Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Do You Take Risks?

Are You A Risk-Taker? 

A few weeks ago I found myself caught up in the National Spelling Bee that was on television. While I know this doesn’t sound like it would be entertaining, it was actually rather fascinating and especially for someone like me who used to read the dictionary for fun. However, it brought back a memory from years ago when I myself was in a spelling bee (the one and only time)...and has been the inspiration for this blog. 

I was in fifth grade, which was probably one of the hardest years I spent in school. My parents were getting divorced, the church I so loved had asked my mother to leave because of the divorce, and everything I knew to be true in my life was turned upside down. As I replayed that memory in my mind, I was hit with a huge awareness…that spell bee was the last time I took a real risk.

Thirty years later? Let me explain more.

The spelling bee was set up into categories, or levels of difficulty and some of it was based on the grade you were in. My memory of the specific details is a wee bit fuzzy after all these years but the outcome of the spelling bee is something I have carried with me for almost thirty years. I only knew one word in the hardest category on the board, but I knew if I got that one word, I would win. How awesome would that be?

Now, as an adult I can look back on this situation and tell you all the reasons why my decision was not well thought-out, nor did I have a solid plan other than my ability to spell the one word I knew correctly. It was risky in every sense of the word. But my ten-year-old spirit had never heard of “calculated risks." She was a risk-taker. 

When I approached the stage, I was asked which category I wanted to pick from…with a mixture of pride and confidence I boldly selected the most difficult category, the category I knew my one word would be in. Congratulations. That was the one word I knew how to spell. And out of thousands of choices, I banked everything I had on the word congratulations.

Oh the irony…

I am sure I don’t really need to tell you that the word I got was not congratulations. I don’t recall what it was all these years later, but I do know it wasn’t what I had planned for. As an adult I can giggle at my naiveté and how silly it was to think that out of millions of words possible I would be so lucky to get the word congratulations.

However, as a ten-years-old little girl, I heard this confirmation about taking risks: congratulations you failed. I was embarrassed and defeated. I was never in another spelling bee, even though I love to learn new words. I never took another risk that I couldn’t control the outcome.

What can I learn from this awareness?

It is amazing to me, how an event like this has stuck with me all these years and deeply impacted my future reality. I had never really thought about why I was uncomfortable taking risks, I just knew I was. And now it all makes so much sense…the question I have to ask myself now: do I stay living in the past with a memory from thirty years ago or do I ditch the emotional baggage? 

As an adult I know this to be true…life is full of risks, some more calculated than others but at the end of the day, you have to be willing to risk it all if you want to live a life you love. Myself included. Are you ready? Let's do it!

Live boldly and unafraid, 
Sarah Michelle 

Author . Coach . Trainer . SpeakerAuthor of Tales of Fried Bologna: A Journey to Forgiveness

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Learning How to Love Unconditionally

Learning How to Love Unconditionally 

A few weeks ago I attended an event with one of my favorites, Sunny Dawn Johnston. The day was focused on healing and using the different modalities available to us, specific to the arch angels. But like most self-help, healing events such as these, there is always something more that comes to light. For me, it was the realization that I don’t know how to love unconditionally. Ouch.

For the past few weeks, I have sat with this new awareness in the pit of my stomach. I have experienced an array of emotions from a deep sadness to a seething anger at the one person I hold the most responsible for this missing skill in my life: my mother. A flash of past relationships, or shall I say, failed relationships fill my thoughts and further my emotions spiral. I can’t help but wonder if this condition contributed to the lack of love in my life. I am forced to take responsibility. And now, the next do I learn to love unconditionally?

Growing up my mother’s daughter came with its own set of unique conditions. I learned at a very young age not to rock the boat; being good meant survival. Being perfect though, meant I might earn the affection and love I was so desperate to receive from my mother. The last time I saw her, she stood in my kitchen, looked me up and down and said to me “Well you aren’t too overweight that you couldn’t stand to lose another five or so pounds.” I was 109 pounds and in the best physical shape of my adult life. I had finally gotten to her perfect weight on the scale and it still wasn’t good enough. I wasn’t good enough.

Today, I am left with the harsh reality that I am perfectionist in almost everything I do and living with my self is a real bitch somedays. Living up to my own ridiculous standards is nearly impossible for me, how do I expect another human being to do it?

