The Pain & Growth of Change

By Karen Robinson

Heal Thrive Dream 

Bad Ass Women Share Their Stories

In the face of change, women pick up the pieces and rebuild. They are the survivors. The ones who endure pain and heartache, only to come out stronger on the other side. Change is never easy, but it is inevitable and often hope can grow despite the obstacles. These women have faced some of the hardest changes life has to offer, and they are sharing to inspire us.

Dr Fran Whitaker

The chief of everything over at The Happy Journals PLR Club. She is a former World Champion swimming, Paralympic Medalist, and motivational speaker. With a background in personal development and motivation, she now creates high quality PLR Templates to help 

people create amazing products. To check out Dr. Whitaker’s work: https://www.thehappyjournals.club/

Unstoppable: How Fran Whitaker of The Happy Journals PLR Club Has Redefined Success While Navigating Society With Athetoid Cerebral Palsy

Pushing past the messiness

I've recently been decluttering my house. While sitting in my office, surrounded by all the random stuff I've collected, I started thinking about how we deal with change. I realized that making changes in our businesses or personal life is like decluttering.

You always start with the buzz of excitement, recognising the possibilities. Just getting this done will be the start of something great. But then, inevitably, things get messy, and you start regretting your life choices. Why couldn't I have left things the way they were?

Yes, you could legitimately just put everything back the way it was. That's probably the easiest option, right? But trying to put things back in an overflowing cupboard is not that simple. The minute we decide to make changes, shifts happen, which means the "stuff" already there doesn't quite fit anymore. Unless we push past the messiness, we'll feel uncomfortable because we know we aren't making the changes we truly want.

Change is always messy. At times, it will feel painful. The key is developing resilience by having a clear plan and reminding yourself why you started. If you can push past the mess and the feeling of being surrounded by "stuff", the growth will surely come.

 Donna Yvette Lawson

Teaching and ministry is Donna Yvette Lawson’s visceral connection with Sacred Text, the reflection of her Christian faith; and how her teaching and ministry is best proclaimed, in the trances of the ancestral spirit of Rev. Dr. Katie Geneva Carson, “empowering, equipping, and

setting people free to live into the graces and gifts they’ve been given.” Donna shares her life with her two daughters, three grandchildren and a host of supportive friends.

Nothing in life stays the way it was

Kyle Idleman says “Counter – Intuitive Truths; brokenness is the way to wholeness, mourning is the path to blessings, and emptiness is required in order to know true fullness.”

I have come to realize; I am not living the life I had planned. I know, I hear the Christians “You can make many plans, but the Lords’ purpose will prevail.” (Proverbs 19:21) M. Craig Barnes, Pastor of the National Presbyterian Church, Washington, D.C. writes in his book titled “When God Interrupts: Finding New Life through Unwanted Change,” that loss has forced them to make frightening choices.” “Them” are those (me) who have faced significant loss. I did not plan for the loss of my mother, my brother, friends, husbands, job, health, cars, homes, clothing, income and dreams. I did not plan for the longing loss of the past in my head and heart. These persons, places and things are gone and going.

Life will never be the same for me. For that matter, neither is life the same for you. In some way, not planning for loss is foolish.

“Nothing stays the way it was,” says Pastor Barnes. Yes, I am sad. Yes, I am disappointed. Life for me was not supposed to be this way. I was a young woman, now I am an aging woman. I was a single mother. Now, I am a grandmother. I was healthy. Now, I have medical challenges. I was a mother’s child. Now, I am a motherless child. Shit, life was not supposed to be this way but it is.

Dah, Donna! Nothing in life stays the way it was.

The Sustainer of Life wants me (you) to experience continual restarts and rebranding of our lives. Let’s be real, at age 62, you can’t live the life you lived when you were 26. Losses at 26 were gains for 62. And gains at 62 were because of losses at 26.
What a “Counter-Intuitive Truth”!

Sustainer of Life, now that I have this knowledge and this truth, help me to pull out from my stupor (my state of near-unconsciousness or insensibility) from losses gone forever and to continually restart and rebrand my life whether I lose or gain. ASHA.

ASHA is an African philosophical concept through which the Okun people affirm the power to make things happen and produce change. It is commonly summarized in accord with its contextual implications of “truth” and “right (eousness); “order” and “right working.” “Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel, from everlasting to everlasting. Amen and amen” (Psalm 41:13).

Dawn TenBears

A Compounding Master Herbalist, she formulates and creates products using plant medicine (herbs). Dawn used to live on a reservation in Canada. She learned from various Medicine people (including her grandmother). Dawn walks the path of her ancestors.

It's in her blood. It's her passion, her path, her life. Plant Medicine not only helped to SAVE her life... it is her life.

Hard promises

Our destiny is not written in stone. We choose the paths we want to take and sometimes, they are chosen for us. This part of my life was chosen for me... perhaps to learn, to grow, to gain understanding. I would not have willingly taken the fork in that road. My heart will never be the same.

Sixteen years ago, I was diagnosed with cancer and given a 15% chance of "survival". My son called me that night. He was full of cheerfulness, full of hope (pretending because of me). His animated voice held steady as he made me promise him that I would reopen my business and do my passions again... herbs and helping people. He also made me promise that I would live. Hard promises.

