Rachel Grant Coaching

November 24, 2014

How to Cope with Eating Through the Holidays -Part 2

This week, we continue our series with the wonderful Kristen Kancler in which she shares with us how we can be SAFE around food. If you missed last week's post, check it out here.  

Also be sure to check out her free gift, “6 Simple Recipes to Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth – Without Sugar!”

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Navigating Trigger Situations

Thanksgiving, the most notorious day for overeating, is just a few days away. And with it, the holiday season will be official.

Whether you’ll be hosting for others, traveling to them, dining with dozens of family members, or celebrating solo, chances are you’ll be faced with a multitude of emotions.

Perhaps you’ll feel joy and excitement. Maybe stress and overwhelm. Maybe sadness.

For many of us, and survivors of sexual abuse in particular, these emotions can trigger a compulsion to eat. And you end up feeling out of control, seeking comfort from your food.

In my first post of this series, I shared one of the most powerful things you can do to feel balanced and in control.

But being in control isn’t just about knowing what to eat. It’s also necessary to look at why you’re eating. What’s going on that you’re turning to food for comfort?

These answers are deeper inside; they’re underneath your cravings.


A large part of the work I do with my clients is helping you get in tune with your emotions on an ongoing basis so that you’re actually in the world differently and able to move through situations with grace and ease.

But I think the most powerful tip I can give you right now is for how to deal with the in-the-moment trigger situations.

After looking closely at how I’ve successfully navigated my own trigger situations, I came up with a 4-step process (plus an acronym to help you remember it):

This is my SAFE – which is great because that’s what you most need to feel when you’re triggered.
 

Step 1: S = Surroundings

Change them. Pull over the car. Get out of the kitchen. Step outside. Changing your environment snaps your brain out of the one-way train it was on and suddenly has to take in new input from new surroundings. The first thing you need to do to interrupt the pattern is change your surroundings. 

Step 2: A = Arrive

Be in the new space. Take a minute just to land, and get present. This is really a crucial step. 

Step 3: F = Feel

Allow yourself to feel what’s there. What just happened? What’s going on? How are you feeling? Are you angry? Disappointed or stressed? This is the thing you’re wanting to eat over. And sometimes just naming the emotion can be a huge relief. 

Step 4: E = Explore

Ask yourself: “What do I really need?” (And I’ll give you a hint: it’s not a cookie). Maybe you need to take a deep breath. Maybe you need to have a good cry. Maybe something really upsetting just happened. Maybe you need to laugh – you’ve been stressed all day and need some lightness in your life. Take 2 minutes to yourself. More if you can.

 

It makes all the difference going through this process, getting out of the triggered moment and tapped in to your emotions.

A lot of the women I work with have disconnected from their feelings. They brush them aside, laugh them off, or put on a front because it’s scary and uncomfortable to feel what’s really going on inside.

But here’s something that I really want you to get: the only thing your feeling wants is to be felt. So when you brush it aside or bury it, it doesn’t go away, it gets stronger.

And you have to eat more and more to keep it quiet. That’s why it’s so important to feel your feelings. So you can move through them and let them go.

One of my clients came to me feeling stressed and overwhelmed at work. She didn’t feel confident and she found that she was triggered and turning to food to calm herself down.

She started practicing the SAFE exercise as a tool to deal with things in the moment. She started to feel more in control, which was great! And then we did an exercise (which I’ll share with you in my next post) to find where the lack of confidence and overwhelm originated from. We discovered that it went back to an incident when she was really young, and the thing that was missing in her life was play!

So she started painting on the weekends and found that it opened her mind, sparked her creativity, and her flow.


She was able to tap in to her intuition, learn to trust herself, and let go of trying so hard to prove herself all the time.

Her life opened up in an entirely new way and she felt more confident than she had in years. And doing that released her need to turn to food because she wasn’t stressed out all the time.

She was able to bring balance to her life and trust that she has all the answers she needs inside.

