was tired of missing out on life and regretting that I never adventured or took chances. I wanted the ride God promised me.

As if going on vacation wasn’t enough, God surprised me with something unexpected. Sunday night in May, I drove home from the 7:00 p.m. service. Thinking of all the blessings God wove into my new life, I smiled and began to pray. On that night I fired my fairy godmother and enlisted the God Father.

“God, I really am thankful for all that you’re doing. I’m beginning to see a new life,” and then the tears came. “But, God, I’m so lonely. And I need help. I can’t do the things you’ve asked me to do on my own. It’s too big. Please, if you do have someone better for me, then I accept it.”

I pounded the wheel in emphasis. “Go out and find that perfect person for me, God. And when you do, I want to know. I want to feel it. I want you to write his name in my heart; write my name in his. Thank you.” My weeping eyes looked to the glowing stars overhead. “Oh, and since I’m a paint-by-numbers faith person, make sure you put a neon sign on the guy so I don’t miss him.”

Tears continued to flow, and I let my heart pray because I didn’t know what else to say. I simply didn’t want to hurt anymore. Then it happened. One block away from my duplex, I felt this indescribable sensation as God touched my heart. I knew God found someone for me. Even though I knew not the letters he penned, there was a name tattooed upon my heart. Heaven responded to a daughter’s desperate prayer.

A new girl came to our block in May. Her name was Aimee, and she was a friend of Kirk’s, who came to help us. As I got to know her, I was amazed by her insight and view on God. She seemed a remarkable, strong woman who glowed with confidence, a natural beauty with a fun smile and alluring, azure eyes that see straight to the soul. Although I didn’t really know her on a personal level, she invited Kirk, Nathan and I to her and her two friends’ birthday party that was going to occur at the end of the month.

At first I felt odd about going since I didn’t know her beyond a few encounters on the block and some lunches, but I thought this would be a great opportunity to get out of the house, maybe meet more people and get to know her better. Within the next few days my ambition diminished and I really didn’t want to go. I figured my pity-party, party of one, would be more satisfying.

Nathan became upset when I told him that I didn’t want to attend the party. “Pit Bull, why?” Nathan’s distressed eyes tore at my heart.

“I don’t know anyone, and I just feel odd going.”

“That’s the point. You can meet more people. You’ll have fun. And…” He put his arm around me. “I was hoping I could catch a ride with you so I can go.”

Sighing, I gave in. I knew Nathan wanted to go, and I was his only transportation.

At the time I walked into the house and joined the affair, I didn’t realize I was about to become a gift for someone’s 35th birthday. The house bustled with fifty or more people from inside to outside. Food festooned tables and counters. Turtles and exotic birds roamed a small section of the back yard. Nathan took me around introducing me to a few people.

“Hey, Travis, happy birthday!” They shook hands and briefly hugged. “I want you to meet the bravest woman I’ve ever met. This is Pit Bull.”

Questioning eyes fell upon my thin, five one and a half frame. I saw the “porcelain doll complex” I always get when people try to judge me by my exterior. Although I was smiling, my eyes were barking. Yes, Pit Bull is my name, and I bite. That hand is looking mighty tasty, I thought, as I shook his hand with confidence and a slight squeeze.

“No, man. Seriously. Kirk had me take her out and explain our block. There’s a lot of hurting people and drugs out there, and we just didn’t want her to be overwhelmed with the experience. So, I’m explaining this one area and she turns to me and says, ‘Nathan, let me tell you something about me,’ and she’s pointing her finger at me. ‘I’m not afraid of the enemy. He can’t hurt me. I’m not afraid of anything. I am a Pit Bull.’ I just jumped back; you don’t talk to a two-hundred and fifty pound black man like that. But I tell ya, she’s the best partner. She has no fear.” He laughed in remembrance.

Somewhere in the conversation Nathan left, and I found myself standing there talking to Travis as he continued barbecuing hamburgers and hotdogs. I noticed his bright orange Phoenix Suns shirt and how it glowed in the flames. I was reminded of my prayer earlier that week. God, put a neon sign on the guy so I don’t miss him.

All the while I stood there I kept hearing, Talk to him.

About what?

Just talk to him.

I wish God had given me a subject. The entire time we talked, I continually stuck my foot in my mouth. One week I’m praying for God to pick out the perfect person for me, and the next I’m telling a complete stranger how I’m hoping to go back to my ex-husband.

We spoke of his divorce and of what we were doing now, and there were times he squished the hamburger patties down in anger when I explained the adultery and how my relationship was with my ex-husband. He thought I was nuts, to put it plainly, I even wanted to go back to such a person and such a life. Nathan called me in to eat, which stopped me from further disaster. After eating, I attempted to speak to Travis again, but he buried himself in his close friends, and I found myself surrounded by Aimee’s family.

The three birthday people were gathered to the front to give a short speech before cutting the cake. When I heard his, it nearly broke my heart. He was just as lonely and frustrated. I never got to say goodnight or even goodbye as I looked around and didn’t see him.

Travis was my first thought when I woke Saturday. I didn’t intend for him to be on my mind, but he was there. Why could I not get this guy out of my head? For four days I kept hearing, Give him your number, to which I finally surrendered. I planned to give Aimee my number the following Saturday to give to Travis if he was still interested in getting to know me.

The next Saturday, after meeting at Adopt-A-Block, our group went out to lunch, and I told Aimee to give him my phone number. After a few Cupid jokes, she text messaged him. He didn’t call. Instead, he came up to me and Nathan after Sunday night service, and we went to Starbucks and talked over banana frappuccinos. Being honest with him about God and what my life was like now, I was afraid I might scare him off. But I had to be honest with him and find out if he truly was the one for me.

