Yes, you read that right! I’m unveiling the Introduction Chapter of my book. I’m excited to share my ideas with the world through the form of writing. I’ve been secretly working on this book for almost 2 years – and now that my schedule has opened up, I have lots of time to finish it. So, just for kicks – I’m providing the Introduction Chapter here for my followers while I finish up the last few chapters.
In general, the book is all about personal transformation.
I’m a humanistic practitioner at heart. I love to help others learn the value of their life and their reason for forging forward. I’ve been anxiously working with the universe for years on developing the concept of Pull The Roots Out – and this book intersects with many concepts, ideas, and persepctives including introducing you to the Pull The Roots Out-style of personal transformation.
It’s not a novel; it’s not a self-help book; it’s not a textbook; and it’s not heavily sprinkled with references from other authors and scholars – this book is a combination of a journal, a workbook, and sharing of personal experiences that are sprinkled with some wisdom, generalizations, and opinions that hopefully take the reader on a personally-transformative journey! It’s not a book written by a social worker. It’s not a book written in hopes of making any money – it’s just a token of my gratitude for being able to serve humanity for so many years – and writing the book is a way of continuing to impact others – my ultimate mission.
I’m working on the final 4 chapters in the coming month and then the manuscript will go to a copy editor. I’m super excited that I’m sharing this small piece of my journey with you. I hope you enjoy reading the Introduction Chapter of: Codependency Re-Defined (Coming 2021).
“The journey of 1000 miles begins with one step.” – Lao Tzu
We’ve all traveled many miles to have gotten to this exact crossroads in our lives; the crossroads of the hope of something more. We’ve journeyed down many paths and crossed many trails that were traveled before us. The roads have been long, curvy, and rough. The weather was beautiful on some days and treacherous on others. We’ve all stopped and made do with what was available to us and often we’ve done some pretty risky and absurd things, too. Can you honestly say you’ve made the best choices and decisions along your journey, thus far? No; none of us have and none of us are perfect.
My own life path has taken me to places near and far. I’ve lived in Oregon, Washington and Massachusetts. I’ve sat on the serene beaches of the Oregon coast and watched the waves crash for hours. Probably like you, I’ve attended concerts, gone shopping, and ate a great restaurants. I’ve attended concerts from Alanis Morisette to James Taylor and had the opportunity to see Harry Connick Jr. when I lived in Boston. I’ve seen the musical ‘Rent’ when it was on Broadway in Providence, Rhode Island – and missed the “T” on the way back to Boston and ended up walking about 30 city blocks home! I’ve been fortunate enough to have traveled around the United States and Canada an even got to properly celebrate my 19th birthday in Victoria, B.C. I’ve lived and traveled and experienced life, just like you.
I’ve worked for publishing companies; I’ve owned my own skincare spa; and I’ve sold all types of stuff like Avon and Paparazzi jewelry. Like yourself, I’ve worked for all types of companies and businesses. I’ve worked at state agencies, served as a child advocate for children with disabilities, and have earned college degrees and so on. My first job? A bowling alley. Sure, I’ve accomplished a lot over my lifespan thus far, but none of it really felt like it was anything – really. I was discontent; I kept searching.
I was married for 12 years and had amazing animals that I had to abandon in the divorce. My heart was crushed. I’ve lost a lot as I know you have, as well. When I was married, I felt like an empty vessel without any purpose or reason to be in a relationship. I moved to a community where I knew no one and had to start over. After my divorce I dated and made relationship mistakes and often let my insecurities sabotage promising situations. I almost got my car repossessed, almost got kicked out of housing, and have had to go to the local gas station to use the bathroom and shove extra toilet paper in my pockets – because I couldn’t afford to buy my own. Yes, I’ve also been so broke that I couldn’t afford food, didn’t qualify for state assistance ever, and didn’t know where to turn for help. I’ve ruined relationships with family members and was a gambling addict for years and ended up losing everything, and again – like you, my journey has been full of up’s and down’s.