Healing emotional eating is a layered process. There are many aspects to it. Some great places to start are by balancing your body with these 3 steps, trying some of my favorite recipes (download my free e-book, “6 Simple Recipes to Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth – Without Sugar!”) and following my SAFE process when you’re triggered.

With these tips, you can have a completely new – and empowered holiday season.

In my final post next week, I’ll be diving into self-sabotage. You’ll learn what’s really happening – and what you need to do to finally follow through and transform your relationship with food and your body. Stay tuned!


To get your copy of “6 Simple Recipes to Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth – Without Sugar!” go to www.kristenkancler.com and be sure to come back next week to learn more!



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Kristen Anne Kancler is an Emotional Eating Expert and the founder of “Your Delicious Life,” a one-on-one program for women who daydream about how fabulous they’ll feel once they get their eating under control but end up on the couch with a pint of ice cream.

By getting to the root of what creates your sabotaging patterns, she works with you, personally, to help you put down the spoon… wave goodbye to “I’ll be better tomorrow”… and say, “YES!” to a delicious life – today.

Former Health and Wellness Editor for Glam Media, graduate of UC Santa Barbara and the Natural Gourmet Institute for Health in Manhattan, and reformed pastry chef, Kristen is a role model for healthy eating and living a delicious lifestyle.

After struggling with diets, compulsive eating, and sugar addiction for 20 years, she finally found the answers she needed to find peace with food, feel healthy in her body, and fall deeply and sweetly in love with her life.

November 18, 2014

How to Cope with Eating Through the Holidays -Part 1

Oh man, am I ever excited to be bringing this next series to you! Written by the fabulous Kristen Kancler, who is not only an amazing woman, but also a gifted and caring Emotional Eating Expert. I know you are going to get so much from what she has to share with us! Be sure to check out her free gift, “6 Simple Recipes to Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth – Without Sugar!”

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Nourishing Your Body (With Food and Love)

As someone who struggled with food and her body for 20 years, I know how difficult it is to eat healthy and feel good – especially during the holidays. My desire is for you to enter the holiday season feeling empowered that you can enjoy the holidays feeling healthy and vibrant!

I’ve put together some of the tips and mindset shifts that have helped me the most, and that have helped my clients with their own transformations. May they serve you, too.

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My eating disorder began immediately after the abuse.

Feeling completely out of control, I focused on the one thing I knew I could control: what I ate.

I started eating like a bird and looking at my belly every day in the mirror, judging how I felt about myself by how small my waist was. It started out innocently enough, I just wasn’t eating much for a while. I was pretty thin to begin with, just 12 years old, so I didn’t have much weight to spare. The smaller I got, the better I felt.

But I remember looking in the mirror one day and saw that I was the thinnest I had been since this whole thing began. And instead of feeling excited as I usually did – I felt terrified. I was shocked at what I saw in the mirror.

“Wait a second – I just wanted to lose a few pounds… I didn’t want to be dangerously thin.”

 
I remember, quite vividly, heart racing, running out to the kitchen, throwing myself on the floor, and opening the cupboard.

“EAT,” I told myself.

I found a box of Triscuits and shoved a few in my mouth. But to my dismay, I couldn’t eat more than that. I had no appetite. I thought I would be starving for food, but it repulsed me.

And somewhere, hidden just underneath the fear and disappointment, was a glimmer of joy. A very twisted joy. The realization hit that I had full command of my body – and of my ability to punish and starve myself.

Something was born in me at that moment: I learned how to hate myself.


I felt powerful. In control.

I continued to starve myself until I broke, about a year later. What followed were 20 years of bulimia, dieting, and compulsive eating, trying desperately to not eat, binging when I couldn’t go on, and purging any way I could.

My journey to healing was a long one, with many twists and turns along the way. I did a lot of inner work with psychiatrist, psychologists, therapists, and holistic healers.

