Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Healing Our Past:
An Inside Job

By Author,
Epiphany Toi Williams

My name is Epiphany Toi Williams and I am a Survivor of childhood sexual abuse. It has taken me many years to be able to say that, but now I can say it without fear. Writing my new book, Epiphany Rise, was an act of healing. It began as I was writing down my thoughts as part of my therapy. I now want to educate others and remove the stigma of getting help  for survivors of abuse.  In telling my story, I also hope to demonstrate the healing power of forgiveness. When you survive an abusive childhood, you can spend a great deal of your life running from the past before you are finally able to turn and confront it. I was very self-destructive most of my adult life. I had no control over my impulses.  I was numb. 

In order to understand my experience, I must go back to the very beginning. Everything innocent and pure was robbed from me at the age of 4 ½, when I was first abused, and it continued for the next seven years.  I was molested by my mother and other, family members, and raped by my mother’s boyfriend when I was 12 years old. 

I was born into a dysfunctional family.  My family believes you don't discuss things like mental illness. You don’t see a psychologist or a counselor, or get therapy. That sort of thing is taboo. I was expected to just "deal" with it. However, I believe the issues that have affected my childhood and adult life have been part of a long family cycle that needed to be broken, so let it start with me.

My teen years were very turbulent. So many things happened that left me broken, and longing to be free. I had built walls around my pain, and just wanted to be able to be like everyone else. But that didn’t happen.
The result of that abuse was terrible shame. It also resulted in psychological problems throughout my life – great fear, panic attacks, sleeping problems, nightmares, irritability, and outbursts of anger. I experienced shocked reactions to being touched, especially by a male.  Because of my trauma, I struggled with emotional demons for years. I knew the pain, the loneliness, the lack of trust, and all the other feelings that occurred from being abused.

For many years I thought I was okay. I thought I had made peace with it. I thought I could live my life like a normal person. For many years I put a smile on my face and pretended that I could forget it happened. I was not OK. Now I'm done being quiet, and I'm done pretending it didn’t happen. I know I've hit rock bottom on more than one occasion. I've cried myself to sleep and I know at times I have crumbled... but I did not fall. I set out to prove that I could heal. I am not a victim. I am a survivor.

The Truth is there are over 73 million children in the United States alone and of these thousands are abused every day. My book was written as a way to give a voice, my voice to some of the unspeakable things children suffer. There is nothing pretty about abuse, but there are ways to help those that are suffering now, or have suffered in the past.

There is healing in forgiveness. From Victim to Advocate, I have come full circle, but it has taken time. My story is not unique, but it is mine.

Excerpt page 210:

My newfound freedom came when I began to face my past and confront it head-on. I had to face the truth. I had no choice. I wanted to live. Instead of having pity parties and thinking my life was over, that I had failed and nothing good will ever happen to me, I begin to think like this: I’m hurt about my past, but I believe God will take care of me. And no matter what will happen, I will trust in God and be positive.

Start setting forth positive thoughts for your future and see yourself as you want to be. The universe will align for future events and circumstances to take place and please you. You don’t have to believe in God, but believe in a higher power greater than yourself that’s good, loving, and gentle. A power that will bring you peace of mind and set you free.~

Epiphany Rise * No More Secrets * There is healing in forgiveness. You can RISE…Just Let go. http://www.epiphanyrise.com

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Living Our Divine Essence

...& how it impacts our self image & life path...by Erika Matos


"The Sex & the City  Life = what by societal terms was ideal. Let me tell you, it was not as glamorous as many may think."



I was sick. Sick of my life. Sick of my friends. Sick of the men I was dating. Sick of the job I had. Yet everyday I found a way to cover up the pain. I had a drinking problem, frenemies galore, an unfulfilled love life, and a job that was sucking the life out of me and paying me handsomely for it, yet I was broke. My closet was full of beautiful things I could barely afford to present my fa├žade publicly, which after the first wear, looked like a waste of money and a big mistake. Who was I trying to impress? I bought into it wholeheartedly, but the glitz and glamour were deteriorating me slowly.  I was miserable.

One day while hanging out, I desperately gathered myself and went home. It was my turnaround moment. I wanted to be in the shelter of my home and away from all the toxicity I had allowed into my life. How did everything get so out of hand? A period of reflection followed. Hiatus was bliss. My inner guidance had kicked in, and I was willing to listen because I no longer wanted the life I was living.  I sobered up and much like an inquisitive seven-year-old, asking WHY?, was my starting point and my fuel. Why was I doing these things if they were not making me happy?

I had to strip down all the old ideas and nonsense and answer internal questions like:
Who are you? What is your purpose? How are you going to improve your life? The life of others? The planet? I needed a hand (these are the important questions after all) so I read self-help books, the Bible, the Bhagavad-Gita, and every text that would give me some insight as to what to do next. Yes, it was a spiritual revolution.

It was time for some serious house keeping. Letting go of people who were not lifting me to higher grounds was not easy. Learning to stop making excuses and overcome the life-long victim mentality was one of the most challenging parts. Understanding how to love myself unconditionally was the other. Then, the world opened up and anything was possible.

The moment of liberation happens when you no longer care what others have to say about you or what you do, because you know there’s something majestic and larger than life supporting your every action and giving meaning to your very existence. At that point, you know what your mission is, and you are determined to push forward by any means necessary. Gratitude supports you, and brings forth more blessings. Being happy is the only thing that matters.  Following a path that does not sustain your joy is unthinkable.

When we live from within, nothing from without can shake or stir us. When we are grounded in truth, we can trust our foundation to be the sturdiest and most reliable. When the inner void is filled, the material band-aids are no longer needed to determine worth or value.

Nowadays, I can be in rags, and still feel regal. My daily alcoholic drink has been replaced with my morning power smoothie. I ask “How may I be of service?” rather than “What’s in it for me?”. My attitude change has connected me with new amazing individuals, who are in synchronicity with my feelings, goals, beliefs and ideas, and who support me no matter what. I found a new job with a non-profit organization I am proud to work for and I also began my health education and life coaching business. I love what I do, and my job does not feel like work. Did I mention I am also in the most emotionally fulfilling relationship of my life? Oh, yes, happiness reigns these days.

After all my searching, it was simply about embracing the bigger picture. Basically, the world is much larger than my little self. I am still learning. There’s joy in every lesson, and a blessing around every corner. I am a proud representative of my Highest Power, and my goal is to teach others everything that I have learned. Spirit feeds me and what a feast it is! Bon Appetit.~

Erika Matos is a transformational agent, a certified health and nutrition educator, intuitive healer, and life coach helping people shift in the right direction by critically rethinking everything assumed to be true about what it means to be a happy, healthy, prosperous being. To learn more about her work visit http://www.realitymanifest.com



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