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.