After about 35 years of life I became very curious and desperate as to how to feel better about all of the pain and suffering I had experienced over my lifetime. Sure, I tried very hard to focus on the accomplishments and the good that I had lived and always maintained an appreciative attitude, but I wanted more. Yes, I was depressed and sad most of the time, but I always knew there was a little pilot light burning inside my heart. You’ve always known, deep down inside, that you were meant for more. At one time my brother told me I was a ‘big fish in a little pond’. He was right. I had a vision but no way to believe my vision could come true. I was stifled, heart-broken, and insecure.
I was at a point in my mid-thirties where I started to ache for so much more than what life had given me. I knew something had to change, but for some reason I was dreading the change. I knew if there was something more, I had to find it – and finding ‘it’ would take work. We all know that change takes work, right? Well, I also knew that the change would take some major buckling down and facing of my demons. You know this, as well. I didn’t want to, but I knew I had to. I was afraid, just like you might be feeling in this exact moment, but I put my head down and made a promise to myself; I made a promise to myself that I would find my way.
Hopes for This Book
I don’t mean to sound cliché and tell you that this book is about having to ‘find yourself’ or ‘work on yourself’ or ‘find a way how to live with how things are’. Let’s face it, you’ve heard that type of advice hundreds of times. We are given inspiring messages through friends, family, co-workers, social media, and books, but again – what is the exact method or strategy that best works for you, to have more? How do we measure inner personal change? What does personal transformation mean, really? You might be wondering how long you should give yourself to see the fruits of your labor? How many hours a week do you need to work on yourself? When others tell you to ‘love yourself more’, what exactly are they talking about? My hopes for this book are to answer all of the above questions, and more.
I have many more hopes for this book. I hope that through reading this book and working on the activities within, you will experience:
- growth in perspective of what change, transformation, and choice means
- new ideas on how to re-define what codependency and addiction mean to you
- what and where the core roots of pain and suffering have originated from in your life
- a space for self-reflection and journaling
- growth as a critical thinker
- new methods of quickly increasing self-value and self-compassion in your life
- inspiration to share YOUR story with others!
When I married at 21, I didn’t realize that there was so much more to relationships than what I was prepared for or had ever experienced. For 12 years, I didn’t realize that the level of love and connection I needed to develop within myself was the root issue that brought about all of my insecurities. I really struggled emotionally in the marriage and in result, the marriage failed. I didn’t know what to work on and how to be an individual when I felt so trapped in a bubble called ‘marriage’. I didn’t understand and I depended on the world around me for answers and when I did, I was failed every time. Reflecting back, I can honestly say that my marriage was set to fail from the beginning.
For example, have you ever felt like everything you do just turns out awful? Have you ever had days where you just couldn’t believe that anything would get better? You ask yourself ‘why me’? Have you ever shook your head and cried and told yourself you just don’t know what to do or how to fix it? Have you ever felt that you will never achieve the greatest level of success because, well, you’re just not ‘cut out for it’? What about your body image? Have you always wanted something about your body to be different? To feel better about yourself and just have a higher chance at moving up in the world, if you were thinner, more handsome, beautiful, sexy…starting to sound familiar? Then this book is for you.
Yes, I have felt and wanted so many of those things too. For so long I wasn’t been able to find a recipe to fulfillment. I wandered from self-help book to self-help book taking notes, watching online videos, and attending all types of trainings. I did destructive and immoral things and have yelled and argued with companions, just like so many others have. Yes, I made bad decisions and spent money when I shouldn’t have. I filled my core needs terribly and did unsafe and unhealthy things – like so many others. Can you identify? Then this book is for you.
I’ve studied social work, psychology, spirituality, business, marriage and family studies; you name it – I studied it. I’ve bought workbooks, attended online courses, downloaded apps for my phone…you name it, I’ve tried it. Through my driving passion to ‘find something more’, I’ve journey over many valleys and peaks – but never quite felt like I had ‘made it’. I always knew there was something more out there for me. If you can identify with anything you’ve read in this book so far, then you’re in the right place.
Who Are You?