Over time, I began to love myself, slowly but surely. I stopped a lot of my destructive behaviors: binge drinking, smoking, drugs… I started caring for myself more, and being good to my body.

But the one thing I didn’t seem to be able to do was to eat well. I tried to eat healthier. I tried being vegan and vegetarian, I tried eating more salads, I ate low-fat/low-calorie foods, and I tried any diet I could get my hands on to get my food under control.

It wasn’t until I cleaned up my diet and discovered how to balance my blood sugar that everything started to fall into place. And once I learned about my body’s physiology, and how dieting was setting me up to fail, I was finally free from the destructive cycles of binging and hating myself.

Balancing your blood sugar is one of the most powerful things you can do for yourself. And as you enter the holidays, when cravings and binges can get out of control, it’s more important than ever.

Here’s how to bring your body into balance in 3 simple steps:
 

1.    In every meal and snack, be sure to include:

Quality protein (meat, fish, chicken, turkey, Greek yogurt)
Healthy fats (avocado, extra virgin olive oil, nuts, seeds)
Complex carbs (whole grains – brown rice, quinoa, whole wheat, fruits and veg)

2.    Eat every 3-4 hours

3.    Distribute your calories equally throughout the day

These 3 things are critical – and, this is a guideline. The specifics are different for each person depending on your tastes and preferences, needs, and what your body responds to. For some delicious recipes to get you started, download my free e-book, “6 Simple Recipes to Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth – Without Sugar!”

When I work with my private clients, I give customized recipes to help you nourish your body, balance your blood sugar, and feel in control. We see how your body responds by having you really tune in and connect to your body and your intuition.

For one of my clients, this is one of the most transformational things we’ve done together. She came to me addicted to sugar, feeling trapped and burdened.

One of her biggest goals in working with me was for her body to start craving healthy food. She said that would be a miracle.

After working together for just a couple of months, eating healthy, balanced meals, and experiencing a remarkable shift in her relationship with food and her body, in one of our sessions, she said, “I feel like a grown up eating good and on purpose and I want to!”

Her sugar cravings are gone and she’s released about 25lbs so far.

But the freedom she now has to make healthy choices that are aligned with her goals and what she wants for herself and the healthy lifestyle she’s embraced, has given her an ease and lightness that she brings to her entire life.

To get your copy of “6 Simple Recipes to Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth – Without Sugar!” go to www.kristenkancler.com and be sure to come back next week to learn more!



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Kristen Anne Kancler is an Emotional Eating Expert and the founder of “Your Delicious Life,” a one-on-one program for women who daydream about how fabulous they’ll feel once they get their eating under control but end up on the couch with a pint of ice cream.

By getting to the root of what creates your sabotaging patterns, she works with you, personally, to help you put down the spoon… wave goodbye to “I’ll be better tomorrow”… and say, “YES!” to a delicious life – today.

Former Health and Wellness Editor for Glam Media, graduate of UC Santa Barbara and the Natural Gourmet Institute for Health in Manhattan, and reformed pastry chef, Kristen is a role model for healthy eating and living a delicious lifestyle.

After struggling with diets, compulsive eating, and sugar addiction for 20 years, she finally found the answers she needed to find peace with food, feel healthy in her body, and fall deeply and sweetly in love with her life.

November 11, 2014

A Beyond Survivor's Story: Poetic Healer and Spiritual Survival-Part 3

This week, we finish our series with poet, author, and survivor, Dolores Miller.

I hope you have been touched and inspired by this Beautiful Warrior! 

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While studying spirituality, I have opened my mind to all religions and philosophies throughout time and regardless of how each refers to its God. If someone needs my help, I don’t have to know what religion he or she is. I’ll respect another person’s beliefs just as I expect him or her to respect mine. The important thing is to get to the truth by every means possible. People have to have courage to face what they fear. Courage and perseverance to stay on the path of healing are imperative. I believe I can help people find their courage and that I can support them in working towards a truthful solution.
 

