13 Years

My husband and I are celebrating 13 years of marriage this year. I wish I could tell you that it’s been sheer wedded bliss and everything has been so beautiful and magical with fluffy unicorns, raindrops on roses, and all that crap. Honestly, our marriage has been filled with heartache, loss, debt, and there were several times we thought we wouldn’t even make it.

We got married young (I was 20, he was 27), and while we both loved each other, neither of us I think really had any clue what true love was all about. I especially still had a lot of growing up to do, and we faced a LOT, and I mean, A FREAKING SHIT-TON of obstacles in our marriage. If you would’ve told me 5 years ago that we’d be celebrating 13 years HAPPILY and excitedly welcoming our FIFTH baby soon, I would’ve laughed in your face!!!

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I’m no relationship guru, but there is one HUGE thing I have learned that I believe is KEY to what makes my marriage successful:

Respect ~ Those that know me know I am not the submissive type, when I’m told what to do or what I “should” do, I usually just laugh…  I’ve always been fiercely independent and stubborn, with a bit of a rebellious streak, so “respecting” my husband was not something that was on my radar. “Respect” was one of those words that would instantly repulse me. It wasn’t until more recently, that I have found what respect means both to me and my husband… For instance, he needs transparency, but for me, I need support; and because we respect each other, these needs are met.

He also doesn’t want a docile doormat of a wife, in fact, he has told me that one of the things he loves about me is my headstrong ways… And one of the things I love about him is his alpha character…  With two very tenacious people, it can be “like a tornado meeting a volcano,” but when we work together, magic happens!! THIRTEEN YEARS and we finally understand mutual respect, instead of butting heads, we put them together and figure out how we can tackle life’s curveballs.

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On the surface, my husband and I can be very different. Polar opposites in some ways, even. But our core beliefs, values, deep love and commitment for each other and our family are the ties that bind us 

He’s also one of my favorite humans, and here are just a couple reasons why: 

~ He can straight throw it down in the kitchen, it’s like having my own personal chef when he’s home. This is AFTER he’s worked ungodly hours (up to 70 hours a week) just to provide a comfortable life for our family. This may not seem like much, but the way to my heart is through my belly!! 😛 He shows his love in very practical ways, like letting me take a nap when I’m sleep deprived, making extra food for leftovers during the week when I’ll be busy.. And I am SO GRATEFUL for these expressions of love!!!

~ He’s my rock. I’m a very emotional creature, (INFP, Cancerian, empath — all signs say I am ALL heart), so I tend to get worked up about the STUPIDEST things, and he is always the voice of reason, talking me down with logic and patience. (In fact, when I found out I was pregnant with #5 and was losing my shit, he was the one saying, “It will be just fine, I will do everything I can to help you, AND maybe we’ll get a little boy!”) 😉 He is supportive of some of my crazy ideas. Doesn’t mean I won’t get an ear full of what a dumb idea it might be, but he’ll still listen to my side of things, offer his best advice, and then let me do my thing.

We certainly aren’t perfect, never have been, never will be. But we are perfect for each other and are finally reaping some of the rewards for sticking it out through the hardest times of our lives. I know that no matter what happens in this life, as long as we are together, we can face it head on and will persevere…

Here’s to 13 years, and many more to come!!!! 

 

~To love and be loved is everything ~

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The Wellness Line

Last week in the Health and Wellness Challenge I’m hosting on facebook, I chatted live about the Wellness Line and what that means in regards to evaluating one’s state of health.

For simplicity, I address health in 3 dimensions – Body, Mind, and Soul. The body includes the physical being, all body systems (immune, respiratory, cardiovascular, muscular, nervous, etc); energy level, and is directly impacted by choices and habits of diet, exercise, sleep, drug/alcohol use, and hygiene. The mind consists of mental and emotional health, social (interaction with others, relationships), and the mindset (negative or positive outlook). A strong sense of purpose, values, faith, peace, harmony, and contentment within one’s spiritual essence contribute to a healthy soul.  All of these aspects of health are entwined and can affect each other in terms of your overall health. For instance, a physical problem may be an underlying mental or emotional issue that is manifesting in the body. In fact, it’s been discovered that even some autoimmune disorders can be linked to chronic stress or anxiety. So it’s important to address ALL areas of health – body, mind, and soul when examining current health conditions, as well as being proactive in preventative care.

