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Change the record already – 15 tips to survive an anxiety attack and how to stop them (photo by Kinga Cichewicz)

Okay, I hate my life, my job sucks, the kids are fighting, I have no money, I can’t breathe, my chest hurts, Oh my God I think I will die, I can’t breathe ….

Does that sound familiar? It sure does to me.

I could work myself up into quite a tizzy on a moment’s notice and didn’t realize that I had the control to stop the anxiety attack. Granted taking medicine for a short time helped but the trick to stopping the attacks completely was to learn what to do before one came a knocking. To this day I am thankful that I found the ways to grow stronger as a woman, especially in the aftermath of the abuse I lived through for years.

 
Without this coping skill I never would have become the strong woman I am today, some 20 years later. Today I wanted to share some of the things that I did and still do today to relieve anxiety and just stay in a focused state of mind and body. I am stronger than my past. I am not my past and neither are you.

 

Change the record already – 15 tips to survive an anxiety attack and how to stop them (photo by Kinga Cichewicz)

Be prepared for the storm:
Knowing how to relieve your own stress is a priceless gift. Everyone in the world can offer up ideas but like anything else, you need to find what works for you. The key is to know ahead of time what will snap you back to reality. Know before hand what you will do when you feel an attack coming.

 

Talk yourself out of the attack before the attack takes you out!
Today, I allow myself to stress for a bit, just enough to know I need to take some action, then when I realize that what I am thinking about is causing me to be anxious, I count to 5 and then force myself to think of something else, it doesn’t have to be something crazy, just maybe my son’s face, a happy memory, something to tell my anxiety, nope, ain’t going there with you.

To read 13 more tips and find additional resources click here

Love & Peace,
Rebecca

Grab your FREE Goal & Progress Worksheets to help you set Obtainable Goals as well as the additional daily checklists to keep you Focused and Successful!

 

 

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Dedicated to slain officer’s Tom Baitinger and Jeffrey Yaslowitz, their families, co-workers, community and pets, especially Ace.

Violence is not the problem; it is a consequence of the problem – Jim Wallis

I wrote this around 6 years ago but never posted it, while looking at some past writing I stumbled on it and felt that this was something I needed to share as nothing has changed over the years. I decided to post this on January 24th, on the anniversary of this event.

That night, some 6 years ago on January 24, 2011, I sat glued like the rest of the state as we saw a house being turned to ashes; even wood beams and concrete were not safe from what happened today. Riddled with bullets, tear gas and death, for the safety of everyone involved, the house was destroyed. Within a few minutes after turning on the local news; it didn’t matter which station, the story and images were all the same.  Chances are you know most of the details so I won’t go over them again, except to say that three St. Petersburg Police Officers were shot in the line of duty, two of which died from their injuries, during the process of trying to serve a warrant.

This photo is not of Ace as I never heard back if I could use the photo so this is a police dog.  They are so kind and beautiful.

German_Shepherd_police_dog_tribute

Dedicated to slain officer’s Tom Baitinger and Jeffrey Yaslowitz, their families, co-workers, community and pets, especially Ace.

What sticks in my mind is the reason the warrant was being served in the first place. I write about getting out, staying out and preventing domestic violence. My mission is to bring awareness to those that think domestic violence will never touch their life because they’re living in a stable, loving home; sadly, that dream has been shattered. After listening to the news reports for a few days I was reminded how much domestic violence affects the truly innocent. The wives of the fallen soldiers, their children, family, friends and fellow officers, now without someone they love because of domestic violence.  These men were not violent, yet in helping to protect a woman and serve a warrant to a horrible man, they were murdered.

Tell me now, doesn’t’ domestic violence effect us all?  Even if no one in your life is violent or being abused, sadly, we know that your life can be pulled into the vicious cycle of domestic violence.  Your child could be shot in the crossfire as he is walking into school when a man shoots his wife. Your husband can die when he goes to work because an abusive wife decides to go to her husband’s business and shoot him and his coworkers. Or, like today, your faithful, loving husband can run the lights on his squad car for your little boy, and then drive off to a job that he loves, protecting his family and community and never come home again because a weak man can’t face the wrongs he has committed.

Court records show that Hydra Lacy Jr., the man being served the warrant, failed to show for his scheduled trial on November 1st, 2010 for aggravated battery charge against his wife. Lacy was convicted in 1989 of armed burglary, resisting arrest with violence and other charges. After being released in 1991, he was soon convicted of sexual battery with a weapon which sent him to prison until 2001. Look at the difference in these men’s lives, there really is no comparison; one man did all that he could to protect others, while the other, violated the rights of everyone that crossed his path.

As I searched Google for more information about this tragedy I was drowned with link after link covering every angle of what happened from the shootings, the loss of fellow officers, interviews with family and friends, reports of why the house demolished and where the dog will stay.