I have spent hours rolling this around in my head…and now putting it into words helps me gain some much needed clarity. I like to fancy myself a bit of a hippie with the notion that the world should be full of love and everyone wearing flowers in their hair. To realize that I don’t really know how to love unconditionally is big blow to my ego.

I have thought about all the areas of my life that this impacts, and not in a positive way…like how I love myself, my body, my thoughts…if I am being honest, it is a big judgement-fest going on in my head, and all because of this deeply rooted need to be perfect…in the quest for the one thing I long for the most: unconditional love. Oh the irony…

In the dictionary the word “unconditional” means without condition; absolute. My curiosity wonders what the word absolute means: free from imperfections; complete. Perfect; free from restrictions or limitations. There is the answer I am looking for, and perhaps a better way to define what it means to love…without restrictions or limitations.

I know I am not the only one who feels the same way and I certainly know I am not the only one with a parent who rationed out the affection. We grow up in a world that places conditions and restrictions on nearly everything we do, feel, or imagine from our first breath to our last. We are taught to judge at a very early age… what is good or bad, pretty or ugly, too short, too tall, too fat, too skinny…we are taught to judge before we are taught how to love. And when we place judgement or restriction, we can’t help but stop the flow of love. To judge is a contradiction to the very essence of love.

I have two beautiful little dogs and when I think about them, it is pure joy. I miss them when they are not with me and I can’t stay mad at them for more than a few minutes, because as soon as I look at their sweet faces, my heart melts. The joy that they bring me is unconditional. They do not care if I am having a good day or a bad day…what I am wearing, how much I weigh, or how much money is my bank account. They are the very definition of absolute love. Perhaps I do know how to love unconditionally…just not another human being. But I am a work in progress.

While I am still learning how to apply my unconditional adoration of my sweet pups to another human, I have come to understand that love is a choice. And I am capable of making that choice. I am an adult and I get to choose what I define as beautiful, what is good or bad. I get to control the flow of love in my life.

I am tired of not receiving the unconditional love that surrounds me in all forms, because I am too obsessed with being perfect. I am tired of limiting the love I give because it doesn’t met a condition that was created by someone else. I am far from perfect and will likely never attain perfection in this human life. So why not just be? Be perfectly imperfect and in-love with life. Love is a choice. It’s the only choice.

Sending you much love,

Sarah Michelle
Author . Coach . Trainer . Speaker
Author of Tales of Fried Bologna: A Journey to Forgiveness

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Saying Goodbye to 2015

Saying Goodbye to 2015 

Saying goodbye is never easy and yet, as one year ends another begins with little we can do to stop it. It is outside of our control…along with much in life, it is outside of our control...but as a humans, that is the one thing we want to do. Control the outcome, the income…control what happens to us and around us. And it seems like the harder we try to stay in control, the more control we lose. At the end of the day, control is an illusion…

On August 30, 2015 I went through the worst nightmare I could ever imagine…my beautiful little dog Diego was viciously attacked by a dog we had rescued from the shelter three months prior. It was an average Sunday morning that turned my life upside down. In the days that followed, I was forced to surrender in ways I never thought possible.

Diego came into my life ten years ago at a very pivotal point in my journey…I was a broken person with little hope left. He is unconditional in all ways which has taught me how to love from deep down inside. Diego restored my faith in life…gave me hope and a reason to fight when all I wanted to do was give up. He has been my best friend for ten years…and I am still reeling from the heartbreak and the harsh reality that my choices nearly cost him his life. How could I ever forgive myself?

Two days following the surgery, Diego was not fighting off the infection from the dog bite wounds…the vets were concerned and told me in more than one conversation that “he was not out of the woods.” I stood in the middle of the pet emergency room with Dr. Guzman and had to ask the difficult question: am I doing the right thing? I did not want my little man to suffer…the ultimate test of love.

It’s been four months now and I am happy to report that Diego has done remarkably well in his recovery. It has been an adjustment for all of us…he is definitely a different dog since the attack but he is a fighter. I am in awe of his bravery and courage. Ten years later, he continues to be one of my greatest teachers.

In my human’ness, I can’t help but wrestle with the feelings of regret and anger…there isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t replay some portion of the attack in my mind. I think I have cried every day for the past four months, some days more than once. Is it possible to be grateful and angry at the same time?