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The phrase “Living Above the Wellness Line” is used a lot by both myself and other professionals in my industry to encourage people to seek out and pursue a lifestyle of well-being in all aspects of life. As you can see in the graphic below, the differences in living above vs below the wellness line are drastic. Living above the wellness line is the ideal — this is feeling well physically (eating clean, exercising, sleeping, etc), maintaining a positive attitude and outlook, having an energetic and zealous perspective, being supported and surrounded by healthy relationships and community, with a strong sense of purpose and direction in life. By contrast, living below the wellness line is just a lousy, miserable state of being, and unfortunately, how most people are living their lives on a daily basis. Headaches, digestive problems, chronic conditions, being overweight, depression, anxiety, anger, little to no connection with others through friendships and community, abusive or negligent relationships, and no sense of ambition or meaning to life or a calling are just a few manifestations of what living below the wellness line looks like in one’s life.

So where are you on this wellness line? Are you above it? Or are you below? Where is each part of your health on the wellness line — where is your body? Your mind? What about your soul? Take a quick inventory of your health and rate yourself (you can even do a 1-10 scale) on where every component of your health is on the wellness line. Be honest with yourself, and then think about what goals and steps you can take to improve the areas that need help the most. If you would like HELP, please do not hesitate to reach out to me, and we can discuss your health goals and how to achieve them! You can email sabrina.kate629@yahoo.com or drop me a line on facebook too!!!

 

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Closing a Door

*Heavy sigh* I’ve written and rewritten this post a couple times now… The first time it was a 4 page document, and I went into great detail about how I was wronged by someone, how I felt totally taken advantage of, how I allowed a wolf in sheep’s clothing to override my intuition for the 2nd time in our 6 year “friendship,” and why I felt justified and right in my mind…  I have grown a lot in the last few years, and have learned that taking the high road, not giving the attention to those toxic narcissistic people that they so desperately desire, letting things go, and moving forward is the best approach for dealing with negative people and situations. There is nothing I can say here that will change anyone’s mind, or justify my side of things because all that does is bring me down to their level. I wrote that looooong document to help me process the pain and try to gain a better understanding of myself, the other person, and the entire situation. As I re-read it, I asked myself, “How can I grow?” “What can I learn from this?” Because even the most difficult, stressful situations, and manipulative, fake, and toxic people have lessons to teach us if we just take the time to process it and look at it from ALL angles… Understanding where the other person is coming from, that a childhood trauma emotionally stunted them, that they are not really living in absolute authenticity and their truth, and that jealousy is one hell of a monster, all of these things while they don’t excuse the behavior, give us compassion for others even in the midst of the turmoil they cause.

This year has been AMAZING so far, I have completed my entire list of goals for the year in two months, my personal, family, and business life are blooming beautifully, but as you know, all that glitters isn’t gold… I know that with great success comes great trials and that no matter how awesome everything is going, there WILL be inevitable heartbreak and closed doors. When you encounter a closing door, know that it is because you are worth SO much MORE, that there IS something better coming.. The doors that open will lead you on the right path, and those things that come to an end are NOT right for your journey on this thing called life…

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I don’t pretend to have all the answers, or be a “lifestyle expert,” because honestly most days I don’t feel like I quite have my stuff together haha I can only speak from the heart, from my experiences, and hope that it will inspire and help others… I’ve said before that I don’t claim to be anything I’m not… I’m sarcastic, blunt, and can be very fierce and protective if provoked, but I also LOVE my family and close circle of people I’ve been blessed with, I work my ass off for my family, career/passion, and have no problem being ME in all my flaws, hilarity, and weirdness! I am at peace with who I am because I have fought all my demons, healed from past traumas, and just live each day with authenticity and don’t give a crap anymore if people like me or not!!

When others talk negatively about you, it’s a reflection of THEMSELVES. So over the last couple months, I’ve been called loud, arrogant, slick, conniving, malicious, and even EVIL (hahaha), and yes at first, it stings, but ultimately it’s that person’s issues within themselves. THEY are the ones that are all those things but are too damn blinded to see it, so they try to deflect and project it onto others around them.  I’m always looking inward to maintain self-responsibility, acknowledging when I screw up, recognizing my shortcomings and trying my best to grow, move forward, make amends where they need to be made. Once you’ve come to peace with yourself, your flaws, and who you truly are, no one can use that against you, and when people say things about you, it just rolls off like water off a duck’s feathers, because you know what you are and what you are not.
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So, the major lessons here —

#1. ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS trust your instincts… If someone or something feels “off” DO NOT ignore that!!!! Our bodies and souls pick up on vibes unrecognizable sometimes by other people, and they may even make us feel weird or wrong for having these “hunches.” But, having to learn this lesson the hard and painful way MORE than once, I can tell you, that these are NEVER wrong.. I had this person pinned 4 years ago for what she truly was, but let others supersede my intuition which was a HUGE mistake… LISTEN to that still small voice and feelings that tell you when something’s not quite right. 