I called my boyfriend on the way home from work today, we live in St. Petersburg and discussed the police cars that were everywhere throughout town, especially on 9th Street and Gandy where the funeral was held. Parking lots that normally sat empty had a car parked in every square inch of them. Like many, we had never heard the officer’s names until the last few days, but we were unable to get them, their families or the tragedy that never should have happen, out of our minds. The last thing that my boyfriend said really stuck in my mind on my ride home, he was heartbroken at having seen one of the officers dog, Ace at the funeral. He said the dog barked throughout the entire funeral and was completely lost, obviously wondering where his partner Jeffrey was. For everyone else, even though the news was devastating, at least they knew somewhat what had happened, even the children understood that daddy was a police officer and never came home because of a bad man; but Ace only knew that all of his best friends friends were gathered today, without Jeffrey.

As I visualized Ace sitting sadly and waiting for his best friend, it made me realize the shear depths of denial our society is in to think that domestic violence doesn’t’ affect us all, even our homes and pets. What happened in St. Petersburg Florida is the trickle down affect of domestic violence.

Let’s not let Officer Tom Baitinger and Jeffrey Yaslowitz die in vain, together one day at a time let’s stop violence of any kind so that our loved ones can all come home at the end of the day. It is not our destiny to have domestic violence in the world, but it is our destiny to put an end to it.

Love & Peace,
Rebecca

 

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ReBecca Burns Empowering Women

Hello everyone, I wanted to share that my new site, the one I have been working on forever and a day launched a few days ago. While some spots are rough as some things not showing, the content is there. I was not going to share this news yet but the soft launch has already generated a response so I wanted to share with you what the new site was about.

 

Special thanks to everyone that has already reached out, especially CM for reaching out today to tell me how my words over the years have helped to get her through a rough day.  That comment made all the nights of wondering, it this was helping, did my words benefit anyone,this made it all worth while.

 

That is what this is all about, being there to support each other.

I created this site to help me deal with a horrible abusive past and to help others (if that is where you are, stay here for a bit.

My goal has expanded to now help you with this new site, when you are ready, to take back your life and not be hostage to a past you tried to hard to be free from. I hope you will check out my new site at www.ReBeccaBurns.com and comment.

While you may see some posts from The-LastStraw.com most will be new and focused on helping you promote and market your #1 business – YOU!

Love & Peace,
Rebecca

I am a writer, dreamer and true believer that you change your life by changing your focus. I search the web day and night to bring you access to Motivational & Inspirational Resources to Promote & Market your #1 Business – YOU!

Come check it out, I would love your feedback, while you are there grab your FREE Goal & Progress Worksheets to help you set Obtainable Goals as well as the additional daily checklists to keep you Focused and Successful!

 

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Photo-Bigger-Tolerations

Stop Tolerating – Start Living. My favorite time of the year is the week between Christmas and the New Year, during that time I decide what my major 3 goals will be for the following year, one thing I strive to do is have them all written down and set in Stone by New Years day or that week at the latest, by set in stone I mean they have been written in my goal journal and entered into a Power Point that I update yearly and as my goals change, posted on the bathroom mirror and written somewhere so that I see them from my bed.

Yes, I have a PowerPoint for my goals, even though I am not an A type personality I find that if something isn’t visual, I will forget to look at it and with goals, we all know we must look at them often.

Finding a way that will keep you focused on your goals is important so find something that works for you. This post contains several things that I do and have done in the past to keep me focused, my goal and hope is that one or more work for you.

I started writing down my goals down over 20 years ago, thanks to my younger sister who knew exactly what I needed to move on after my husband had been removed from my home. I was suddenly free from a man that I begged God to free me from for many years and now I sat alone with my four year old son and I was clueless on what to do next.

Tolerations_Goal_Setting

Back to the goals, I had never really heard about goals and didn’t know where to begin until my sister gave me an Anthony Robbins 30 day program to get my life back on track.

I honestly listened to each cassette tape and wrote the exercises in a notebook daily. Some days I would listen to 2 tapes as I could feel the change in my mind.

The powerful realization that I could control what I thought about was like discovering the reason for my life. It had never occurred to me that I could somehow control what I thought about and focused on.

Like many of you I had lived a life of daily, sometimes hourly survival that I never had the time to sit and reflect on what I wanted my life to someday be, I just knew what I didn’t want it to be. Setting long term goals was the furthest thing from my mind. I was happy when the first thing that I was asked to do was to write down a list of what I would no longer tolerate, so that is where I would like you to begin today if you have never set any goals.

Take out a sheet of paper or open your computer or print out this Toleration_List_Worksheet and write the things that you will no longer tolerate from this day going forward, write until you have completely emptied out your head. Way back when I first started I wrote things like, no more anxiety attacks, never letting my husband back into my life, no longer being afraid to sleep in my bed. Since I was not yet ready to focus on a long term goal, deciding what I would no longer tolerate was something that I felt I was able to control. This is like baby steps for taking back control of your life.

