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Summit Time!

MEET ME AT THE SUMMIT! I’m delighted to be one of 45 speakers sharing our insights, research and empowering tips to make this a better world. The summit is to help everyone with Emotional Abuse Recovery and Resilience. Monday, September 3rd my interview airs. “Finger-pointing: No Room for Blame or Shame When Building Authentic Health”

Starting 9/1, all interviews are FREE daily when aired. Permanent All-Access Pass purchased by 9/2 is $197 and increases to $397.

Click the link below to take advantage of this amazing savings and powerful information!

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Stand Up & Say Something

Have you tried stand up paddle boarding? I’ve done it on small lakes, a large ocean and even through some Colorado river rapids…that got my heart beating fast! The acronym for stand up paddle boarding is SUP, which is about as straightforward of a name as you can get! You literally stand up on the board and navigate on the water by using a long handled paddle. You need to be aware of what’s around you because trust me, you don’t want to fall into Lake Dillion where the water is 46 degrees by the warmest part of summer. Brrr! However, with very little instruction, I’m confident everyone can stand up and feel the rush of self-empowerment as you glide over the water.

Why don’t we stand up more often in other parts of our life? For example, when we are in an unhealthy friendship or see a friend in a rocky romantic relationship, why don’t we stand up and say something? As a SHINE Girl community, you have created a strong tribe by sticking together and protecting each other. So, why are there still unhealthy situations in teen dating and relationships? I think it is because we haven’t had enough instruction to “SUP” and once we do, all of us can all stand up for ourselves and each other.

In the world of relationships, SUP stands for:

Safety. Unity. Personal Responsibility.

Safety starts with recognizing what is unhealthy or abusive behavior. To make it easier to understand and recognize, I describe it as “Repeated mistreatment, where one person uses manipulations to gain and maintain power and control over another person.” These are the dangerous rapids we have to recognize so we can successfully navigate and avoid them. Rapids can look like one person treating the other with:  Continue reading Stand Up & Say Something

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I Don’t Like Work

I love chatting with people to get their perspectives on life. Recently one comment by a colleague surprised me when he said “You shouldn’t use the word work because it will deter and discourage people from trying.” (You shouldn’t….always a winner of a way to start a conversation…not!) When asked why, he replied “I don’t like the word work because work is just too hard.” 
 
It has my gears turning. We all get caught up on words and our individual interpretation of them based on our life experiences. Work for him meant drudgery, oppression, being bossed around, and something to be avoided. I could only imagine how many times he sabotaged his own success by having a mental block about the word work. As a kid when he heard “do your homework” his walls instantly went up. As a budding pianist he was told it will take a lot of hard work and practice so he eventually quit playing. Throughout his adult life, he dreaded five days a week of putting on a suit to go to work or in his mind, the dungeon. For him, work is a dirty word. 
 
Work for me has a very different interpretation. I was raised by two parents whose strong message was no matter what you do, you’ll never be good enough or worthy of my love. Being an optimist I knew this couldn’t be true. There had to be some threshold of where I cleared the highest of bars and won their love, or even their approval, or if neither of those, at least they would stop their ridicule of me. 
 
Work has always been my fighting survival skill and emotional protection to say…maybe I’m not there yet but I’m going to be! A little relentless voice that says…I got a whole bunch of good stuff inside of me just waiting for the right opportunity for it to come jumping out. For me, work is a hope-filled word. 
Work results provided the internal, positive cheering for myself as I overcame exterior, negative brainwashing. 
 
As an athletic kid, I knew how great it felt to stand on the podium. I started gymnastics at age three. With both joy for the sport and a commitment to be the best gymnast I could be, I conditioned, stretched, practiced and dedicated myself. That meant I woke up early and went into the cold, dark Chicago winter mornings to run so I would have extra endurance. I wasn’t a state champion but I saw how my diligent work and big effort paid off by teaching me a life lesson that I have ability to create a better tomorrow than today.
Because I was a forthright kid who often stood up to protect my sisters when my parents were being harsh, I learned speaking truth is more important than suffering silently. I worked at my speaking skills, earning a double major in Communications and I now speak up for other abused, neglected, bullied and poorly treated kids and adults. I won’t ever get my parents love or approval, but it’s a magical feeling to hear how my voice has positively changed someone’s life. My heart overflows when I hear their commitment to work on how they think about themselves, how they allow people to treat them, and how they are going protect themselves and others. Call me a sap but that makes my eyes water every time! For me, that’s love in action. The hard work I do to create awareness on what is Authentic Health so together we can prevent and end all forms of abuse…is well worth it.
 
I don’t like work, I love it!
 
ENLIGHTEN. EMPOWER. END.
Please contact us for workshops, training, speaking and coaching.
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Declaration Beats Achievement

As a country, we celebrate our independence on the day we DECLARED it and not on the day we ACHIEVED it. I find our history intriguing and very telling of the power of unified commitment and uncompromised conviction. It says a lot to me about the spirit of our ancestors and what lies in our own DNA.