#2. When a door closes, WALK AWAY. Don’t sit there banging on it, trying to pry the handle open, driving yourself nuts wondering why the door is closed. Pick yourself up, gather your dignity, leave it closed, and move on with your life. There are SO many better things coming your way, I promise! :* 

#3. I will reiterate this. OTHER PEOPLE DO NOT DICTATE YOUR WORTH!!!!!!! Let those haters hate, say whatever they want about you, but know that your beauty, your value, and who you are deep in your soul is not based upon anyone else’s opinions. The whole world could be against me, and I will still know who I am, continue to do what I do, and live my life… 

This last few weeks have been difficult, to say the least, but through these trials, I always come out stronger and wiser. Some may say they wish nothing bad would ever happen, but I’ve learned that there is beauty in darkness, there are lessons in hardships, and growth in pain. I write to heal, I write to process, and I write to hopefully inspire… Like I said, I’m no life guru, but if my experiences and my lessons of life help just ONE person, then it’s worth it. Close doors, heal, move forward, and do no harm, but also take no shit!!! ❤

~SK

Learning to Love Yourself: My Story

This week I am hosting an online event on learning to love yourself, all about self-love, self-care, the importance of nurturing the relationship with yourself, along with affirmations, tips, and tools for acceptance, appreciation, and LOVE for who you TRULY are in your very SOUL….

It’s so funny to me to think I am now teaching a class on self love because I haven’t always have a healthy relationship with myself, in fact, it was quite the opposite for a LONG time. When I was 7, I injured my front permanent teeth and ended up losing one.. Over the course of the next few years, not only did I suffer tremendous physical pain from the many procedures & surgeries, but also emotional damage because kids were RUTHLESS and made horribly mean comments about my teeth… Puberty wasn’t exactly kind to me either  I had terrible acne, and developed quickly to a size D bra by age 13  It was such an awkward combination of feeling ugly (I got called “pizza face” on the daily), and getting unwanted sexual attention by not only boys my age, but older men too. By high school, I was THAT girl no one liked, not many talked to, and that walked alone most of the time. Except for the horny teen boys that frequently tried to grope me, I was assaulted a couple times, and the sexual innuendo and comments came at me from all directions! (I was filing my first sexual assault case at age 14)… The girls may have been even worse…  Instead of rallying around me, being my friend, and protecting me like a girl gang should, they ignored me except to call me horrible names and make up stories about me just because I had big boobs & butt and got more male attention.. I felt so alone and awful about myself.. What was so wrong with me and why did no one like me? Surely it wasn’t my boobs, butt, or zits that made me so unlikable? What was so different and fucked up about ME that no one even wanted to talk to me? My self esteem was pretty much in the toilet by the time I started dating, so of course any positive attention from males was good attention in my mind. My first couple boyfriends were very narcissistic, toxic individuals, that took total advantage of me, treated me badly and made me feel even worse about myself… One guy was a serial cheater & liar, one was very verbally abusive, and one guy even had the balls to sit there and tell me all of the things I should have fixed with cosmetic surgery on my body from head to toe!!!

After I got married and had my first baby, my self image and self worth continued to spiral downward… I was incredibly depressed, popping anti-depressants and pain pills just to get through the days, while eating junk food and sleeping to comfort myself and escape reality.  My pregnancies brought hormonal imbalances, my weight skyrocketed at almost 200 lbs, back down to the 150s, then back up again, all while suffering from debilitating migraines, anxiety, depression, insomnia, feeling worthless, fat, ugly, and most days just thinking of ways to end my own life. I can’t even count the number of nights I laid on the bathroom floor with either a bottle of pills, booze, a gun, or any combo of the 3 ready to just be done. I couldn’t understand why I felt this way despite having a husband that loved me and beautiful healthy kids.. Most would have seen my life as that “picket fence” type life, yet I could not overcome this cloud of depression and misery. A lot of days I “faked it” — had to feign happiness and love because I was buried underneath so much pain.

In 2011, I hit rock bottom and will spare the horrible details as what I refer to now as “the pit,” but that was the time in my life I felt I could go no lower… Years and years of mental anguish all came crashing down, and while it hurt worse than anything I’ve ever experienced, it was ultimately for my good.  I had a few more rough spots after that, but finally turned a corner in my life and began to “wake up,” and started seeing things a lot more clearly, and learning about myself more.