As I type this, my sweet dog is lying on my lap napping peacefully…I am always happy to oblige when he wants to snuggle…and I am deeply grateful we still have these moments together. But when he struggles to breath or throws up for no reason, I am filled with fear, regret and anger. How could I let this happen? My sweet, beautiful boy…my only job was to protect him and I failed…miserably.

Back to my opening statement…control is an illusion. The most heartbreaking part of this story isn’t what happened to Diego but the fact I had no control over it…in the moments during the attack I was helpless. My screams fell on deaf ears, my physical strength was no match and there was nothing I could do to stop it. I have spent hours in the “coulda-shoulda-woulda” space…what could I have done differently? Why didn’t I do {insert a thousand different ideas here}?

Prior to this happening, I thought of myself as a strong person, someone capable of defending or protecting myself and those I care about. But when the moment came, I was helpless…I was not in control of anything. This has been a heartbreaking realization for me, in ways I can’t even begin to write about. I am delusional in the fact that I want life to be full of love and harmony…the smell of blood stayed with me for days. I would never survive in a war, and after months of beating myself up, I am finally able to say that is okay. I like being a lover, and I’ll leave the fighting up to those who can.

As I prepare to say goodbye to 2015, it is my hope by sharing this with you, I can begin to heal and move past this experience a better, kinder, stronger person. In order to forgive myself, I must find value in this experience.  I must learn more than I lost…as you have read, this has not been easy for me to do. In my need to control, I want to go back in time and have a re-do...but in reality, the only thing I can control is what I choose to learn and how I will become better for having lived through it.  

During the weeks that followed the attack, I was overwhelmed by hundreds of people who sent their love and support…some even sent money to help with Diego’s medical expenses. I had complete strangers reach out, including a teenage boy who goes to school with my nephew. He sent me the sweetest message via Facebook telling me that he was praying for Diego. The kindness and compassion we received still takes my breath away…to think ten years ago I felt no love, no hope…perhaps the greatest gift Diego could give me…to show me just how much love surrounds me, and how much support is available when asked for.  Perhaps this is the lesson. Perhaps this awareness is what makes me a better person. 

Happy New Year – much love and peace, Sarah Michelle 

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

If Money Were No Object, What Would You Do?

If Money Were No Object, What Would You Do? 

Last week I was invited to participate in a special two-day conference in beautiful Sedona, Arizona. As typical with an event like this, there were several industry speakers who shared relevant information, which of course, I found myself taking pages of notes (yes, I still take notes!) This was an intimate group, and in effort to break the ice, we were asked to share a little about ourselves and if money were no object, what would we do. Many people answered with travel or expensive purchases such as a professional football team or a private island. While those answers were all creative, one person’s answer stood out to me. If money were no object, she would buy time.

Time does seem to be an obstacle that many of us face…from a lack of enough time to complete our everyday tasks…to the evitable race against time, for the person who is facing a terminal illness with only weeks or days to live. The question, if money were no object, or perhaps we should ask it like this: if there were no limitations, obstacles or struggles in your way, what would you be capable of doing? What dreams would you pursue? Where would you travel? Who would you seek out?

Take a moment to dream…if money were no object, what would your life look like? Would you still be afraid? Would you still blame external obstacles for holding you back? Would you still be in the relationship you are currently in? Or would you take the chance, knowing you had something to fall back on?

In reality, you do not need a full bank account to start pursuing our dreams. You can begin right now, from the place you are. In reality, the only thing holding you back, the only obstacle in your life capable of stopping you from living a life of abundance…is you. (Ouch!) My mother used to say, “Where there is a will, there is a way.” Where there is a dream, a hope, a passion…a way will be made. All you have to do is dare to dream; dare to be wildly courageous in your pursuit. So what would you do, if money were no object?

Dare to dream,

Sarah Michelle 

Author . Coach . Trainer . Speaker

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Sexual Abuse: A Global Epidemic

Sexual Abuse: A Global Epidemic 

As a little girl, I grew up poor, living in a trailer with abusive parents. My mother is a closet alcoholic and my father was both physically and mentally abusive…my first stepfather was a dirty old man, who liked to watch me take a shower and gave inappropriate massages on a regular basis. I was sexually abused by my stepfather for several years and my mother did nothing to stop it.

I was scared and confused…and felt like I was all alone.

Yet, in the bleakest of times, I maintained a positive outlook on my situation. I believed that one day, I would grow up and get to tell my story. If I could change just one person’s life, then all the bad stuff that was happening, wasn’t happening without a reason.

