096 – Leaving Things Behind

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Our lives are works of art that sometimes look a lot more Goya than Rockwell. Like art, our lives are full of complexities, richness, and stories that are open to the interpretation of each individual who experiences them. Music and literature also share the fluidity of perception. Ink, paint, notes, life experiences…all true. You can see them, touch them, hear them, live them, but they’re not the complete story. They’re part of the whole that challenges each of us to discover what we need from them in the moment.

It can be tough, though, to see our past in these terms, as fluid. After all, the impact our past experiences have on us is, in this metaphor, the brush that defines the line or the pen that shapes each letter. The total sum of the parts makes us who we are: Yes!

But it’s ok to look again, with new eyes – more experienced eyes – and seek the deeper meanings. To find the symbolism of strength and resilience, of power and abundance. It’s ok, but sometimes not easy. Sometimes, the blocks are attachments that only keep you from shining your brightest.

Today, we are discussing what it means to redefine your story and how to handle the anxiety or fear that may show up when we realize that we need to leave some things behind in order to live into our new chapters. Sometimes, these are people, family or friends, and sometimes they’re habits or thoughts.

Whatever it is that seeks to keep you in a story that no longer serves you, we know how challenging it can be to let go. We hope you enjoy today’s episode and grab your copy of “Heal Your Soul: 5 Practices for an Empowered Life.”

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Have you ever consciously made a change that allows you to live more fully into a new version of yourself? What feelings came up when you knew you had to leave things behind that no longer serve you? Share your thoughts in the Comments below.

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095 – Prosecuting Your Abuser: An Interview with K.L. Randis

K.L. Randis

Trigger Warning: On today’s episode, we are talking to author K.L. Randis about her experience of child sexual abuse, domestic violence, and going through the process of prosecuting her abuser…her father. Please proceed at your own discretion if you think any of these subjects may be exceptionally difficult for you to hear at this time. It’s ok to wait to listen. Heck, a few years ago, we wouldn’t have been able to record this interview, so please take care of yourselves and honor where you are now.

That being said, we welcome the bestselling author of Spilled Milk, K.L. Randis, to the show today. Kelly penned the novel, Spilled Milk, based on her real-life experience of abuse at the hands of her father.

Kelly shares her pivotal moment of realization that her family situation wasn’t ok and wasn’t typical; this moment was her tipping point to healing and getting help. She is one of the few who went through the process of prosecuting her abuser after being given a safe space to speak of her abuse and to be heard and believed.

This is a tough, but necessary, discussion of how we can help create those safe conditions within our own families.

 

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In the Comments:

How can we, as members of society and our communities, help cultivate safe environments for kids to speak up and share if they are being abused? Share your thoughts in the Comments below.

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068 – Friendships: Open Up and Let ‘Em In

Photo by 4grandma

Photo by 4grandma

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Friendship isn’t always easy. It isn’t always easy to make friends, keep friends or get rid of friends (if you ever need to). Why do some of us have such a difficult time letting people get close to us while others make friends on a daily basis?

As we transition through life, some of us continue to function in survivor mode far longer than necessary to keep us safe. At some point, we realize that the walls we’ve built are keeping out all the good stuff, as well as the hurtful. There may be a lot of wreckage on the other side of those walls, but it’s never too late to start opening up and putting yourself out there, into the world of awesome people who probably already like you.

At the heart of most relationships, friendship included, is connection, respect, and trust. But you need more than feelings to keep your relationships healthy and flexible to the growth that (hopefully) you are both going to experience over the years; you need to work. To nurture your bond and keep it healthy.

There are so many layers of friendship. Whether you’re like Toni, who makes friends easily and warmly, or like Angela, who pushes people away when they get too close, there is a lot to understand about why we behave the way we do.

Please join us as we recall our struggles and successes in the murky world of friendship.

 

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 In the Comments:

What importance have you placed on friendship in your life? Share your thoughts in the Comments below.