The next day, the day before I was to leave for Cancun, he wrote me an e-mail:

Good morning, Angela,

Before I get too busy this morning, I just wanted to pass on a message to you and tell you how much I enjoyed spending time with you last night. You reminded me of how selfish I really have been in regard to a lot of things. God has really done a masterful work in your life, and you truly are a treasure of Him. I think you completely understand that and believe it. I saw it in your eyes.

I spent a lot of time thinking about you last night. Particularly how much of a bigger person you are than me. I'm flattered and honored that you would ask Aimee to give me your number. I'm glad to have it. I asked God a lot last night before I went to bed, "Why me? What can a woman of that caliber see in such a selfish man like me? There are a ton of better men at that church who do more for God and hurting people in a day than I do in ten years. Please show me, God!" I'm not trying to chase you off, but there is stuff you don't know about me yet and things I'm afraid to reveal to you. There are some things that I haven't completely let go of and things that I'm too afraid to let God work with me on for the sake of convenience.

I know who I am in Christ, but I feel that there is so much unlocked potential in me that continues to remain dormant because I've had nobody in my life with the right key to help unlock and release it.

I also drove away last night wondering how could your ex-husband not see the beautiful, caring, loving, loyal, honorable woman before him! How can any man neglect the woman that you are? How could he walk away from what you had to offer him?

Anyway . . . I just wanted to pass on some encouraging words. Thanks for the time last night. I hope we can do it again soon.

God Bless!

Touched by his thoughts and reading his pain, I responded:

I follow God's commands and what he lays on my heart, and it has not failed me. Maybe I am the key to unlocking what I see in you.

Do not be afraid of me. I do not judge. I used to be self-centered as well. It took nine months to get where I am today, but I did not have a choice. I had to rely on God for my every need. Do not be so hard on yourself. I meet people for a reason, and God leads me to those people. I know you have been hurt, too, and are not as open as you would like, but I hope to change that.

I met Travis on May 26th. Memorial Day I asked my block captain and realtor if he could qualify me for a house. Buying my own home was symbolizing that I was moving on with my life, like crossing the line in the sand between the old life and entering the new one. Once this occurred, there was no going back or hoping for reconciliation.

All the while I drove up Hayden to the church, I asked God for my own house; I believed God for a house. I never knew when that dream would come to fruition. A few days later I spoke with a loan officer about my job history, divorce and my credit was pulled. Fully expecting it to end there, I was pleasantly surprised I actually qualified.

Off to Cancun I went. When I was planning the trip, I thought of finding ways to stay there. Now I was excited to come back. My time away from Phoenix allowed me to see the life that God was giving me. I may not have seen it had I not gone.

Although I went alone, I had a great time. I got to do what I wanted to do when I wanted to. I didn’t have to deal with my ex-husband wanting to take pictures of me. I could sleep when I wanted and wake when I wanted. I could walk on the beach and gaze at the stars and see the sights I wanted to see.

The only part of the trip that was a nightmare to me was the airport in Mexico City. I don’t speak Spanish, and they had absolutely no signs in Spanish or English. I had to rely on a kind young girl to help me since the airport personnel were not helpful and didn’t understand why I was stressing.

I loved Cancun. The ocean was breathtaking. Luminous turquoise caressed soft, white sand. My room had an ocean view. The soothing sound of the waves comforted me as I slept.

I treated myself to a massage, a facial and a day of relaxing on the beach my first day. The second day I was off to the Mayan jungle to see the ruins of Chi Chen Itza. From the time I read about the Mayan civilization in history class, I marveled at their science, their religion and the pyramid.

I was quickly adopted into a group from Wales when we stopped to eat at a resort in the middle of the jungle. Once at the ruins, I soaked in the scenery. Everything I studied in school paled in comparison to the lesson given by our tour guide as he showed us pictures of what the pyramid and the solarium did during the Equinox and Solstice. I imagined Indiana Jones uncovering some kind of new treasure.

I was touching the soil of history and of things I thought I would only experience in books. No more living life through television and magazines. I vowed to experience the world for myself.

The following day I found an interactive aquarium. Arriving late, I was unable to swim with the dolphins or get my picture taken with the large birds, but I did convince myself to enter a shark tank. From the cage you could feed the sharks and see them up close.

Unfortunately, the water was freezing. My wetsuit must have been taking a siesta. I couldn’t catch my breath and began hyperventilating. The walls closed in increasing my panic. Desperately, I tried to convince my mind to relax, but mind over cold box wasn’t working, and they had to bring me up. I emerged disappointed, but the photographer said he got a great picture of me and the Bull Shark. That was all I wanted anyway, so I was happy.

Everyone in Cancun was wonderful and friendly. The wait staff and male store clerks made sure I didn’t feel lonely as they flirted with me. The divorce made me feel ugly, especially when I saw who my ex-husband left me for, and I was delighted at the attention.

Careful of my souvenirs, I took home a Mayan Calendar painting done with vegetable oils on deer skin, a necklace and a few T-Shirts and glasses. I made sure that whatever I purchased couldn’t be found in the States.

It was time to go home. I was sad to leave and yet happy to get home. All the paperwork for my new house should have been done, and all that was required of me were a few signatures to complete it. I also had someone waiting for me.

A few days after I returned, Travis came over and I showed him all my pictures of my adventures. Both of my dogs came up to him. Baby was expected to show her affection, but I was amazed at Jasmine’s reaction. Normally she would circle, sniff and run back into the bedroom if she didn’t know you. Instead she tentatively, approached him, and as he knelt, she rested her face in his cupped hand. I nearly fainted. This had to be a sign!

Glancing at the picture of the pyramid, Travis noted the cloud over it that looked like it was boiling out of the top of the structure and immediately thought of Ghost Busters. I told him when I took the picture, I thought the same thing. Another sign?

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