So here I am…all grown up.

For years I lived in a silent hell, fighting off depression and suicidal tendencies. When I wrote my book Tales of Fried Bologna: A Journey to Forgiveness, it was the first time I spoke the truth about what had happened to me as a young girl. There is something to be said in the phrase, “the truth will set you free.” I broke the silence by speaking my truth, which opened the door for a new kind of freedom and peace, which I never believed would be possible for a girl like me.

As a teenager and a young adult, I blamed my stepfather for all my issues. I had blamed him for my failed relationships, my depression, my weight issues and my anger at the world. You name it, he was the be-all, end-all answer to every problem I have ever had. It took years of therapy but now I have forgiven him for what he did. For a long time, I hid the sexual abuse as a secret, only speaking of it in broken fragments of eluding riddles.

I lived in shame not because of what happened to me but because of how deeply it impacted me. I felt a tremendous amount of guilty for how bad I felt, and how I let those experiences shape my life choices. I discounted my own feelings because I was too embarrassed to compare my experience with a woman who had been raped or brutally tortured by her abuser.

What happened to me wasn’t that bad…so why did I feel so shitty?

What I had failed to see all those years was the truth behind my story…abuse begins the moment it violates your personal boundaries or compromises your safety, be that physical or emotional. While I understand why my stepfather did what he did, and even the choices my mother made, it does not make sexual abuse acceptable. Ever.

Yet, sexual abuse is an epidemic that knows no prejudice. Young girls have been the target of sexual abuse since the beginning of time. And it doesn’t matter if you are rich or poor, educated or not, sexual abuse happens daily, around the globe.

Even in the advanced world we live in today, young girls are being robbed of their innocence by someone they trust. And sadly, they live in a silent hell…only to grow up feeling ashamed, and afraid to seek help. The impact of sexual abuse leaves scars that are debilitating, and can lead to depression, addiction and sometimes death.

I know this, because I lived it.

Recently we have seen TV ads speaking out against domestic violence and a lot of attention has been given to the fact that most people suffering from depression never get the help they need.  I believe that in many cases of depression, the root of the emotion stems from some kind of abuse and in women, it is very often sexual abuse.

I know it is not a “trending” topic and it is not one that will be easy to address, but if we do not break the silence, sexual abuse will continue to happen to young girls all around the world and for generations to come. It took a lot of courage to tell my own story and there were many times while I was writing my book that I thought of quitting because I was afraid of what people would think about me, especially my family.

But beyond the fear, I had a deep-rooted hope; a hope that if I had the courage to tell my story, I would empower others to the same.

It should be unacceptable to allow anyone to suffer in silence, from any form of abuse. There are options, and there is hope for happy, healthy and fulfilling life. For me, happiness and peace came after I chose to forgive my parents. It was not easy and it took a 365 page book to do it, but it has been worth it. Just because I was a victim, didn’t mean I had to remain a victim the rest of my life. I had a choice; we all have a choice.

It is my hope, by continuing to share my story, I will educate young girls and women that they have options; they too have a choice. They do not have to remain a victim, but rather can live a life of abundance. I know I cannot stop sexual abuse from happening, but I believe by sharing my story, I can shine a much needed light onto this epidemic. If we all speak out, collectively we can make a difference. If you or anyone you know is currently in danger, please reach out to your local police department or the Department of Child Safety

Break the silence.

Sending you much love,

Sarah Michelle
Success Coach . Trainer . Author . Speaker

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Who Says You Can’t Do It?

Who Says You Can’t Do It? 

This image strikes a chord with me, especially since I can relate to the artist on so many levels, including our shared family struggles and attempt at suicide. His 2002 hit, Lose Yourself was a personal mantra for many years. “Mom, I love you but this trailer’s got to go. I cannot grow old in Salem’s Lot, so here I go. It’s my shot, feet: fail me not. This may be the only opportunity that I got.”

Listening to this song makes me want to get up and go do something freaking awesome. Still, even all these years later and after listening to it a thousand times, sometimes over and over. Who says you can’t do it?

Like Eminem and countless others we have been told we can’t. You aren’t good enough. You aren’t smart enough. You don’t come from the right background. You aren’t tall enough. You are a woman. You are a man. You are too young. You are too fat. You aren’t the right color. The list goes on and on…

“You’ll never amount to anything, but a loser just like your father.” I heard this statement many times as a young girl. My mother. It took me twenty-five years to understanding or accept that at the time, she thought she was doing the right thing by saying this to me. Perhaps not; perhaps she was just an asshole. Either way, it inspired me to prove her wrong. And when the opportunity came, I moved away from the trailer park. “This is my shot: feet fail me not.”