Next, go through the sheet of toleration’s and pick the top 3 that must happen in order for your life to move forward. Save the others for another time, when you have removed the first three. Then write out the top 3 toleration’s on the top of a page as your top 3 goals. Underneath each one write why you will no longer tolerate this item, be clear on how if they are removed your life will change, Clarity is King. Finally, write what you will do to remove this toleration from your life.

For example, I knew that I needed and wanted to stop having anxiety attacks as I brought most of them on myself. I would continue to play the same record repeatedly in my head until I was unable to function.

By removing this from my life I would be able to take control of my life better.

I made a plan that I would allow my self to the count of 5 to dwell on something that upset me, then I had to stop thinking about it. I know that sounds silly, but after a few weeks at this it seemed to work, not always but most times I succeeded on changing the record in my head.

To help others that are trying to set goals, please share what 3 top toleration’s you will remove from your life starting today. For me, in the year 2018, my toleration’s are: no more chunks of wasted down time, I will make sure this doesn’t happen as I will consistently plan my 15 Minutes to Thrive where I write out what I will spend at least 15 minutes on each day that week to reach my goal.  I will no longer tolerate not being in peak health at 53 and I will no longer tolerate working for someone else. This helped me create my top 3 goals, for some of you there may be no need to create a list of tolerations, you may now with certainty what your top 3 goals are, great, have at it.

Decide today, will you tolerate and waste another day of your life by allowing things you don’t want to continue or will you remove that toleration from your life today? Please share your toleration list to inspire others.

Love & Peace,
Rebecca

 

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I wrote this poem years ago and still read it daily to stay inspired and focused:

Dream Focused

Focus,
Focus,
Focus,
Look at nothing else
Put on all your blinders
Or what you want you will lose sight
Concentration is important
Even though it may not seem
If you wish to have what you want in life
You must focus on the dream
Live it
Feel it
Be it
or nothing you will have
For those without a dream in life
Wander down the path
Someday you will feel frightened
Lost and all alone
Close your eyes and search your soul
For something to pull you through
A memory
A dream
A promise of tomorrow
The fate is in store for you must first be thought by You!

 

Today I was reviewing advice online to help rebuild self-esteem after abuse and this article was to the point, don’t try to fix everything, be patient with yourself. I wanted to share the link to the article after reading this part as I have often shared the same advice:

Be patient with yourself. Think about how you’d treat a best friend who had just been through your same situation. You likely wouldn’t tell them to “get over it already.” Let yourself take as much time as you need to sort through your emotions, feel what you need to feel and slowly come back to a positive outlook on the future.

The site offers a ton of resources such as forums and groups to support you in the aftermath of abuse, for teens and adults.  My goal is to provide you with resources and this looks like a pretty good one.  To read the rest of the article click here Rebuilding Your Self-Esteem after abuse.

If you have a site that offers support or know of one please share it in the comments, we are here to help each other heal, if not, what was the point of all of this?

Love & Peace,
Rebecca

Dream_Focused_Inspirational_Poetry_children_adults

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Moments that make us look back are often so spur of the moment.  My boyfriend and I picked up my 25 year old son to take him to brunch today,  I am happy that my son that could be hanging with his friends, chooses to hang with us often, I also love that my boyfriend is one of his best friends. This man has been more of a role model and father to my son this is father ever was.

We are driving back after brunch when my son randomly says, it is the 20 year anniversary of my father’s death soon.  I could sense from how he said it so matter of factually like, it might rain later, that he basically feels nothing but a person he should love and care about, died.  This made me so sad yet grateful this man left his life while my son was so young.  Granted the damage of who his father was remained, but I can only imagine the terror he would have brought on my son as he got older.  I feared he would be a teenager being forced to stay the night with an abusive drunk, my son had enough scars having he man in life for just 6 years. I am certain God took the man almost 20 years ago to save my son and I from living the rest of our lives in fear of him.

My son now has a 3 year old son, something he has always wanted.  Funny, he is about to divorce but he had always said, I want a son never a wife.  He so wanted to be the father he never had.  Last week he told me he son said, “daddy, we will be best friends forever.”  My son glowed, as a mother I deeply wish he had this from his own father.

Back today, the man that adores him, my boyfriend of 8 years, took him out to buy him a bike, granted my son is 25, but having a man you respect just take out to get you something you really want, it is just so bonding as a mother to watch.  If anything, the past that we both had has made us both greatly appreciate the good people in our life, my boyfriend being one of the best ones.  My son introduces us to his friends as his mother and stepfather, years ago is was my mom’s boyfriend, this just melted my guys heart.  Today they are unable to find the right bike so they come back home and I see my boyfriend taking his favorite bike out to the truck to send it home with my son, my son liked the bike and since they were not able to find one today, he gave him his.   Just the look of joy on my son’s face made it all worth it.  Knowing someone cares about you enough to give up something they enjoy to see you happy.