I developed an attitude of never giving up no matter what. After I healed, I had more compassion for others. It’s part of what is called post-traumatic growth. A person who goes through a difficult situation and survives is re-formed. I feel a calling to share what I have accomplished with others, a calling to minister to their pain and get them past all that holds them back the way my therapist and others helped me.

To learn more about ministry, I am in the second year of study with the American Institute of Theology and Philosophy. I’m taking a five-year course. Just as Emily Dickinson and Edgar Allan Poe are my favorite poets, I am drawn to individual theologians and ministers I have encounter in my studies. One is Dr. Wayne Dyer, whose philosophy is to have faith in the universe and to be positive. Another is Rabbi Harold Kushner’s book, “When Bad Things Happen to Good People,” written at the time the rabbi’s three-year old-son was diagnosed with a degenerative disease.
 

There was a time I was angry at God. I would write Him long letters expressing my disgust at unfairness, injustice, and the pain of getting through some passages in life. I wrote a poem called Dance of Anger that railed against injustice and advocated fighting for the truth. Rabbi Kushner’s book helped me regulate my feelings. It counseled to be strong. It also said anger is okay and that it is natural to question God.
 

I can also be positive by showing how I thrive as a survivor, by talking about strength and determination, about fighting and acknowledging, and about developing the courage of a warrior.

Concentrating on how to be positive keeps things calm in personal relationships. I tend to speak my mind. By thinking before I speak, I can take a more positive approach to a situation. I don’t have to be scolding or angry. I can present a matter in a way that is considerate and leads to healing rather than bruised feelings or bitterness.

My involvement with The Support Center for Child Advocates began as suddenly as my writing did.

Twelve years ago, as I was thinking seriously about how to direct my anger in a positive way, I drove down 19th Street in Philadelphia and saw the Child Advocates building. I had passed it many times, but on this day it caught my attention. I felt that getting involved with an organization that helped children who find themselves in situations like mine, or in situations worse than mine, was the move I had to make.

I called the Child Advocates office and told my story and how I survived the memories of abuse and the feeling that I would go insane from it, or even end my life. I also asked how I could help.

I was told how my support could help get children out of houses where they were unsafe, how it could help get lawyers to fight custody and other battles a child cannot do, how I can help make lawmakers aware of the extent of sexual and other forms of abuse — all abuse — and advocate for stricter laws and longer jail sentences for people who severely harm children physically and psychologically.

Nonprofit organizations need people who will take a leadership role. I was ready

to step in and do anything I was asked. The work of Child Advocates is so important. It’s not only dear to my heart. It concentrates on the exact things I want to accomplish to keep children from danger and to deter child abuse and the trafficking of human beings.

I am involved with other groups, such as Adult Survivors of Sexual Abuse and the Million March Against Child Abuse (MMACA). I have worked to get Erin’s Law and Dominic’s Law passed in Pennsylvania. Both of these laws increase the consequences and penalties of child abuse.

Each year, Child Advocates has several events to spread awareness of its mission and raise funds to continue it. Their missions is "To advocate for victims of child abuse and neglect with the goal of securing safety, justice, well-being and a permanent, nurturing environment for every child."   In addition to helping the Support Center for Child Advocates in planning for their reception and auction, I ask friends to buy advertising in the event program, to donate a high-end good or service, and to buy a ticket and attend. More information can be learned by going online to www.advokid.org or calling 267-546-9200.

Other Child Advocate initiatives that ask the public for wide support are a golf tournament and a toy drive, in which I play a big part by asking my friends to donate toys for children who may otherwise go without holiday presents.

While poetry remains my main form of expression, I always write essays, but I find myself writing more in prose than previously.

I am also writing a book about a childhood friend of mine, Anthony, who passed away from cancer at age 22. Anthony and his sister, Mary Anna, represent the good things that happened as I was growing up. Anthony was three years younger than Mary Ann and me, but he would stay with us as we played. I would go to Anthony’s and Mary Ann’s every day. I practically lived there. We played school and other games. My mother made nun’s outfits for Mary Ann and me, and we would put them on and make Anthony our pupil.


