Tag: self worth

Bullshit! You can love others without loving yourself!

Bullshit! You can love others without loving yourself!

I had a great discussion with my class last week on several topics but one of them was Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs and someone made the comment that “it’s bullshit that if you don’t love yourself, you can’t love anyone else.” And I hear that,…

4 Ways to Fight Negative Thinking

4 Ways to Fight Negative Thinking

If you’re surrounded by toxic people or just negative Nancy’s, here are some tools for staying positive. There’s always going to be someone who doesn’t get you, who doesn’t see all of the value you hold. And that’s ok. You don’t need their words of…

Unapologetically Me: Fearless & Flawed

Unapologetically Me: Fearless & Flawed

Women and worthiness is one of my hot button topics. I can get really “passionate” when it comes to any debate on this topic, ask any of my close friends. But I get passionate because it’s important to me and it’s important because I used to not be able to see my own worth. I didn’t believe that we can determine our own worth. I was looking to every other resource but myself.

Want to know what made the light bulb come on above my head? A book I read called, The Shack by William P. Young. This book completely changed my view of myself, of God, and just about everything else. This book caused me to start to work on the spiritual part of myself and it lead me to my undergraduate internship at a church working with porn and sex addictions counseling. This internship changed my life for multiple reasons— my supervisor was one of those rare gems of a person who motivated me to dig deep, and to get outside my comfort zone. He was open minded, full of knowledge, good advice, and just the right amount of humor. And he taught me SO much more than I could have ever expected to get out of that experience.

The Shack was just the first step that lead to a domino effect in my life. Once I accepted that I hold the power of my worth everything changed for me.

The Shack book by William P. Young

But it wasn’t just accepting my power it was also a result of my effort to learn more about myself, to see where I was getting in my own way. I learned how I could feel even better by identifying all of the ways my own thinking and way of processing things was flawed. For example, I learned that I am really bad about “predicting” what people are going to think or say and I almost always was predicting negative outcomes. Which just isn’t realistic and neither is thinking that I know how people are going to respond to me in every situation or circumstance. Changing my thinking was a large part of what helped me become a healthier and happier person.

I also learned about boundaries and why they are important and necessary for life and relationships and for taking care of me! I learned the difference between a “safe” and an “unsafe” person and how to protect myself from toxic people who aren’t good for me.

But the most important thing here is that my passion for helping women to see their value comes from an honest place of understanding what it’s like to not be able to see my own value. And it’s also why I think it’s so important for women who are feeling shitty about themselves or doubting their worth, or if they can’t see it at all, or if they are just around people who constantly make them doubt who they are— to make the commitment to focus on themselves.

That’s why I created Unapologetically Me: Fearless & Flawed — which is a 12 week program focused on realizing your worth, building confidence, and understanding how your own thought processes are holding you back and causing you to fail.

Each week is focused on a different topic, for example, “self defeating beliefs” is one topic I Cover where participants will learn what self defeating beliefs are, and then will get a list of common self defeating beliefs to help them identify which self defeating beliefs they might have. Next, participants are given worksheets and exercises to help them change those beliefs to more realistic and healthy beliefs. Lastly, participants are given questions to help them reflect on what they have learned.

In addition, participants will be added to a small, secret Facebook group to discuss progress, problems, successes, etc each week. Plus I will be doing once a week group calls through Zoom to provide more support throughout the program. If you prefer to not work in a group and would rather work one on one, that is also an option, but there is limited availability. So email me ASAP if you are interested at thesmartlioness@gmail.com

I know that my course will help women because these exact tools helped me. I have always had a fear of public speaking, like a lot of people do. In college it took me three attempts at taking my public speaking class before I didn’t give up and drop it, because I was so terrified to have to give speeches in front of the class!

Fast forward several years, after I have done all of this work on myself (and continue to do), and I graduate from Graduate School with my masters in Clinical Mental Health. And then I find a job as a college psychology professor. I CANNOT tell you how nervous I was my first day of class! It was bad! My whole first semester of teaching was pretty difficult for me, mainly because of my fears, and my anxiety! BUT! I kept going, I kept teaching & showing up and I kept getting better, and less nervous each time. I stayed positive, and tried to be prepared, and I used the coping skills I learned in my personal development to keep myself from going insane or having a total meltdown!

