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Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery, none but ourselves can free our minds! Bob Marley

As I looked up, I could see the steely, barbed wire, with all its sharp edges. It could easily tear through my skin, ripping me to shreds. Tears came to my eyes and I shivered as I thought about how that wire resembled my own words. My disparaging and life destroying words that cut through my heart “as swords” every single time I spoke or I thought about myself. Not a surprise that in my family using words like swords was worn like a badge of honor. I was an honor-roll student and got straight A’s in this subject! After all, I learned to do this well.

It was 42 excruciating years of experiencing depression. I was on death’s door so many times I lost count. That’s difficult for me to admit. The depression I experienced was so dense and intense I was certain it was a life-long curse of family genetics, some really “bad karma” or something incurable. The sadness, despair and hopelessness didn’t seem remotely possible to overcome. Yet I’m proud and relieved to say I did!

My life started to change when one of my mentors said, “Joelene, I know you’re not an alcoholic. However, you are like an alcoholic in the way you think. Some alcoholics can’t even think about a drink or they’ll go into the suck-hole of despair. You are like that with your self-deprecating thoughts. You don’t have the luxury of a negative thought about yourself.” After I picked myself up and dusted myself off from what felt like a harsh (but honest) sting, I recognized this was an accurate assessment of the extreme self-hatred I had toward myself and the pervasive limiting beliefs and negative thinking that shaped my existence, or lack thereof. But how does one change the way they’ve thought for 42 years? This seemed like an impossible and daunting task – like pushing a 10-ton boulder up the side of a mountain.

With this in mind (pun intended), my thoughts had to go. They were toxic and costing me my life. God knows I had already experienced living a difficult life in my self-created inner-prison. Why would I begin what seemed like an endless journey of changing my thinking now? After all, the unknown is so frightening. Well, the answer was simple, but not easy. Because my life depended on it. Does yours?

As I began to wake-up I could see how negative and pessimistic I was and how different that was from the people around me I admired, who truly exuded fulfillment, joy, possibility and contentment. I could see it was my mind-set about myself, my life, and my world that was the problem. Up until that point, I perceived my life as a difficult struggle, a mistake.

I began to consistently and ruthlessly challenge my thinking about myself. Intentionally and consciously I began to become aware of the thoughts I was thinking and speaking that were motivating me and creating my life. I slowly began to shift my thinking from victim to owner consciousness. At first it seemed like I would never change and it was a pain-staking process. You may be thinking, “Come on. Really? Challenge every single thought?” Yes, it was necessary. Then I began to make it a game, for example, seeing a big, red stop sign in my mind every time my thoughts were self-critical or judgmental and concentrating on my breath when my mind started to go in the gutter.

It took practice, practice and more practice of building my inner-muscles. More accurately, it took vigilance,
ruthlessness and cutting through the inner-mess I created with a mighty Spiritual Goddess sword. Then I began to replace the old, excruciating and mean thoughts I had about myself with what I was learning about my True Nature. At first I felt awkward and clumsy, as though I was lying to myself. I felt a bit crazy with the small fearful voice in one ear and the empowered, strong voice in the other. I kept in mind – growth is a process and not an event.
Through time (self-discipline, and a ton of patience) I knew it all was an old-worn out story and habits formed long ago.
My self-discipline led Self-Mastery, devotion and when I rediscovered my wings – inner-peace and freedom!

Now, it’s rare when I think self-deprecating thoughts and when I do, I giggle with myself for being so silly and misinformed. And I quickly course-correct and reeducate myself by reminding myself that I’m enough.
In the past, I would have berated and laughed at myself in a condescending way for being so stupid.
Can you hear the vast difference in these two mind-sets and tones?

What words do you use against yourself as swords?

I’m not enough.
I’ve done something wrong.
I’m incapable?
There’s something wrong with me
Something else?

Keep in mind: Every time you berate, criticize or judge yourself, you tear down your self-confidence; self-esteem and you betray yourself further, thus eroding your self-trust.

The good news is, none of it’s true and you CAN choose to create a brand new reality!

I trained myself to remember my True Nature. I began setting healthy boundaries, nourishing Self-care, let go of people and things that no longer served me, began fully expressing myself, taking big, courageous risks and loving myself and others more deeply.
I believe we’re born innately loving, innocent, joyful, peaceful, creative, empathetic, compassionate and fulfilled. We ALL are. That includes you!

It’s an honor for me to powerfully guide others to remember, know and live from the Truth of who they truly are, so their lives are build on a permanent, solid ground and framework of cement and steel and embodying practical principles and skills of living love, joy, abundance and fulfillment from the inside-out.

Recently, through practicing the Self-Mastery Skills I developed for clients, I cured myself of what doctors called “an incurable disease.” I cherish and am grateful for every moment of my precious life. As my client Michal said, “Joelene, you helped me find my wings, one feather at a time.”

I created my own wings, one feather at a time. You have this innate power within you as well, to live wholeheartedly and thrive! I truly know if I can do it, anyone can! It’s my honor to have paved the way for you.

If you learned to use words as swords and you are wearing this badge of honor. If you are living in your own inner-prison and you have self-imposed shackles on, I invite you take off the badge, lay down your sword once and for all, take a deep, relaxing and peaceful breath and join me on this journey.

Are you ready to discover your wings, one-feather-at-a-time and fly? If so, let me know what this means to you.

I welcome your comments on the blog and would love to hear from you!

To stay present in everyday life, it helps to be deeply rooted within yourself: Otherwise, the mind, which has incredible momentum, will drag you along like a wild river. ~ Eckhart Tolle