March 13, 2013

Thinking Your Way to a New Path

It has been such a pleasure having Misa on as a guest blogger these past few weeks. I hope you have enjoyed reading her as much as I have and I know you'll certainly take away something from her final post today.

Autobiography in Five Short Chapters
By Portia Nelson

I walk down the street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I fall in.
I am lost…I am helpless.
It isn’t my fault.
It takes forever to find a way out.

I walk down the street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I pretend I don’t see it.
I fall in again.
I can’t believe I am in the same place,
But it isn’t my fault.
It still takes a long time to get out.

I walk down the street
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I see it there,
I still fall in…it’s a habit.
My eyes are open…I know where I am.
It is my fault.
I get out immediately.

I walk down the street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I walk around it.

I walk down a different street.

The change happens here:  “I know where I am.  It’s my fault.”  Creating awareness of what is no longer working and taking responsibility to change it is the beginning of transformation. 

What street are you sick and tired of walking down?  What hole are you ready to be finished with?  Is it your bad habits in your self-care, or cowering every time someone asks you why you did something a certain way?  Maybe it is your inability to tell someone what you really need.  Perhaps it is just disconnecting from your emotions.  Whatever it is, know that we all have those holes, every single one of us.  And those holes keep us from living out of our authentic selves and thriving in the lives we were meant to live.

It’s all wrapped up in the way we see things.  “I am helpless.  It isn’t my fault.”  That’s the recipe for failure and misery.  When we can’t see that we are actually affecting our own outcomes, we give away the power to change our lives.  We might as well set up camp in that hole, because we’re going to be spending an awful lot of time down there.
It is when we change our thinking to “I know…it’s my fault,” that we begin the process of transformation.   That doesn’t mean that you dug the hole, darlin’.  Maybe you were even pushed into that hole the first 20 times you went into it.  But it DOES mean that you can choose to stop going there now.  You can find a new street to walk down.  No one but you can make that decision.  And no one but you can plant your steps in a new direction.

So, where do you start?  Becoming aware of how you think is a good first step.  I don’t just mean what you think about your job or that jerk who just cut you off in traffic.  I mean what you really think deep down inside, in the hidden places- the core ideas you hold about yourself.

Take a few minutes each day this week and write the answers to these questions:
  • When I think about my body, I believe…
  • When I think about my strengths, I believe…
  • When I think about my weaknesses, I believe…
  • When I think about my past, I believe…
  • When I think about my future, I believe…
  • When I think about myself, I believe…
Slowing down your thoughts and becoming aware of your core beliefs creates new possibilities.  Your thoughts come from your unconscious beliefs which propel you into certain feelings and those feelings lead you to certain actions.  If you learn to slow the process down and find the beliefs that lead to your thought patterns and feelings it will give you a lot of power.   You can have conversations with yourself and other safe people about what you have been doing and what you’d like to do differently.  You will begin to uncover the unconscious thoughts and beliefs that lead you into that hole and you’ll figure out what new things you’d like to do instead.

There is great hope for transformation after trauma.  You can not only heal, you can become a better person than you ever would have been had you not suffered.  If you would like more information on transforming your trauma into beauty, I’d love to talk to you.  Check out my website at to learn more about my coaching and spiritual direction services, Beyond Abuse Radio and my nine month Living from the Heart course.


Misa Leonessa is a life coach and spiritual director specializing in trauma recovery, relationships, communication and spiritual growth.  She has walked the path from surviving to thriving herself, and has a passion to help people heal from childhood abuse. She loves to work with individuals who are committed to pursuing greater relational, emotional and spiritual wholeness.  She created Living from the Heart, a 9 month course and group coaching experience to help people grow deep, authentic intimacy. 

Misa is the host of Beyond Abuse Radio where she shares the wisdom gleaned from her own journey of three decades of healing, as well as interviewing other survivors, helpers, and experts in trauma recovery, providing support and encouragement for those on their healing journey.  She facilitates workshops and conferences for people ready to break patterns of fear and self-protection to find their new inheritance of life, love and joy.

Misa has BA’s in Sociology and Non-Profit Administration from University of the Pacific, is a graduate from Life Skills International and holds a certificate from Mercy Center’s Spiritual Director Institute in Burlingame, California.  She a member of Spiritual Directors International.   She also volunteers for the Survivor’s Healing Center of Santa Cruz and is a TEDX speaker trainer.

Learn more at

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