Five years later I’m still teaching psychology and I love my job! Every new semester that begins I still get a little nervous on the first day but as soon as I get into class and see how nervous the students are as well, it relaxes me and reminds me, Nobody is perfect and who cares if I mess something up!

Now teaching has really become a place where I’m able to be who I truly am, believe it or not. I’m not a strict teacher at all, I like to laugh, be my goofy self, and sometimes I even sing! Which I never thought I would be comfortable or confident enough to do in front of anyone ever! But I’ve totally allowed myself to relax, let go, and whenever my inner critic starts up, I fight back!

I can’t express to you how important it is to work on you, that inner critic, and whatever it is that holds you back. If you don’t know what’s holding you back, what better reason do you have than to start trying to figure that out right now? You never know what that could mean for you. If I can face and conquer my fear of public speaking, You can overcome your fears too, and I can give you the tools to do that. Hell you could end up doing the one thing you were the most scared to do, and you could end up loving it!

Unapologetically Me: Fearless & Flawed gets started on June 3rd — Early Registration is open now!! Sign up with this link!

Feeling inspired and want to get to work now?? Do my free Dare to Roar Challenge to get a small taste of what to expect in June! Use this link to get started! http://bit.ly/2OMg7Ae

Coming Soon: Saturday Stories

Coming Soon: Saturday Stories

I want to hear from YOU! Send me your story so I can share it here on my blog! Email me at thesmartlioness@gmail.com “Share your story with someone. You never know how one sentence of your life story could inspire someone to rewrite their own.”…

Look On the Bright Side

Look On the Bright Side

3 Simple Steps to Help You Look for & Appreciate the Positives According to Rick Hansen’s Method – Taking in the Good, if we store more negative memories than positive memories, we start to see the world as depressing and/or threatening. We as humans are…

Mommy Monday: Stephie Simpson

Mommy Monday: Stephie Simpson

Stephie Simpson Mommy Monday

Let me take a moment to introduce myself; I’m Stephie a punk rock, crime drama obsessed, married mum of two from the beautiful county of North Yorkshire in the North of England. I am your typical 30 year old mum of two; although I blog at www.colitistoostomy.com and have been chronically sick since I was 10 with Ulcerative Colitis, where ulcers form inside your large intestine and often bleed, a form of Inflammatory Bowel Disease. I would like to talk to you if I may; about being a chronically sick parent and what it is like to be sick and be pregnant.

I never wanted children if I’m honest; I always wanted to be cool auntie Steph, although I never thought anyone would want to stick with me long enough to have children, let alone marry me! That had nothing to do with my illness because having it from such a young age it was a part of me, I never let it define me. When I had my large bowel removed and a pouch formed from my small bowel to my rectum I was told my fertility may drop by 25%. At the age of 21 with a partner of 3 years who also didn’t want children (at least with me) it honestly never bothered me. I do remember talking to him and mentioning it to which he responded with “If it happens, it happens.” If I’m honest I still don’t know how I feel about that comment!

But as it happens we never did fall pregnant, which in hindsight was such a good thing because 2 years later we broke up and I got together with the man I was later to marry; my 00Steve. You know I mentioned I never wanted kids? Well it all changed about 6 months into being with 00Steve, we were engaged and living together (I know quick work right?!) Just before Christmas 2010 I don’t know what but something inside changed and every time I looked at him I just knew I wanted to have a family with him. Part of me was absolutely terrified of the chance of not being able to have a family with him but we persevered for around 1.5 years before we finally got those two little lines on our test.

Now that pregnancy was far from easy! In fact I swear I must have been in and out of the maternity ward every week. My obstetrics consultant believed it was due to a massive amount of scar tissue and adhesions in the bowel; now he wasn’t totally wrong as I had had open surgery which left me with a 10 inch scar down my belly, plus polyhydraminos which is where you have an increase in amniotic fluid.  I saw him recently and we discussed how it was actually undiagnosed Pouchitis which in simple terms is Ulcerative Colitis in the pouch; the realisation that swept across his face was exactly the same as mine when I realised!

I had an elective caesarean section due to the previous surgery and unfortunately that happened on my second wedding anniversary! Only I had an issue with that of course, but at 12:52pm we set eyes on our unbelievably gorgeous daughter Lyra-Beth who weighed a dinky 6lb 6oz and was born to Weezer – Islands in the Sun. I remember turning to 00Steve begging him not to make me go through another pregnancy and having needles in my back; just the thought of them gives me raised anxiety.