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066 – The Resilience Factor: How to Bounce Back

Painful, stressful, life-altering events happen to all of us at some point in our lives. These traumas may last mere seconds or they may be part of your daily existence; they may be emotional, physical or acts of nature. You may be ambushed by these moments or they may be slowly building in intensity over years, decades even. The common thread? They change your life forever. The key to moving through them intact? Resilience.

Merriam-Webster dictionary defines resilience as, “An ability to recover from or adjust easily to misfortune or change.” Now, don’t misunderstand the “[easy]” part of that definition. “[Easy]” doesn’t mean that a person doesn’t feel pain, sadness or heartbreak. We can and should feel whatever emotions come up when dealing with changing circumstances (never miss your opportunity to grieve!).

Even if you don’t feel like you are currently resilient, fear not, friends, because resilience is not an inherent trait (at least it hasn’t been determined to be so as of this recording), which means you can learn skills that can help you bounce back a little easier.

In this episode, we share the most important factor for resilience in adults and, especially, children. We talk about the times in our lives when resilience takes a back seat to surviving and why that’s okay! We also quote some really great tips from the American Psychological Association on how you can begin practicing the action and mindset of resilience.

Please enjoy this super important episode and let us know what you think!

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 In the Comments:

Do you feel resilient? If yes, how did/do you employ resiliency in your life? Share your thoughts in the Comments below.

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054 – It Starts with One Voice: An Interview with JoAnn Buttaro

JoAnn Buttaro

JoAnn Buttaro

On this week’s episode, we are joined by date rape survivor-turned-activist JoAnn Buttaro. JoAnn shares her story of being raped by a predatory serial rapist who used Match.com to find his victims.

It started with one victim in Idaho speaking up about her rape and ended up in the conviction of the rapist and sentencing of life in prison. 11 women put this man in jail, together.

JoAnn didn’t stop there: she speaks to victim advocacy training groups, on college campuses and Take Back the Night events in hopes that it can help others heal.

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Have you ever been compelled to dedicate your life to something greater than yourself? Tell us about it in the Comments below.

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051 – Using His Voice to Empower Survivors: An Interview with Mike Pistorino

Mike Pistorino

Mike Pistorino

On today’s episode of Vagina Chronicles Podcast, we are thrilled to be speaking with motivational and keynote speaker Mike Pistorino.

Mike is a survivor of child rape. Like all stories of sexual abuse or rape, or any other pain perpetrated upon a child, his story is pretty hard to hear.

Trapped by the abuse and the rage it created within him, Mike turned to drugs, which led him to homelessness, crime, jail, and eventually federal prison.

After entering rehab and receiving help, Mike changed his life.

Since his shift toward healing, Mike has dedicated his life to empowering sexual abuse survivors and ending sexual violence. He speaks to teachers, students, law enforcement, church goers… anyone and everyone who needs to hear his message!

His voice is changing the world.

Please join us in this powerful and passionate conversation about using our voices and ending shame.

In this episode:

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027 – Who Do You Think You Are?!

eye-117043_640We’re back! After a little, bitty hiatus, we are ecstatic to return to the ears of our fabulous and patient listeners! We hope you enjoy our latest episode on self-image. After scraping the surface of this topic a bit back in our episode on how media can damage self-esteem and body image, we decided to dig a little deeper into this very important topic.

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The way we see ourselves affects many different aspects of our lives. It can fuel us through tough situations into success or it can hold us back from pursuing anything that we desire.

In this episode, we’ll share some of our experiences and offer advice on how to overcome a negative self-image. Spoiler: it may feel like you’re right when you think bad things about yourself (after all, who knows you best?!) but you’re wrong.

You’re all so smart and beautiful!

xoxo

Angela and Toni

Have you ever felt like you’re not good enough as you are? Have you overcome these thoughts and how did you do it? Please share your story in the comments below… you may just change someone’s life.

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