Ask yourself, “who am I?”. Just simply make notations, as I did above, of short phrases or bridges you’ve crossed, hardships you’ve experienced, roles you’ve played, or anything else that is part of who you are and where you’ve journeyed. Don’t think for too long and hard on this activity. The idea is to just write down what comes to mind. Record your answers below.
This short activity below is an important first step in the transformation process. Why? One thing that I quickly learned when I truly committed to the transformation process was that by taking personal inventories I was able to discover the patterns in my life. I also want this discovery for you! We will look at this concept later in the book but for now, getting to know more about your mindset is critical. Where are your thoughts? What comes to mind when you ask yourself, ‘what have I accomplished across my life?’. Ask yourself, ‘what makes me stand out’? You may also be battling with the lies that you keep telling yourself such as ‘I am nobody’, ‘I am someone that has never accomplished anything in my life’. Whether your mindset is positive or negative at this point doesn’t matter – just write down what comes to mind.
Take a few minutes to jot down your journey. Be open to looking at your life through different lenses and categories, roles you have played, adventures you have had, decisions you have made, and so on.
*Note – you will conduct analysis on these entries below later in the book.
Inventory of My Life
Don’t leave any line below empty!
Now that you’ve taken some time to fill out all of the lines above, set the list aside for now. You’ll refer back to it later in the book.
As the years passed, I started to attend life-coaching sessions, therapy, and all sorts of self-development workshops and events. I truly dove into the personal transformation process. Sure, I gained tons of skills, tools, and great ideas and deep knowledge from many renowned professionals around the world, but nothing was really sticking with me. I couldn’t figure out why I continued to do what I did, over and over and over, when I knew I had better choices before me. I continued cycles of hating myself for continuing to do dumb things and getting further behind in my life. Even though I truly had a burning desire to change anything about me, my life, and the way I processed the world around me…nothing much worked.
Grace from Google
I give credit to Tony Robbins and Cloe Madanes as being mentors to my personal growth. By the grace of the Googling algorithms, I stumbled upon a website one day by Tony Robbins promoting his ‘Unleash the Power Within‘ live immersion event in New Jersey later that year. Every word of the website, the promotional materials…pulled me in. I Googled; I YouTube’d; and I studied his material and videos for days. I was glued to and fascinated by the science and passion behind his work; to help others relieve pain and suffering. I was hooked to his teachings, lectures, and videos. I discovered much of his work as being partnered with teachings from Cloe Madanes and influenced by many other scholars, religions, and world-views.
Through studying Robbins and Madanes materials, I started to develop connections in my brain of topics in my life that, for so long, didn’t make sense. A failed a 12-year marriage; having to suffer the consequences of poor budgeting; living the life of a gambling addict; missed opportunities with family and friends; and so on. But, the connections in my brain got clearer – like when the de-frost in your car finally kicks in and you can start to see a little spot clearly come into focus on your windshield. I had many moments of clarity and awakening as I continued to study their material. I kept studying…the only thing, sometimes, that would keep me from feeling useless and depressed was studying.
Then, one day, (once again by the grace of the Googling algorithms), I stumbled upon a website by Mastin Kipp. I learned that Mastin had also been inspired by Tony Robbins and in result, worked hard at discovering his own core beliefs and life purpose. He changed his behaviors and life choices, tackling all that came his way and more. I was truly uplifted reading through Mastin’s website. I continued to study his videos and website materials too…I had started to feel a sense of hope that there was information in the world that was starting to make sense to me.
From Sunday Blues to Sunday News
On a nice, warm, sunny Sunday in May of 2017 I was all by myself sitting outside my tiny apartment in the country brainstorming about how I could rally up enough money to attend the Tony Robbins live, immersion event later that summer in New Jersey. I reached out to many people I knew. I scoured the internet in hopes of finding a professional development scholarship or some type of random, financial opportunity. At that time I was completely broke; I was living paycheck to paycheck. I was filled with energy and passion but I didn’t know how to make the ends financially meet. I didn’t know if there were ANYONE that could help, but I tried.