I suffered with post natal depression after my daughter was born. 00Steve was able to take 6 weeks off on paternity and was pretty much the sole caregiver to Lyra-Beth as I was in lots of pain and still bleeding heavily. Him being able to take time off work was a God send to me to give me time to heal but it highlighted something in my brain that I wasn’t a good enough mum; that I was struggling unnecessarily and finding things far more difficult than I should have been. Now looking back that is a completely normal way for a new mum to feel especially someone that didn’t have much to do with children other than a nephew and the odd friend’s child. But at the time it was truly awful.

I then started to believe in myself as a mum although entirely jealous of the bond Lyra-Beth has with her dad, which was a good thing as we moved away from family and friends and I had to trust myself as a mum.  But no sooner as I had found that strength I got sick again typically just as I had decided I was mentally ready to try for another child, but this time it was different than before; with no regular flare symptoms to warn me that a hospital admission may be looming or when to take a rest it was scary. 00Steve swapped his shifts so he was at home on an evening to help out, I remember one night counting down the minutes till he got home so I could take my morphine, rocking on the kitchen floor due to being in agony and Lyra-Beth stroking me telling me it was okay. She was 2! My 2 year old was taking care of her mother in a sense and I never wanted it to be that way.

I knew I needed to keep going until my next surgery date which was to remove the area of infected small intestine and my rectum, but it didn’t stop me seriously contemplating suicide a few weeks before my surgery date. I admitted myself the next day to the surgical ward as I seriously needed some more help but as my surgeon was on (much needed) leave of his own my surgery date couldn’t be brought forward any earlier.

The second I woke up from my surgery I was in sweet relief, I knew instantly life with my ileostomy was going to be so much better than before and I was finally going to be able to be the mum my daughter deserved. But having more abdominal surgery left the chances of being able to fall pregnant once again up in the air. My surgeon was pretty honest with me and said he honestly didn’t know if I could or couldn’t but didn’t see any harm in trying. I thought that was completely fair and after everything I had been through we still had a beautiful, healthy and happy little girl and that was more than enough if we couldn’t conceive again.

But just two short months later we found out we were expecting again which was pretty amazing and exciting but it sadly wasn’t meant to be as the baby stopped developing at 6 weeks but I didn’t start to miscarry till I was 8 weeks. It was and still is really hard to deal with as no support is offered to people who suffer the loss of miscarriage, yes it was only early but I had so much love for that little Bean and all the what if’s? What would they have been like? What did I do wrong? We were told after I had the first period after the miscarriage we were safe to try again and that you are often quite fertile for a few weeks after. Now I’m sure if I didn’t fall pregnant the month later I would have been devastated after hearing the spiel about the fertility spike.

But we were incredibly lucky in our eyes to fall pregnant and this time it was a much easier pregnancy than with my daughter but I had the constant fear of “Will I lose this one too?” my ileostomy only stretched a small amount in size which I was thankful for but when I hit the third trimester I started struggling with increased pain and once again it was blamed on all my colorectal surgeries. I had planned to have a natural birth this time but at 27 weeks I knew I wouldn’t be able to cope with the pain. But the week before the caesarean date I was admitted to maternity with what seemed like early labour. There was nothing happening but it wasn’t really deemed safe for me to go home and after fighting with a obstetrics consultant that it wasn’t what was left of my bowel giving me grief I was diagnosed with “hypersensitivity to pain” which every Doctor I have seen since told me it was a cop out.

 

Our son Jacob was delivered after I freaked out as we had a plan in place with the anesthetist to help me cope with the needles in my back but all of a sudden everything got rushed and nothing had been put into place. The birth is something I am still trying to deal with mentally so I apologize for skipping over it but if you wish to read more please head on over to ( http://colitistoostomy.com/momostomy/traumatic-birth/#more-1819 ) as someone who is already in a heightened state of anxiety this was not going well!

We eventually got the needles in and Jacob weighed 6lbs 15oz was born at 11:26am to +44 – When you’re Heart Stops Beating. He was just the spitting image of his older sister and it was love at first sight; just looking at him made all the anxiety wash away until the consultant who blamed my stoma for everything asked me if I had already had one of my ovaries removed. Now this was quite alarming as I was undergoing a routine sterilization and as far as I was aware was still intact other than missing a rectum and intestines.