There is no point to this writing today except that I knew I wanted to share it with all of you.  There is hope of a better life, for years I have lived waiting for the shoe to drop, but it hasn’t.  My life has been calm and happy, extra happy in the last 8 years having a great man in it and my son so happy.  I need to accept that my life is good and get rid of that feeling that it won’t last.  This keeps me grateful every day for what I have, funny how a bad past can do that for you.  May you find your grateful.

Love & Peace,
Rebecca

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Full of Self Esteem

Full of Self Esteem

Hello Beautiful Ladies, Gents Girls and Boys,

This post is for all of you.  The photo above is when my daughter was younger, maybe 5 years old, she was full of confidence and knew she was beautiful, really, she would tell us this all the time and you had to pull her away from any mirror.  Sadly, now that she is about to turn 10, things have changed.

I was watching a talk on www.ted.com, one of my favorites places to learn and educate myself, check it out.  Today I watched a talk given by Meaghan Ramsey, it was about the self esteem and self image of our youth.  It reminded us of when we were little and would kiss our reflection in the mirror.  We loved how we looked, even with red cheeks, drool running down our face  and chubby little legs.  As we age, suddenly we never look good enough and we base how we feel on how others say we look.

This talk hit home for me because just last night my daughter told me with such excitement, “no one has picked on me at school since Monday.”  It was Wednesday.  She has been dealing with low key as I call it normal mean kids at school.  She is almost ten.  She had long hair and really wanted it cut to her shoulders recently.  After months of begging me as I loved her long hair, we let her get it cut.  She was so excited because as a benefit she found out her hair was long enough to donate it to locks of love so that a little girl or boy could have the joy of hair.

She got ready for school the next day, looking a few years older and super confident.  She bounced her new look as she headed off to school.  When I picked her up that day, she was another little girl.  When her sad little face got in the backseat I asked her what was wrong.  She told me that all day long she was picked on and told she looked ugly and that she looked like a boy.  Even her closest friends made fun of her.  My heart just sank for her.

I was always trying my best to teach her it was how she felt about her self that mattered, not the kids in school.  That is easy to say but when your child is devastated as she was, none of that matters.  I consoled her on the way home, empathizing with her feelings and weaving in the reminder that she loved her hair that morning, that she looked older and was always beautiful and that she was deciding how to feel, they were not making her feel that way.  I reminded her that only mean people would make fun of someone because of how they looked and that she was not that type of person and that made her more beautiful than any of them.

By the time we got home she was more confident, as we walked in the house, she was swinging are arms back and forth as we held hands, now swinging her hair back and forth because she loved how it felt, she said to me that those kids didn’t matter, she loved her new hair and they were just mean. This made me happy that she was able to bounce back.

The next few days the mean comments continued, I know in the moment they upset her, but her self esteem was something we worked on at home so she was able to handle it better each time.  She was learning the more she ignored them and continued to swing her hair and smile they seemed to lose interest in picking on her.

I let her know that people will pick on her the rest of her life, not everyone will like her and she will not like everyone.  I let her know that what was most important was how she felt about herself and how she chose to treat others.

This is an ongoing teaching for our children.  We can’t talk about self esteem just one time, it is like doing the math homework we hate or forcing them to read, we must address how others make them feel and how they feel about themselves daily to ensure they grow into confident adults.  It reminds me that she learns from what I say and do too.  I try to look my best and she tells me I am beautiful often, but I am sure she hears comments about my aging face or the fact that I need to drop a few pounds, but we need to be careful of how we model how we look and feel for them.

I did not grow up with the same message as she did, I was the ugly little girl with skinny legs, mad curly hair, I was picked on all the time, as an adult I did not realize the impact that must have had on myself esteem.  This would impact my life as I did not have real confidence in me until late thirties.  When I met my husband, the fact that he thought I was beautiful was enough, then when he beat me down later iwth how ugly, fat and useless I was and that no one would ever want to be with me but him, I was fully brainwashed.  I truly felt that what he said was true.  It took years before I could look at myself in the mirror and not turn away quickly. To read an older post I wrote about being able to see yourself in the mirror after abuse check out this link or search the site (mirror) http://wp.me/p1giU-9y

How do you help your children to be confident to deal with how others may perceive them?  Are you focusing on the entire child?  Imagine if we all looked the same, we could be judged on what we did, how we acted.  It should be this way.  If you teach your children to think this way, they won’t pick on others and they will focus on who they are, not how they look.

Love & Peace,
Rebecca

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