I was sad to learn that at age 19, Anthony was diagnosed with bone cancer. He lost a leg before he succumbed to the disease when he was 22. I couldn’t go to the funeral. I was too upset. I visited Mary Ann and her parents, but we were all so devastated.

I wanted to write about the good part of my childhood. I also felt Anthony’s spirit during my healing. He has become an angel to me, and I want to tell the story of a good person who had a sad end.

One touching part of Anthony’s last days was his marriage. He was dating girl, a young woman, before he became ill. She stayed with him through the years that led to his death. A few days before he died, she married him. I think that is love.

Love is one of my healing messages. I am sincere in wanting to help others to face dilemmas parallel to mine. I believe I was able to overcome my ordeal so I can be of use to others.
 

I got through it all and when the memories of sexual abuse came to me, all of the therapy, all of the negativity, all of the fear, including the biggest ones of insanity or suicide, I can lead others towards the same positive resolution.

I am a happy woman now. I can get angry over the past, but I know I have something even better, a present AND a future. Rather than being lost in the pain I suffered decades ago, I can enjoy my children, my son and daughter, Larry and Michele, who stood by me and wrote me letters of encouragement when I was in a state of mental torture. I can enjoy their children, my Ella and Lilly and Victoria and Alex, who entertain me so wonderfully and show me the joy of an untainted childhood. Most of all, I can continue the great relationship I have with my husband, Larry, who did all he could to bring me to where I am today and never wavered in his support or love.
 

Nothing can scare me now. I have faced every category of fear and conquered it. As I’ve said and will keep saying, truth is the key. People who fool themselves or say everything is all right when they know it isn’t suffer needlessly. They only have to confront the truth, and they will heal. It may take time and perseverance, but they will heal, as I did.
 

To help others, I will write, speak to groups, and be active with others who want to make life better in general. I was healed by truth, combined with faith and the love of my family and the warrior spirit. If I can help one person find my contentment and happiness, I am here to provide that help.


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Dolores M. Miller is a poet and author living in Philadelphia, PA. Dolores lives with her Knight in Shining armor, Larry, and together they have two grown children. Their four grandchildren are a source of joy and inspiration.


Dolores is a compassionate, giving and loving person. In her writing she strives to convey the message of the human spirit to overcome adversity, see the beauty of nature and know God’s healing love.

Dolores is also grateful for having had parents who adopted her out of a horrific situation. She is a survivor of childhood abuse. She says “there are so many children who are in abusive homes for most of their lives. Making a difference through my work is rewarding and a source of beauty, love and healing for the community… and the world”.

 The Support Center for Child Advocates has a special place in her heart. For all the children committed to the care of Child Advocates, they work to ensure safety, health, education, family permanency and access to justice.

Each book sold, benefits the Support Center for Child Advocates of Philadelphia. The Support Center for Child Advocates provides legal assistance and social service advocacy to abused children. The mission of Child Advocates is to advocate for victims of child abuse and neglect in Philadelphia with the goal of securing a permanent, nurturing environment for every child. They seek to protect children by securing social services, finding alternative homes and helping them testify in court against their abusers.
 

Dolores dreams of a better world and strives to make a difference, especially in the lives of children. Dolores was adopted out of a terrible situation and she can’t imagine living her entire life in that environment. Child advocates seeks to better the lives of those in danger.
 

By purchasing books from the Beautiful Warrior you are providing support to the children and those in need – allowing Dolores to continue in her great works. Books may be purchased through www.beautifulwarrior.com, Amazon.com, or Barnes and Noble.

November 3, 2014

A Beyond Survivor's Story: Poetic Healer and Spiritual Survival-Part 2

This week, we continue our series with poet, author, and survivor, Dolores Miller.