The background story is on July 2, 1776, the Continental Congress voted in favor of the Declaration of Independence and the historic document drafted by Thomas Jefferson was adopted on July 4th. It wasn’t until seven, hard, cold, costly years later, on September 3, 1783, that we signed the Treaty that gave us our independence from Britain. We were clearly the underdogs and absolutely inferior from a military perspective but there was a driving force uniting individuals, leaders and communities to band together to face their adversity and stand up for what they believed was right.

With every written word in the Declaration of Independence, they let the world know…freedom is our united truth. With every action they took, they demonstrated they would face any risk, overcome any fear and get around any obstacle, in order to achieve their vision of freedom.

Maybe the key to obtaining Authentic Health is backwards to how we normally approach problems. What if we STARTED with celebrating a shared declaration that each person deserves to be healthy and happy. Then with insights and support of our families, communities and co-workers, we buckle down and do the hard, often scary and challenging work it takes to remove the unhealthy words, actions and behaviors so we all can reach our best-self vision.

When we claim our independence from unhealthy and toxic people, we are no longer inter-dependent on them and we are free to have power and control of our lives.

When you make a declaration of freedom from abusive, traumatic, harassing, bullying and other unhealthy behaviors in yourself and others, like our ancestors, you change not only your life but the lives of generations to come…and that’s something to celebrate!

Happy 4th!

Enlighten. Empower. End.

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Who Is Being Abused?

In the next series of blogs I will answer the most commonly asked questions we receive. Most people find it kinda scary to ask about abuse and mistreatment but are grateful to learn. I want to remove that fear and offer helpful insights. I truly care about you, your well-being and your questions and concerns…and always love hearing your ideas on how we can make this a healthier world. So, let’s get started!

Question #1: WHO IS BEING ABUSED?
Abuse (by our definition “Repeated mistreatment where one person uses manipulations to gain and maintain power and control over another person” applies to all forms of abuse including childhood, bullying, sexual harassment, neglect, domestic violence, financial abuse and more) happens to all ages of men, women, and children. It is a silent epidemic occurring right under our noses in all demographics regardless of: race, religion, occupation, income, gender, education, housing, location, socio-economic and marital status…in all countries. Hard to believe…but 100% true!

I often get told “This doesn’t happen in our community or school or work!” but the truth is…yes it does.

Continue reading Who Is Being Abused?

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Mental Health Awareness

Mental Health is often a topic we avoid discussing, reading about or asking…how does this apply to my life?! Thankfully there are people like Aimee J and her Chasing Dreams podcast who do a fantastic job of having the pro-active, positive and frank conversations on Mental Health and how it relates to our lives. Please listen in to her and my podcast conversation and read her show-notes below. I would love to know how this chat resonates with you! 

 

https://aimeej21.com/ep-141-abigail-manning-%C2%AD-building-authentic-health-to-end-abuse-in-your-life/

Aimee J’s Show-Notes:

How would you define “abuse”? Unfortunately, such a stigma exists around the idea of abuse, how it occurs, and what it entails, that people are afraid to even talk about it. The truth is that many people have some sort of abuse either in their past or in their present. This conversation is another way to honor and recognize Mental Health Awareness Month. I’m thrilled to bring you another expert, who has amazing things to teach us today!

Abigail Manning is creating awareness on authentic health, which prevents and ends ALL forms of abuse. She has done five years of research on abuse and is an Indiana University Communications double major in cognitive, social, and behavioral theories. Combining her academic background with her personal experience with childhood abuse and domestic violence, she provides unique and transformative workshops and speeches that truly empower others.

The Mental Health Stigma

Do you know someone who suffers from mental illness? As more and more people are affected by backgrounds of abuse and depression, we must realize that ANYONE can suffer from mental illness. Common responses might be, “It doesn’t happen in MY family; it doesn’t happen to strong people; it doesn’t happen to smart people.” Mental health is simply a topic that we don’t talk about. Abigail’s focus is on “Authentic Health.” Depression can be a product of past abuse and can be linked to other things. Whatever the circumstance, it takes ownership to work past the struggles. Abigail tells us why the words we use really matter in getting the help we need and deserve.

TWEET: People choose #addictions to mask their feelings and sometimes see suicide as the only way out. @abigailgmanning #chasingdreams

Helpful Words

What are the words that a struggling person needs to hear? How about “I believe you and I care about you. Let’s get you some qualified help.” Abigail’s advice is to find a trusted person and don’t let yourself become isolated. Use language that feels comfortable to you and don’t be afraid to ask for help and resources. It’s hard to look someone in the eye and reveal that you’re struggling with mental health. Find phone resources that can help. Abigail’s workshops are designed to help any group navigate through all forms of abuse and build a pathway to Authentic Health. Perpetrators want nothing more than to take your power and control. If you are strong, then no one can take that from you.

