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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 

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Redefining is the Key to Easily Recognize Unhealthy Behaviors

In the next four blogs, we will be walking through our definition of abuse which includes unhealthy behavior, harassment, neglect, bullying, and mistreatment. By clearly defining the problem it is easier to recognize, understand and prevent all forms of abuse.

We truly care about you and encourage you to live your best life. No one ever deserves to be abused, mistreated or neglected. It is our intent to provide the skills to help you create the fulfilling life you deserve!

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

PART ONE: REPEATED MISTREATMENT
* This means it happens more than one time…it’s repeated! There is a pattern or a cycle to the mistreatment.

* Mistreatment is typically one of the “Big 5” forms of abuse: Psychological, Verbal, Physical, Sexual or Financial. Throughout the life-span of a relationship, the mistreatment often changes in intensities going from mild to severe and everything in-between. It also changes forms…bouncing from one type of the Big 5 to another. By using different forms and intensities, it makes it harder to track and more confusing for the person being mistreated to recognize a pattern. That’s the offender’s point…to confuse you!

* People debate which form of abuse is “worse”…trust me, they are all “worse!” Examples include: “She just belittles me all the time, it’s not like she’s hitting me.” “My father hit me a lot but it wasn’t as bad as my friend who experienced sexual abuse.” Justifying, minimizing and comparing any negative behavior is a form of self-protection. Fear will make many of us bury our heads…but that continues the cycle of abuse. All forms of abuse are unacceptable and by knowing how to pro-actively address the mistreatment, the abused is empowered to successfully face the fear and end the cycle.

* Mistreatments start small (think of it as them testing the water to see how you will respond) and grown big. They ALWAYS grow big. There are warning signs but most of us haven’t been trained to recognize them…until now!

* Side Note: Assault includes physical contact and does not always have warning signs and certainly does not need to be repeated in order for it to be abuse.

We love hearing from you! Please leave your comments, insights, feedback, and questions. You can also email or call us with your personal experiences with repeated mistreatment.

Please remember, you are not alone. We care about you! We are here as a support to you while you learn more about all forms of abuse. We are also here with encouragement as you move along your path to Authentic Health!  

720.219.3631 or contact me directly at Abigail@AbigailGManning.com

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Sexual Harassment Workshop Registration Is Now Open!

Sexual Harassment: Protect Yourself

Saturday, May 12, 2018, from 9:00am – 12:00pm in Denver, CO

  • Sexual harassment can dramatically change your life.
  • Your career and personal happiness depend on living without abuse and harassment.
  • Learn to recognize, prevent and protect yourself from being harassed, becoming a harasser or fighting a false claim.
  • Together we will strengthen the individual and change the culture!

Participants’ Feedback: “innovative, inspiring and informative…engaging in telling what we can do to make the workplace healthier for everyone…eye-opening…a new take on sexual harassment and abuse…pleasantly surprised on a typically unpleasant topic…would like to see more of this training every year…”

Limited Seats, please register now at:

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/sexual-harassment-protect-yourself-tickets-44689051155

Contact us to bring this workshop to your office!

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Video Conversation on Creating Authentic Health

Jess Dewell, the bubbly host of Voice of Bold Business Radio, invited me on her show to have a conversation on how to Build Awareness & Act! I truly enjoyed our conversation and the opportunity to explain my ideas and theories including how to create Authentic Health, throwing out the measuring stick of “normal” and pulling Purple Threads.

What You Will Hear:

  • Awareness, empathy and a unique view of the world.
  • Throw away the measuring stick we use as our normal.
  • What to do when someone puts walls up and stops conversations.
  • Purple Threads are lies that other people have told us, limiting statements.
  • The ‘I am’ mirror exercise finds Purple Threads.
  • Abigail’s acronym for T.R.U.S.T.
    • Truth
    • Respect
    • Unity
    • Safety
    • Transparency
  • Rebuilding trust when it’s broken is tricky.

Notable & Quotable:

  • Abigail Manning: I can understand simplicity, it integrates better into life.
  • Abigail Manning: On the inside, you can’t lie to yourself.
  • Abigail Manning: Throw away a preconceived notion of normal based on your circumstances versus who you are, what ability you have, and who you dream yourself to be.
  • Jess Dewell: Awareness allows us to create a place of safety for yourself and others.
  • Abigail Manning: Find the threads of unworthiness and rip them out.
  • Abigail Manning: When you are a person of power and authority, what you say is believed.
  • Abigail Manning: Find the goodness in each person, and connect on that goodness.
  • Jess Dewell: We don’t see the impact we have on other people after we are out of a situation.
  • Abigail Manning: Look at a person’s behavior (actions)…not the words.

Click here to listen in! 

https://youtu.be/Ry260LV_n_E

If this conversation resonates with you, please comment or share this video to help spread the message.       Enlighten. Empower. End.

Please call 720.219.3631 to schedule your next 
Workshop, Training or Consulting.  
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Champion or Cheerleader…how they help us recognize healthy behavior

There are times in life where we all could use someone in our corner…a champion or a cheerleader. Encouraging us on. Providing helpful insights and constructive feedback. Raising the bar. Picking us up. Seeing our potential. Someone who says “I see you. I believe in you. Good job.” Those can be defining moments in our lives where we decide to press on to greater accomplishments or conversely, sit down in a self-imposed timeout or even be so crushed we give up and quit.

I want to publicly thank Colorado Senate Majority Leader Chris Holbert who saw me speak, believed in my ability to present a unique approach to identifying, preventing and ending sexual harassment…and then to top it off, mailed an empowering “good job” letter that lifts my heart and encourages me to keep taking steps forward.

(Letter posted with approval by C. Holbert)

 

Abigail speaking to Colorado Senators, Representatives and Aides/Staff/Interns.