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“Quiet Desperation” reveals several themes that appear throughout my written work— the quest for truth, the concept of boundaries, the limits of which need to be tested, the suffering people live with because it’s so difficult to face it, the idea of helping others, and a spiritual message that involves prayer.
 

Writing became the catalyst that let me explain all I had been through and was going through. Even now, I observe something, and an image emerges. Words come. It happened recently when I saw a woman who looked comfortable enough but who had a miserable expression on her face and was obviously looking down at the people around her. I thought, "She's a snow queen," and wrote a poem about the cold in her heart and my hope that it thaws so she can enjoy and appreciate her life and the people around her.

Truth is where I aim. My poems are a means for me to get to the truth about my experience and what it took to heal from it.

I've learned the truth of a situation may be negative, but not all has to be expressed negatively, that it's better when you reach a plateau of understanding and can use the truth in a positive way.

The objective is to get past the hate and the hurt and move on with life. I went through 20 years off and on when I believed I would go insane or it would have been easier to die because the pain and rage and other emotions hurt so much.

I keep pushing forward. With all this going on I still pushed to be a good mom. I wrote a letter to my children, my son and daughter, telling them how hard I know it must have been for them when I could barely get out of bed, when I took them places but had to retreat to my car to be alone and fight my battle, when I was fighting fatigue, and was so scared about the toll my struggles might take. I cried. I screamed. I went through an array of emotions. The healing process is not easy, but it must begin. I had total support from my husband and children. Like a true warrior, I never gave up. I had a good therapist who, now that she’s finished working with me professionally, has become a friend. But I needed to deal with what happened when I was a child. I needed to admit to myself all that I’d hidden from myself for 30 years. Writing was one means towards that.
 

Another was anger. Anger is a form of truth. It’s a reaction to truth. It was another thing that I had to get past to heal completely. It was also a motivator. It was anger and betrayal I had to express most, and one of the first lessons I learned was emotions are nothing you should be afraid of no matter how strong or painful they are and how they manifest themselves. Men are taught they shouldn’t cry. Women are taught they should control emotions and not show them. Both are wrong. You should deal with any emotion that comes to you. Eventually you have to find a way to take the emotion and make it positive, working on your behalf. Face the truth and move on, and you’ll be happier and stronger.
 

Confronting fear is one way I healed. I am afraid of nothing now. I went through anger, hurt, and sadness. By persevering, I was able to accept what happened and move on. Letting go and moving is for the survivor’s sake. It will never change what happened to me or make it ‘OK’, but one must go forward.

MY healing process not only started my writing, but it increased my spirituality. Faith helped me immensely in getting past memories that were sometimes paralyzing.
 

I believe angels, and particularly St. Michael the Archangel, helped me deal with my experience. I even saw St. Michael once. I remember his gold wings with the silver tips. I would feel him with me a number of times. I believe it was St. Michael who made it so I could suppress my horror at being abused until I could deal with it as an adult. Out of love, and with no knowledge of the abuse I suffered, my parents adopted me. I went on to have a happy childhood with my new Daddy and Mommy, and I never had to express any sad or negative thoughts because they came much later. When they came, they were like boulders on my heart, but I was older and had more understanding, and I had people around me who supported me in my delicate mental state.
 

Part of healing is getting to be happy within your own being. Dr. Carter, my psychologist, and I began and continue to sign correspondence with four A’s that have become a symbol and a bond between us. The A’s stand for Admiration, Affection, Appreciation and Always. I take them to heart. They are part of my being. Working with my therapist, I began being hopeful. I concentrated on hope and love and being aware of the strength that is in all of us. I began seeing what I needed to do to and set about doing it. Life took on a wonderful new meaning. Realizing it also increased my spirituality.
 

The symbol of my inner strength became the Beautiful Warrior. I saw her in my mind. She was riding on her golden horse. The image has meaning to me. It not only meant strength but courage and the fearlessness to move forward. I have always admired Native American culture, and I was warmed by the vision of the Native American woman that came to me.