The next day, they changed my "odds" to zero percent chance of survival because my 21 year old precious child was killed. Who would WANT to live? After the funeral, I let them perform surgery because my largest tumor was 21 and a half pounds, but I refused chemo and radiation. My oncologist said "Dawn, I know you're an Herbalist and I know that your son wanted you to live... What are you going to do?" We agreed that I would utilize my own herbal formula and that I would return in 3 months. If the cancer was still there, we would discuss treatment. If it was gone, he would never approach the subject again.

Needless to say, conventional treatment was never discussed. I walk this path in hopes that my pain, my experiences... will help others in a positive way. My child was my inspiration. He always was and always will be...

Pam Hamilton

Is all about helping womenpreneurs over 50 manage their mindset so they can increase their visibility and deliver the message they were meant to share with the world, attract their ideal clients, and grow a business they love while making a greater impact in the world.

Every Setback is a Setup for a Comeback (You can overcome any setback or obstacle)

A couple of years back I celebrated my sixtieth birthday. I threw myself a big birthday party and lots of my friends and family came. And lots of them marveled at how good I was doing.

I wasn’t surprised. . . I had overcome over a decade of struggling with health issues. And I was in less pain than I had been in years. I felt strong and energetic. In a word I felt great! Plus, my business was flourishing. Life was just good.

Then Covid-19 hit. And the world shutdown.

Suddenly, I couldn’t go to Tai Chi class or workouts anymore. I couldn’t go to pain management. I couldn’t go to my office. Heck, in the beginning, I couldn’t even get water for my CPAP machine.

But it was only supposed to be for two weeks. I could survive two weeks . . . then it was six weeks . . . then, well you know that story. Almost three years later and the world is only beginning to emerge from that disaster.

I lost some of the strength and vitality I had gained. And I almost let depression set in.

I could have lost my mojo dealing with this setback that felt so out of control. But, I didn’t. I’m a firm believer that everything that happens in my life is happening for my benefit. Everything, even the things that feel really awful when it’s happening. I know if I stop and pay attention, there’s a lesson in it, a new opportunity, or removal of some karmic debt I’ve been carrying and maybe even struggling under. There’s something there for my benefit.

I just needed to flip the switch and take my power back. I needed to look at the situation in a new light.

Reframing the Situation

I’m a big fan of trains. I even had a hobby railroad as a kid, and well, as an adult too. And one of the cool things with trains is that you can change tracks in an instant. You just push the lever called a “switch” and the train will leave one set of tracks and go onto a complete different set of tracks.

You can do that in your life too.

It’s what I did during the Pandemic. Instead of going “woe is me”, and going down the victim track, I flipped the switch and took my power back. I asked myself what is the benefit for me here?

And then I acted on the opportunity I discovered lurking in the shadows.

Take Some Action

Once you’re in a more positive state of mind, it’s time to deal with your obstacle or setback. You need to start thinking of ideas that let you move forward. Try to list 20 possible ways you could deal with the situation.

They don’t have to all be ideal or even realistic. It just has to get you thinking in a positive way about how to resolve the situation or get on with your goals in spite of it.

Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help

If you have an action plan, or at least some ideas you think might work, but don’t know which option is best, talk to someone you trust like a coach, mentor, or other trusted advisor. Share what you’re working on and then ask for their advice.

If you don’t have an official mentor don’t let that stop you. Even an imaginary conversation with someone you trust can help. For example if you’re a big Oprah fan, then ask her the question.

Close your eyes, imagine the two of you in a conversation and ask. Then listen to what she has to say. You’ll be amazed how much your mind can channel your inner Oprah when you’re willing to listen!

Facing an obstacle is never easy. But you can overcome anything that life throws at you with the right attitude and a solid action plan.

Pam is sharing a free gift:

Grab my free “Comeback from Setback” Workbook to discover how to walk through a crisis, what it takes to start your life over, and how to tap into your inner power.  [link: https://buildingvisibility.com/comeback]

A Reflective Summary

by Trauma Recovery Expert Karen Robinson

I hope you enjoyed each writer’s insights as much as I have. They are incredible! I’m appreciative that these beautiful women are willing to share their stories with us.

 Diverse women, diverse backgrounds, and yet all have not only survived loss, but grown despite any pain experienced. While these women and all women face unique challenges, they are also uniquely resilient. The know how to “come back” from hard times. 

With the support of family, friends, and community, women can and have overcome messes, broken hearts, and other losses. I’ve comeback from childhood abuse, running away, a suicide attempt, broken relationships, and other messes. It is important to note I don’t wish hardships or pain on anyone. The intent here is to not celebrate pain but to become more aware that since suffering is a part of human existence, it may serve us best to focus on our growth during these times. Yes, it is hard to find a silver lining and sometimes things simply suck. Embrace the suck. The other shoe does indeed drop. Once you feel crushed like a bug, it is a big ask for me to suggest you to “bounce back.” Do it anyway. Do it broken. Do it with your battle scars. Do it dripping with sweat, blood, and papercuts. 

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Karen Robinson

  Karen Robinson  

About the Author

I'm licensed therapist with 25 years of clinical experience. Service driven, specializing in trauma recovery, anxiety, and depression, holistic care, and transformation to create an impact for trauma survivors globally. Services include coaching, therapy, virtual courses, digital products, and on-line memberships.

Are you a survivor in need of HOPE?