Who says you can’t do it? Whether it is your mom, your dad, or your partner, your boss or a teacher, I challenge you to do it anyway. Life will give you exactly what you ask for, if you are willing to take the chance on yourself. The only person you need to believe, is you. “Success is my only mutherf*ckin’ option – failures not.”

Peace and Love,

Sarah Michelle 
Success Coach . Trainer . Author . Speaker

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

When Anxiety Strikes

When Anxiety Strikes

When anxiety strikes, it can be overwhelming and debilitating. An attack can last a few hours, a few days and in some cases even longer. I have personally experienced some form of anxiety for weeks at a time. It’s exhausting…and recently I found myself consumed by the pounding heart-beat, the irrational thoughts and the overwhelming need to run far-far away. Anxiety had struck.

Currently anxiety disorders are among the most common mental health issues in the U.S. and studies report that one out of five people are suffering from anxiety. That means several of you (besides me) that are reading this blog, may be impacted by the effects of anxiety…right now.

Tons of research has been done by doctors and scientists as to why or what causes the variety of anxiety. When anxiety strikes, it can be GAD (general anxiety disorder), OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder), panic attacks, PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) or social anxiety. Years ago I was diagnosed with GAD (general anxiety disorder), which at the time I was grateful to finally have a label or a reason why I felt so emotionally shitty, all the time. But when the “coolness” wore off, I was even more depressed about being labeled with a mental disorder.  

Anyone who has suffered from an anxiety attack can probably relate to the following…when anxiety strikes, I have described it as a black hole with no beginning, no end…it is a free-falling emotional spin-out in total blackness. For me, it was hard to recognize the “trigger” points, especially when the best advise the doctor had, was to reduce my stress…what?!?!! How does a person who is always stressed and who actually operates better under stress, reduce their stress??? As a high-type A personality, stress is what I thrive on!

So what can be done when anxiety strikes? If you want to do your own research online, you will find plenty of great articles with easy and relevant suggestions to help reduce the effects of anxiety. These are a few of tips I have found helpful for me…

Alternative medicine: I am a big fan of non-traditional or alternative medicine. At one point I was prescribed 100mg of Zoloft to control my anxiety. When it wasn’t working and I felt more like a zombie than a real person, I quit cold turkey. Now I don’t suggest this route, as it was pretty physically brutal and completely against medical recommendation. But I was on a mission to find a better, healthy alternative. Here are a few that I love…

Lavender has a natural calming benefit.  A few drops on a cotton swab or over my heart chakra helps me calm down and remember to breath. I have even put lavender oil on my pillow case before bed at night.

A piece of clear quartz crystal is soothing and grounding. I like to hold a piece in my hand and rub it back and forth, across the palm of my hand and fingers. Quartz is known as the “master healer” which provides protection and helps clear away negativity.

Chamomile is another great choice for slowing down the racing thoughts and calming the mind. Chamomile soaps are great for baths and if you like tea, there are plenty of options available.

Eat comfort foods:  I know that some of you may disagree with me on this idea, however there is something wonderful about losing yourself in a food that brings you comfort. And I am not talking about the cliche "pint of ice cream"…I mean your favorite recipe that your Grandmother gave you or a special dish that reminders you of a happier time. The very word “comfort” is exactly what it should bring you. When anxiety strikes, it is far from comfortable so fill your insides with something that makes you feel good. On an additional note, I am also a big fan of taking vitamins. A good multi-vitamin and a B complex can go a long way when anxiety strikes. Take some time to research what is a good vitamin for you. It doesn’t have to be the most expensive bottle on the shelf either. I personally love the multi-vitamin for women from Hi-Health.

Drink plenty of water: while a bottle of wine might sound far better than a bottle of water in the midst of an anxiety attack, alcohol actually adds to the problem (insert sad face here). I know, I love my wine too, but I am also a big advocate of staying hydrated with water (not soda or juice)…we are supposed to take in at least sixty-four fluid ounces of water per day. Yikes! That seems like a lot of water, right? Staying hydrated keeps our skin looking young, helps our organs operate properly and some studies have found that water can change our emotional outlook. I was given a set of Water Affirmations which are coasters for my desk. Each of them have a beautiful image with a word like “healthy” or “peace” and every day when I am sitting at my desk, I put my glass on top of the card. Call me crazy, but I do notice a difference in the way the water tastes and how I feel drinking it. 