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Dolores M. Miller is a poet and author living in Philadelphia, PA. Dolores lives with her Knight in Shining armor, Larry, and together they have two grown children. Their four grandchildren are a source of joy and inspiration.


Dolores is a compassionate, giving and loving person. In her writing she strives to convey the message of the human spirit to overcome adversity, see the beauty of nature and know God’s healing love.

Dolores is also grateful for having had parents who adopted her out of a horrific situation. She is a survivor of childhood abuse. She says “there are so many children who are in abusive homes for most of their lives. Making a difference through my work is rewarding and a source of beauty, love and healing for the community… and the world”.

 The Support Center for Child Advocates has a special place in her heart. For all the children committed to the care of Child Advocates, they work to ensure safety, health, education, family permanency and access to justice.

Each book sold, benefits the Support Center for Child Advocates of Philadelphia. The Support Center for Child Advocates provides legal assistance and social service advocacy to abused children. The mission of Child Advocates is to advocate for victims of child abuse and neglect in Philadelphia with the goal of securing a permanent, nurturing environment for every child. They seek to protect children by securing social services, finding alternative homes and helping them testify in court against their abusers.
 

Dolores dreams of a better world and strives to make a difference, especially in the lives of children. Dolores was adopted out of a terrible situation and she can’t imagine living her entire life in that environment. Child advocates seeks to better the lives of those in danger.
 

By purchasing books from the Beautiful Warrior you are providing support to the children and those in need – allowing Dolores to continue in her great works. Books may be purchased through www.beautifulwarrior.com, Amazon.com, or Barnes and Noble.

October 27, 2014

A Beyond Survivor's Story: Poetic Healer and Spiritual Survival - Part 1

So, I can't even begin to tell you how excited I am for this upcoming series with poet, author, and survivor, Dolores Miller. I know you will be inspired and encouraged by her powerful story, journey, and writing!


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I began writing poetry as a psychological release. I did not plan to write poetry, or to write at all, but as I was going through therapy to cope with suppressed memories of childhood sexual abuse. It was affecting my adult life and writing became the outlet through which I could best express my raw, often angry, emotions, and it turns out that poetry was the form that best fit my thoughts.
 

Poems just came to me. I would be thinking about my situation, about all that was welling up in me and in between therapy sessions, and a poem would form. A random thought would suggest a title, and I would sit down and write. Since dealing with my past pain, I become more spiritual. A picture of St. Michael, the archangel, occupies a prominent place in my kitchen. St Michael helped me through stress and protected me in many ways as I endured the horrors of child abuse. I also became attuned to Native American culture and named one collection of poems, “Beautiful Warrior,” a term I use to refer to myself.

Most of all, I have become a student of world religions and am working to receive credentials so I can be a spiritual minister to people experiencing ordeals similar to mine, or as intense and be ready to help others who need guidance and compassion to listen to their expressions of distress.

As a child, I saved my life by repressing the horrific experiences until I was ready to deal with them as an adult. Even with being more mature, it was hard. It took the strength of a Warrior; I saved my life by always pushing through even though there were times I thought it would be easier to die. If I can heal


from everything that caused me such anguish when the memory of child abuse occurred, others can heal. From my heart, I want to give hope to others. Everyone has his or her own way of getting through a situation. First, you have to find the truth and to confront it no matter how difficult it is. Then you have to deal with anger and other emotions that arise. These are real and they have to be dealt with and moved from a negative force that limits you to a positive force that puts matters in perspective and sets you on the road to healing. For me, the process took almost 20 years. I no longer need therapy sessions because I have come to grips with what I faced and I am a survivor. I don’t dwell on what happened. I take pride in what I’ve come through and focus on that. That is what healing is about. If I, through my understanding, my compassion, and my belief in the strength of the spirit can help another human being get through the hell I experienced, I feel a calling to do that. Writing was my catalyst. Poetry allowed me to name and express what I was thinking and feeling. Other people will heal in a different way. I am aware of that, and since I am aware of that, I put myself in a position to help and am training so I have all the tools necessary to help.”