I felt desperate and defeated but inspired to keep searching. My hunger for feeling better about my life kept me searching and searching on the Internet that morning; I felt dialed in. I emailed a few other contacts and really just didn’t know what else to do in order to go to New Jersey. I think I had around $200 in my checking account, didn’t have a savings account, and tons of bills to pay. I was so hungry for the experience and I desperately wanted to go to the event; I really felt pulled to it. But, with being recently divorced, with minimal income and old bills that were making me payment poor, I couldn’t envision a way to make it work. I lived in Northeast Oregon where the nearest airport is three hours away. That meant I would have to fly across the country, get a hotel, pay for the event ticket, and have enough money to eat. How would I be able to pull all that off? I emailed Mastin Kipp. Why not?
Within minutes after hitting the ‘send’ button, I got an email back! To this day, I truly don’t know if it was him – but, just when I was feeling a heavy case of the Sunday Blues, he replied. I had an email conversation (coaching) with him for hours about all the options that were available to me. He (or whoever was actually emailing me back from his email) at one time told me I wasn’t open to coaching or making my move that I needed to make. I shut down many options he presented – I wasn’t seeing clearly. He made suggestions, asked questions, and guided me to seeking out all of the resources that I had before me. I was being and feeling defensive towards someone that I was asking for help. I was arguing and not really wanting to explore deeper ideas. I remember feeling frustrated by his email message and in response to my embarrassment and frustration, I just decided to resign to making my move; in other words, I began to open up to the possibilities of surrendering to the change process. I kept thinking. I kept listening. I was open to ideas after a long day of back and forth emails.
Mastin helped me generate a plan to tackle my financial hurdle so I could go to the event. It wasn’t easy, but Mastin helped me discover a pathway that I had not thought about before – because fear was getting in the way. After addressing the fear that was holding me back, within a week I had $800 in hand for the ticket! A few months later I was booking my hotel and airfare. It all worked out. To this day I have Mastin to thank for being that one person that was able to help me move to the next level of thinking. Another hope for this book? Maybe I can be that person for you?
A few weeks later I received two gifts from Mastin in the mail accompanied by these special notes…and a few months later I was on a airplane to New Jersey! My new journey had begun.
As an academic, I’ve always taught at colleges and universities in the field of social work, statistics, research, human services, and lifespan development. I’ve written courses on various topics and have always enjoyed designing curriculum. But, writing this book presents a challenge for me. Because I’ve always been an academic writer, my style of communicating through the written word is well-developed as being formal. So, forgive me if my writing is sometimes a bore! I have a personal goal of developing confidence throughout this journey of writing this book.
I’ve instructed both undergraduate and graduate students and have always enjoyed serving as a professional educator. I’ve studied so much writing and research throughout the years that I feel equipped and excited to help you learn how to break down your thoughts more. In academia we say ‘critical thinking’ a lot and what is mostly meant by the term is developing more depth and breadth in thinking and perceiving; expanding your thoughts; being open to diverse ideas. I’ve always been known as an instructor that challenged and pushed students, so I want to be sure to offer you the same.
Also, I’m very passionate about bringing diversity to the table, discussing taboo topics, and honoring as many walks of life that I am aware of. I don’t know everything, certainly, but I know what I’ve experienced and will make sure to share my ideas with you in a genuine manner. While my writing in this book is both informal AND formal at times, my words and sentiments are designed to help you grow as a critical thinker (that’s just the true educator in me).
What to Expect Moving Forward
Now, as you’ve gotten to know me a little bit and have started to look at some of the fundamental building blocks of who you are, your journey awaits!
As you move through the rest of the book, you will notice areas within some pages that are designed for you to take notes and complete short, reflective activities. It’s important for you to not only complete the activities in the book but also remember to practice them as you are moving through your days and nights. I hope you will come to embrace this book as a journal, a path to self-discovery, a study-guide, or whatever else term or idea best describes this book for you.
Write out one statement below that you know is an absolute truth about who you are. Don’t think too long or hard, just write a statement that comes to mind.
“I am ____________________________________________________________”.
Before we move into the next chapter, take just a quick moment to affirm your belief in yourself that you are capable, willing, and excited (not scared) to explore what is better for you, your health, and your mind.
Now, let’s begin…