Mix things up with fresh squeezed lemon slices, sprigs of mint or spices like ginger and cinnamon, which has been known to help with healthy blood-flow of the heart. I love to slice a cucumber and add it to my water. I have a beautiful hand-blown glass pitcher which is perfect for “spa water” as I call it. An hour in the refrigerator and it is amazing! The water tastes refreshing and makes me feel like I am spending the afternoon at the spa – and who doesn’t love a day at the spa??

If you feel like crying, let it out: you don’t really need to know why you are having an anxiety attack when it is happening, and trying to avoid the process is only going to prolong the agony. Sometimes crying is a part of what we need to experience when anxiety strikes. Instead of trying to choke back the tears, let them out! A good cry…and when I say a good cry, I mean the kind of cry that leaves you limp and reaching for a box of tissue to wipe away the snot…can be cathartic, both emotionally and physically. Some of you reading this are probably rolling your eyes right now…as a recovery control freak, I get it. We don’t like to cry and we will do anything within our power to avoid feeling vulnerably enough to cry. My mother taught me that crying meant weakness. But this is not my mother’s blog and I am here to give you permission to cry…let it out and then let it go.

Separate fact from fiction: I learned this technique from one of my favorite therapists, Judy. She taught me how to step back and identify what was fact or real in the situation and what was fiction or non-fact. It’s not easy to do at first but with practice and a commitment it can be done. In the past, when I felt an anxiety attack coming on due to a specific circumstance or situation, and I applied this tool, I was able to shift from an emotional spin-out to a calm, rational state-of-mind. Most of, or well, wait…all of what we feel in our bodies is directly related to the emotion we attach to the thought. If we can identify what is real, tangle facts verses the made-up shit in our head, then we can change the outcome or in other words, eliminate the anxiety attack.

GET UP! I know, I know…this is a hard one; even I cringe a little as I type this. But it has been documented that physical activity helps reduce anxiety. Now that doesn’t mean you need to buy a new pair of running shoes but what it does mean is GET UP...out of bed, off the sofa and move your body. Take a shower…do your make-up…put on your favorite pair of jeans…leave the house. Wallowing in your emotional hell is not the answer. Go for a walk…pull some weeds…listen to heavy metal really loud…whatever it is, just GET UP!!!!

Stop judging yourself: I think I saved all the reaalllyyy hard ones for last! This is another one that kicks my own ass too. Judging is one of the first things we are taught as a small child, so it’s really hard to wrap our brains around this one. But just like we want to stop judging others, or want others to stop judging us…we also need to stop judging ourselves. If you feel like crap, it’s okay. It doesn’t mean that you are going to feel like crap every day for the rest of your life. If you make a mistake, it doesn’t mean you are a bad person, it means you are human (and I type this with my finger pointed at myself!). Be kind to yourself and trust the flow of life. Everything is always happening for the highest good…always.

Don’t hide – talk about it: I am guilty of this one and actually used to pride myself of how well I could hide my anxiety and depression. “Never let them see you sweat” was a personal mantra…while I was deeply suffering in a silent emotional prison cell, a part of me was desperate for someone to wrap their arms around me, and tell me everything was going to be okay. But that is pretty hard to do when no one knows what you are going through. I get it, it’s embarrassing to come clean with our emotional baggage…especially if you are like me and the whole world believes you have everything in check.

Medical studies have found that physical contact with another human can help when anxiety strikes. So there is something to be said for needing a hug…I will be the first to tell you that your friends and family want to help you. They want to be there for you; they do not want to see you suffer in silence. The more you talk about what you are feeling, the less power it has over you…the truth will set you free. Emotional pain is like a cancer that literally starts to eat us from the inside out, and sometimes that is exactly what an anxiety attack can feel like. I know it is easier, or so we think to hide in bed when anxiety strikes but in reality, what we really need is a great big bear hug from someone who loves us…everything really is going to be okay.

Sending you much love,

Sarah Michelle 
Success Coach . Trainer . Author . Speaker
Author of Tales of Fried Bologna: A Journey to Forgiveness