His championing (or at least that is what it feels like to me!) is a clear example of learning to recognize what is healthy vs unhealthy behavior. It also helps remove Purple Threads (a theory I developed where old internal tapes are filled with negative self-talk, limiting statements and others lies of our unworthiness.) By looking through an outside lens, we often see ourselves in a more healthy and healing light. Having compassion for others still seems easier for most of us than having kind and loving self-compassion.

Some people can initially appear to be your champion or cheerleader, only to lure you in and give you a false sense of trust and security. It’s reassuring to know that given the right tools, you can more easily and quickly see the “positive” impersonators for what they truly are. To make abusive people easier to spot, we highlight the differences between unhealthy and healthy behaviors. Recognizing unhealthy behavior at the early stages means we can prevent abuse in all forms including sexual harassment, bullying in schools and domestic violence. It is so much easier to prevent abuse than it is to recover from it. Keeping in mind, everyone can have an off-day or be going through a challenging period of time. We are not looking to judge others but to be aware of patterns or cycles that are the warning signs of abusive behavior.

Continue reading Champion or Cheerleader…how they help us recognize healthy behavior

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A Thankful Thanksgiving

THANK YOU for the hugs, winks and high-fives of encouragement to be authentic and vulnerable in telling my life story. Fighting my way over big emotional hurdles, I was the keynote speaker at The Crisis Center’s Gala on Friday, November 10th. Nearly 300 people empathetically listened and warmly responded to my speech where I shared my very personal experiences of childhood abuse and domestic violence as an adult. I was honored to also share my message: Enlighten, Empower and End Abuse…now and for the future of families.

Continue reading A Thankful Thanksgiving

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Hurdling Through Life

True personal story. When I was in 5th grade, I found sheer joy running hurdles in track and field. Hurdles came to me naturally by combining the leaping grace from ballet and the sheer power of gymnastics, two sports I did since basically birth. The gym teacher watched me and could see I was unaware of my talent so she took extra time to encourage and coach me. On the 6th graders’ Field Day, she had me run in the hurdle races against those big, scary, older kids. I won. She then signed me up to run at a 7th and 8th grade track meet, being held at the local high school. I was excited to have my eldest sister drive me and off we went in our family’s white, all metal, no seat-belts, station wagon…Ol’ Betsy the Tank. As we walked closer to the track, the hurdles grew and grew and grew. They were not grade school size but high school size which appeared almost double in height over anything I had ever jumped. As I walked to the start line to do a warm-up, I looked down a long row of what appeared to be solid brick walls that felt almost as tall as me.

It’s times like this experience, you have several options. First option, claim stomach problems and run to the bathroom where you hide until the race is over. Second option, let the fear psych you out. You don’t believe in yourself, so you half-heartedly run the race and crash into every hurdle. You limp away with bruised shins and ego…and never try again. Third option, tell that negative-nelly-voice in your head to go back to the station wagon. Then with an ounce of courage, just start running. Remembering the hard work during the hours you committed to training, you trust your body will take you where the mind can’t believe. Like most of my life, I did the last option. In a storage box in my garage, I still have the first place, blue ribbons from that day.

Continue reading Hurdling Through Life

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Insights to Life: Sequoia Style

3183 miles by car. 1661 miles by airplane. 100 or so miles by horse, bike, run and hike. 6 National Parks. 2 Large Cities. 1 amazing cross country adventure from the east coast to the west coast. For the first time in over 25 years, I took a three week break from responsibility. No work. No computer. No email. No social media. No phone call or text from anyone other than those in my Sacred Circle (what I call my family and closest of friends.) I experienced deep meaningful, life changing talks. Belly aching laughs. Amateur photographer’s delight in trying to capture the natural wonders. I find Mother Earth hides the awe of her majestic beauty from the limiting camera lens, which is her way of encouraging us to get out and see it with our own eyes.

Life is that way. We can read about something and learn from it but until we really experience it firsthand…see it, taste it, smell it and touch it so deeply you get dirt under your fingernails from it….it’s hard to really understand it and see how it can have a personal impact on you. I learn the best when I’m in the middle of it. If I close my mouth and open my eyes, ears and mind…that’s when real insights and understanding occur. Once I learn something, I like sharing it with my family, friends, clients and for that matter, anyone who’s interested. I’m a helper, not a hurter…so I’m in the process of writing a book to help others recognize and understand abuse and then ultimately how to end abuse in their lives once and for all. Kinda heavy stuff for me personally as I experienced childhood abuse by both of my parents and domestic violence as an adult. As I write about the really hard stuff, it’s easy to be triggered by memories. I can feel hurt over the verbal and emotional abusive “limiting statements” including my mother’s top three most consistently used on me: my unattractive physical appearance, who are you to shine and my lacking intellectual capacity. For example, since early grade school until just this past Christmas I have been told by her “You are stupid…you NEVER could spell…it’s a miracle you passed Spanish, you just couldn’t get it….it’s shocking you’ve been able to run a company all these years…” etc. These were told to me over and over and over again until I absolutely believed the statements to be truth. I deeply believed I wasn’t very smart or overly capable in this world or would ever be good enough. My skin often became thin over the topic of feeling stupid or fear of being exposed as dumb. I would hold a stiff-upper-lip, and later cry when I was alone. I also experienced a lifetime of physical intimidation and abuse by my parents, an unrelenting furnace fueled by their anger, hurt and hate. I had emotional wounds that ran so deep the scars were noticeable, if you know where to look. From an outside perspective, I was doing well in life but internally, I was daily fighting off the heaviness of overwhelm, fear and doubt that was ingrained from the abuse.

Continue reading Insights to Life: Sequoia Style