My path to awakening and healing has been a slow, steady, but amazing journey. A wonderful, supportive counselor, spouse, family, and few very close knit friends I’ve been blessed with surrounded me with love and acceptance, helping this process. It took a while, but I found my wonderland under all the layers of other people’s toxic bullshit mixed in with my own insecurities and past traumas, and have truly come to know and love myself for who I am deep in my core being. Almost 3 years ago, I did a photo shoot project for myself, as a birthday gift of self love and acceptance for what I’d survived through and who I was becoming (ME, I was becoming more ME). It was entitled, “Be Bravely YOU,” and it really broke me out of the molds of what other’s thought I should or should not be, as well as showing me my true beauty, inside and out. I had people say rude things to me regarding the photos from the shoot (it was boudoir style, so many shots were in my undies), and some say “rock it, hot mama!” but for the first time in my life, I didn’t CARE… I was able to block out the negative and rude people, knowing they only viewed me through the lens of whatever issues they had going on. Maybe they were jealous, maybe they were dealing with their own self esteem and body image issues.. But from that point forward, I vowed no matter what I would just be ME in all my muchness, regardless of what people had to say or think and had finally learned to love myself.

I’m still frequently the target of some people’s negativity and rude behavior, but I’ve gotten to the point where now I don’t engage it. Like at all. Someone says something rude to me, makes a nasty remark, scoffs, or anything else giving a negative vibe, I instantly push it away. (In my mind I envision myself physically pushing my arm straight out and pulsing a light from it to get the negative energy away from me. Nerdy, I know lol — like the force hahaha)  … Anyways, the bottom line is this. I have been through hell and back, have had my name dragged through all kinds of dirt, been criticized, judged, hated, mocked, beat, raped and threatened, and yet here I still stand. Why? How? Well first of all, because I’ve already had all this done and said to me, so there ain’t nothing new anyone is going to come up with! AND Because OTHER PEOPLE do not define or dictate my beauty, my life, my worth in ANY way, shape or form!!!! I know who and what I am —> down to earth, kind to most people, dorky & funny as heck, loving, nurturing, hard-working, mind my own damn business, and do my best to educate, inspire, and uplift people around me, and don’t give a flying crap what anyone thinks of my boobs or zits! I know not everyone is going to like me, and I’m not everyone’s cup of tea (but I’m someone’s shot of whiskey) and I am finally okay with that, knowing myself, loving myself, and nurturing that space within my soul…

           Once you love yourself, you are truly INVINCIBLE!!! Be Bravely… YOU!!!!!!!                                                                                           ~Sabrina Kate 

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10 Tips for Restful Sleep

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Benefits of Sleep

Repairs your body, builds immune system, reduces stress, improves memory, and reduces risks of diseases (cardiovascular & diabetes, & more). Proper sleep gives you energy, helps you accomplish more, be more creative, and keeps you well!

 

10 Tips for getting restful sleep

  1. Avoid stimulants, ie. caffeine, nicotine, alcohol 3-6 hrs before bed.
  2. Keep your room dark, cool, quiet… Comfy bed & pillows a PLUS! Keep kids & pets OUT!! Also, no computers, TV’s, tablets, phones, etc, and don’t bring your work to bed either!! Keep the mental association between BED = SLEEP.
  3. Before bed soothing routine.. An hour or so before bed, start with a bath, reading, journaling, soft music, and dim lights. Avoid work and stressful situations before bed. Stress releases cortisol which makes you alert.
  4. Use specific essential oils for your evening routine so your brain associates them with sleep.  Some of my favorites are Young Living’s Lavender, Vetiver, Tranquil Roll-On, Peace & Calming, and SleepyIze for the kids (knocks them right out)!!
  5. Don’t watch the clock!! If it takes longer than 20-30 mins to fall asleep, get up, try some light reading, or listening to mellow music with lights dimmed (bright lights stimulate).
  6. Nap before 5pm or not at all!
  7. Avoid late night snacking or a late dinner… Finish dinner several hours before bed, and if you are hungry before bed, eat something light, like veggies or nuts.. (My personal favorites are carrot sticks or almonds)
  8. Time your water just right — hydrate throughout the day, and only drink a little bit of water about an hour before bed.
  9. Exercise no more than 3 hours before bed. Exercise releases cortisol, which again, like stress, can make you alert.
  10. Plan for the next day and morning. Getting clothes, lunches, the coffee pot, and anything else you need in the morning all ready before you go to bed will help your mornings go a little smoother, and you’ll rest easier knowing things are in order!!

What are some ways you could improve your bedtime routine? Comment below to chime in!