TWEET: The #1 thing an abuser or perpetrator wants to take from you is CONTROL. @abigailgmanning #chasingdreams

How to Look for Bullying Behavior

Have you seen bullying behavior on social media? It’s all around us in different forms. Abigail has a “purple threads” theory, showing how bullying behavior gets reinforced, either positively or negatively. She teaches people verbal skills so they don’t have to hide. Most people aren’t even aware of what abuse really is, and even though it is complicated, it’s easy to spot if you simplify the definition. Look for a repeated cycle of any psychological, verbal, physical, sexual, or financial abuse. It takes work to strengthen yourself and become aware of abusive behavior, but Abigail can teach you how to spot the red flags in any relationship.

TWEET: Don’t go it alone. Find the qualified help you need. @abigailgmanning #chasingdreams

OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE:

  • [:22]  The importance of mental health
  • [2:31] The power of words
  • [3:36] How addictions mask our feelings
  • [5:39] Places to find help
  • [7:16] Abigail’s work on a national scale
  • [9:04] Going into schools and workplaces with help for the abused and the abusers
  • [13:04] Is abuse a socioeconomic issue?[
  • [14:59] Bullying
  • [19:56] What financial abuse is: using money for power and control
  • [21:19] The different forms of abuse
  • [26:19] Ways to strengthen yourself to prevent abuse
  • [33:11] The ripple effect
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If You Don’t Own Your Power & Control…Who Does?

PART FOUR: GAIN AND MAINTAIN POWER AND CONTROL
We define abuse as…”Repeated mistreatment, where one person uses manipulations to gain and maintain power and control over another person.”

For unhealthy people, the biggest commodity isn’t money, fame or status…it is Power and Control. They desire Power and Control over everything in their life including other people. They never want to be the underdog or abused, harassed or mistreated by others so they adopt a “the best defense is a good offense” mentality.  By using manipulations they take away your Power and Control so they can dominate over you and you can’t be a threat or an obstacle to them getting their way. It’s a negative form of self-protection that is based on a deep-seated feeling of unworthiness. Often the need to self-protect, even for the harasser/abuser, is based on personal experience with trauma, hardships, abuse, or overt life challenges. What they really want is a deep feeling of self-worth. When they don’t have the skillset to obtain true self-worth, they often use their money, fame or status as bullying tools to get what they truly want….Power and Control over their own lives and confidence in their worthiness…all part of what we call “Authentic Health.”

Feeling a lack of Power & Control stems from unhealthy thinking which includes:
* Never Again Mentality
* Limited Supply Beliefs
* What Mirror Are You Looking Into?

Building Authentic Health means no one can ever take away or diminish our own Power & Control. Here’s how:
* Protect with Health Boundary Lines (HBL)
* Pull Purple Threads & Push Flip-A-Dip! (Turning negative self-talk into positive reinforcement.)
* Promise to SELF (Secure. Ethical. Loving. Fearless.)
* Practice Strength (Self-Aware, Self-Check, Self-Control & Self-Less) where you learn to calmly and confidently Respond vs React out of fear, anger or intimidation. (Fight/Flight/Freeze)

Contact us to learn how to build and strengthen your Authentic Health. When you have Authentic Health you own your Power & Control…and no one can take it from you!

Everyone deserves to live free of harm, harassment, and un-health. Everyone deserves to be their best self and live a life of health and happiness.  We can show you how!

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Outsmart Manipulators

PART THREE: MANIPULATION
We define abuse as…”Repeated mistreatment, where one person uses manipulations to gain and maintain power and control over another person.”

The more practiced the “one person” is, the more “talented” they are in using manipulation tools and techniques. For them, it is an intricate game of ducking and weaving to create confusion so they can gain control and exert their power over someone else.

But have a steady heart…we can and will outsmart them with proper training! Be patient when meeting new people or looking at old friendships to ensure you can really “hear” and “see” them for what they are and not what they present themselves to be.

* BEST SINGLE TIP = Ask yourself, does their behavior match their words? When you hear warning bells, write them down so it is easier for you to track if the person’s values match their actions. Emotions can cloud the facts which abusers are counting on. When we are emotionally involved with a manipulator, our brains get hi-jacked which sends our bodies into Fight, Flight or Freeze mode.

FORMS OF MANIPULATION INCLUDE:
* False Promises Appearing Real
* Normalizing
* Finger Pointing
* Guilt
* Isolation
* Physical Intimidation
* Emotional Fear
* Changing the Rules…Moving the Goal Posts
* Gaslighting
* Grooming
* Shame & Blame
* Threats

Protect yourself and those around you by learning to identify and stop manipulators from using their tools and techniques of manipulation. Contact us for more information or to schedule an insightful workshop at your work, organization or school! 720.334.4135