I have taken an activist stand, as both an advocate and a donor, to Child Advocates, a Philadelphia-based non-profit that uses its resources to secure lawyers and counselors for children who live or have lived in an abusive situations including sex trades and human trafficking. Spreading awareness about child abuse and petitioning legislatures for laws that protect children and severely punish offenders. Having fundraisers for Child Advocates and giving generously to its annual fund. I am now the author of two books, “Beautiful Warrior” and “Rising Above: The Beauty of Life”. Proceeds from my books are donated to the support center for child advocates. In honor of my mother, who succumbed to a 16-year battle against breast cancer, I work actively to support education and research pertaining to that disease. In support of a close friend and a dear cousin, I also contribute to help people with multiple sclerosis. Helping others heals me.

I was in my thirties when I began having nightmares and visions of sexual abuse. I realized these came from my childhood. My parents adopted me. They raised me. They rescued me. It took me years to realize from what they rescued me.

A poem like "Quiet Desperation," tells what I learned from my ordeal. In it, I write "people are afraid to face the truth and end up, drinking it away, pilling it away, pretending it away, and denying it away." As you've heard, the poem goes on to say "reality" is still there, like a silent storm ready to erupt. Truth is the only way to get free of the pain and fear being encountered. My poem ends by offering "silent prayers of mercy."



QUIET DESPERATION

There are people
who live in quiet
Desperation.

Acting like it is normal.
Afraid to face the truth,
Drinking it away...
Pilling it away..
Pretending it away...
Denying it away...

But it is still there,
Like a silent storm
Ready to erupt....

UNTIL they let the TRUTH free they
WILL LIVE QUIET AND
DESPERATE...DESPITE
The Pain,
   The Fear,
  AND MOSTLY the SADNESS!

DEAR GOD  I PRAY! HELP THEM!

And as I watch them I whisper
Silent prayers of Mercy
From you dear LORD.

QUIET DESPERATION!


 


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Dolores M. Miller is a poet and author living in Philadelphia, PA. Dolores lives with her Knight in Shining armor, Larry, and together they have two grown children. Their four grandchildren are a source of joy and inspiration.

Dolores is a compassionate, giving and loving person. In her writing she strives to convey the message of the human spirit to overcome adversity, see the beauty of nature and know God’s healing love.

Dolores is also grateful for having had parents who adopted her out of a horrific situation. She is a survivor of childhood abuse. She says “there are so many children who are in abusive homes for most of their lives. Making a difference through my work is rewarding and a source of beauty, love and healing for the community… and the world”.

The Support Center for Child Advocates has a special place in her heart. For all the children committed to the care of Child Advocates, they work to ensure safety, health, education, family permanency and access to justice.

Each book sold, benefits the Support Center for Child Advocates of Philadelphia. The Support Center for Child Advocates provides legal assistance and social service advocacy to abused children. The mission of Child Advocates is to advocate for victims of child abuse and neglect in Philadelphia with the goal of securing a permanent, nurturing environment for every child. They seek to protect children by securing social services, finding alternative homes and helping them testify in court against their abusers.
 

Dolores dreams of a better world and strives to make a difference, especially in the lives of children. Dolores was adopted out of a terrible situation and she can’t imagine living her entire life in that environment. Child advocates seeks to better the lives of those in danger.
 

By purchasing books from the Beautiful Warrior you are providing support to the children and those in need – allowing Dolores to continue in her great works. Books may be purchased through www.beautifulwarrior.com, Amazon.com, or Barnes and Noble.



Resources, personal stories, communication techniques, and strategies for survivors of sexual abuse who are ready to break free from the past and return to their genuine self.