Once she asked 00Steve to leave the room she told me that she could only find one ovary so she thinks she clipped it but couldn’t be sure! That was it the anxiety came flooding back and needless to say 00Steve wasn’t happy on his return. I had opted for a sterilisation because we only ever discussed having two children and I could deal with being chronically sick and parenting to an extent but I seriously struggled with pregnancy. I didn’t want to have to consider having an abortion when just taking the tablets after my miscarriage felt enough like that. It has taken 5 months of fighting from me, my health visitor and the consultant who delivered my daughter to find out if I had been sterilised correctly and to help heal the mental anguish I still suffer from Jacobs’s traumatic entrance into the world.

So having a 4 year old and a 5 month old whilst still chronically sick is definitely a challenge I wouldn’t change for the world. I definitely live and breathe my children and hope that them having a Mum that isn’t always able to run around after them but can still do sit down activities will teach them to be more empathetic and kinder to those around them as you never know what is going on behind closed doors.

Do you feel that being chronically sick affects your parenting or how your body copes with pregnancy? Or did you suffer a traumatic birth with one of your babies? Please don’t hesitate to contact me either in the comments or via www.facebook.com/colitistoostomy www.twitter.com/colitistoostomy or www.instagram.com/colitis_to_ostomy thank you all for reading.

Share Stephie’s Story!!

Self Care Sunday

Self Care Sunday

Hello Lovely Lionesses! Happy Sunday Funday! I have created not one, BUT TWO FREE PRINTABLE PDF’S for you all to get super organized and ready for the week ahead!! Get EXCITED!! “WE ARE EACH GIFTED IN A UNIQUE AND IMPORTANT WAY. IT IS OUR PRIVILEGE…

Self Care Sunday

Self Care Sunday

20 Things To Give Yourself Permission for: 1.) Rest 2.) To laugh 3.) To play 4.) Make mistakes 5.) To say “no”  to demands on my time that are simply draining 6.) To say “yes” to what I want 7.) To fulfill my childhood/lifelong dreams…

Wednesday Wisdom

Wednesday Wisdom

Happy Hump day my lovely Lionesses!!

Welcome to the first edition of The Smart Lioness’ Wednesday Wisdom!! You can look forward to posts about the latest Psychological Research I’ve been reading, but in a way that’s super easy to digest and apply to your life!!

Today I’m going to be talking about some of the latest research on SEX! Yup! You read that right! Sex!! Sexuality is such an important topic of discussion today because there is SO much of it in the media and in our society as a whole. We have all heard the phrase, “sex sells” right? Sex DOES sell but we are selling more than we are educating and accepting the facts of sexuality today, especially, as it relates to women!

The University of Oxford did a study on sex and found that sex more often could actually “make you smarter.” This particular study, found that people who have sex MOST OFTEN scored higher on a test of cognitive abilities than the less sexually active group in the study. The people in this study also had “better verbal fluency” — meaning they were able to “name the most words or animals that started with the letter ‘F’ in one minute.” These research participants also did better on visual tests as well.

Over half of the participants (37) said that they have sex weekly, 26 of them reported having sex monthly, and 10 of the participants said that they never have sex.

The researchers of the study were unable to explain WHY these participants were performing better on these tests. “Maybe hormones like dopamine or oxytocin that are released during sex have something to do with it”, was one possibility that was mentioned. In addition, sex more often correlates to a more active life overall, which is connected to better brain functioning.”

However, there were some things to point out about the validity of this study. The study was small with only 73 individuals who participated. So, we can’t say that the study was big enough and included a sample that was representative of the population at large.

Which means we can’t DEFINITELY say that “sex once a week makes you smarter, but it doesn’t hurt!” And at the very least, more frequent sex can give you and your significant other more time to connect, and at the most it might just boost your brain power!” 

 

Source: “Science Just Gave Us Another Reason to Have More Sex,” Kasandra Brabaw; Refinery29

Self Care Sunday’s

Self Care Sunday’s

Lately I’ve been seeing a lot more on Instagram and in the media in general of the advocating for women to engage in more self care. This not only makes me incredibly happy but it’s catching on and becoming a trend to hashtag #selfcaresaturday or…