Day 3, The Game Changer 

Somewhere in the years between 2006 and 2008 I developed a crippling fear. I couldn’t check the mail alone, couldn’t shop, take a walk or in any way stand, speak or be in front of people. 
Being on stage had been a part of my life since early childhood. I danced ballet, tap and jazz in front of crowds of people, then performed in school plays both acting and singing without worry. In high school I loved the freedom of my acting/drama courses and continued to sing in choir. When I was in my early 20’s I joined the worship team in church, and spent a couple years both in the background and center stage.

Looking back it seems so sudden that something changed inside me. What may have developed over months or years, in memory seems to have happened like a strike of lightning. Something broke, something went haywire, and short circuited and zapped a piece of me out of service.

From then on I lived in a piercing spotlight. It followed me, always too bright to tolerate. I felt it driving, I felt it anytime I stepped outside, and it consumed my thoughts. Anywhere I went, anything I did, I felt every eye on me (even when there were none to be seen).

Simple activities like shopping, checking the mail, walking from my car into a building, opening a closed door or even walking into a familiar place, became high anxiety experiences. My heart pounded, my stomach flipped, and my mind raced. The logic was all there, I knew I was not the center of the universe, I knew I was not so important that everyone needed to focus their eyes on me, and yet I could not control the way it felt. I was closing in on myself, and the weight of the eyes I constantly felt on me was crushing my ability to feel anything resembling normal. Still, I hid it well.

In 2009 I began the long process of self-healing. Just as suddenly as it seemed to have happened, it started to decrease in intensity. I began to have days where I felt confident, instead of watched. I had days of increased strength, freedom and hope mixed in with days of crippling fear. Little by little the need to be both full-time employee and single mother chased more and more of the anxiety into submission. It took a few steps back but never retreated far enough to be unseen. It popped up anytime I was under stress, anytime I had a bad day. Last year it became louder, Stronger, heavier, again. On my wedding day, I was almost crippled by the fear of walking down the aisle in front of all those eyes. They were my closest family and friends and still I dreaded the moment. That beautiful moment when a groom sees his bride for the first time, was supposed to be like a fairytale. I hope for him it was, but for me it was terrifying, and uncomfortable. All that planning and excitement and all I wanted was for it to be over so I could go back into hiding. This was my life. No matter how I tried to push myself, the anxiety was stronger.

2 months ago I tried a product called Thrive. After endless Google searches and hundreds of testimonies that tugged at the heart strings, and with level 10 skepticism, I sacrificed $25.00 of my budget on a 3-day sample.

Day 1:

The first day I felt nothing noticeable, other than my body craving water. Water was not part of my normal diet (I know, shame on me). Listening to my body, I drank water most of the day, and gave it back every couple of hours! Holy cow, do normal people pee this much? I waited for some miracle effect to kick in, and thought of what else I could have spent that $25.00 on; a movie? A pair of shoes? A new piece of decor?

Day 2:

After a normal busy work day, I went home to my usual house full of kids and cleaning. Around 6 pm I noticed that I wasn’t tired like I normally was by then. By 7 pm I had finished cleaning, dinner, and baths and still had energy to keep going and finish homework. Hmmm, pretty cool but could be a fluke.

Day 3:

On day 3 I woke up 5 minutes before my alarm and could not wait to take my THRIVE, I wanted that energy back! On day 3 I got more than I expected. I went about my morning routine and left for work at my usual time. By noon on day 3 came the game changer! Something happened that I will try to explain calmly: OH MY GOD, my anxiety! Where was the fear??? I interacted with people without hesitation, walked the halls in total comfort, leisurely and confidently. When did the weight of every eye dissolve? I hadn’t noticed! I noticed the mental clarity I had gained, I noticed the stabilizing of my blood sugar and the way my body began responding to hunger simply as hunger rather than an imminent sugar crash. I noticed the endless and steady energy that powered through my day and through hours of homework at night. I even noticed the quality of sleep I was suddenly getting every night. My anxiety was the last and biggest change I noticed, and I’m not even sure how long it had been different, because with it gone, I forgot all about it.

I placed my first month’s order that day, with excited fingers, butterflies in my stomach and tears in my eyes!

2 months later I take my Thrive every morning. I have become accustomed to the energy levels, blood sugar stability and restful night’s sleep. I expect every day to have more than enough motivation, clarity and drive to tackle anything that comes at me. The one thing I have not gotten used to (and hope I never do) is the loss of my anxiety. Those moments when I realize I am doing what once was impossible for me, still give me butterflies. The confidence I have regained is exceptional, and I have become passionate about sharing my Thrive experience with others. (I should also mention that I have since gotten my monthly supply for free, as most Thrivers do month after month simply by referring 2 friends). I can honestly say that while I LOVE getting my THRIVE for FREE, I would gladly pay full price for it month after month because of what it has done for my quality of life.

All that being said, Let me be CLEAR: Thrive is not a miracle cure, it does not treat any medical conditions or claim to cure any illness, disease or condition!

I am now a Thrive Le-Vel Brand Promoter, eagerly sharing my experience and assistance with anyone I can. From one skeptic to another, if there is an area of your life either mental or physical that you’d like to change please contact me!

Go to my site,

http://apriluhoward.le-vel.com/

register for FREE as a customer, and read info, nutrition facts, watch videos and listen to testimonies. I cannot express enough the life changing opportunity waiting for you! Do what I did, get a sample, and see for yourself! You could be 3 days away from realizing your own potential! Thank you so much for reading a little of my story!

**Check out my photos below!!

(Yay clean room!)

Wearable nutrition!?? Yes please!

(2 A’s and a B, juggling kids, work and school!)

(3 steps to start my day off right!)

(When you’re up and motivated on Saturday morning WAY before the kids) woohoo!

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The Other “C” Word

The power of a word rests in the weight we give it. Some words are considered extremely powerful, some words offend, some inspire. Still others bend and contort to change according to their environment. Words like love and hate make declarations of passion, while words like life and death convey a coming certainty. Every word can be broken down into a simple combination of letters, strung together to create a sound. Then, one word, on any given day, can change everything. Cancer.

Did you feel that? Chances are, you felt the gravity of that word.

For years that word has echoed around you, playing its benign song in and around your world, always giving just enough space not to invade your comfort. Then one day it comes barreling out of a black tunnel aimed at you. With a savage howl it hits you, pierces through you, and leaves you crumbled in its wake.

His name was John. Cancer took him.

One day the word Cancer took center stage, with only a short performance in mind. Three weeks later the word funeral replaced it, the show was over. Cancer is a greedy word, and it wasn’t done yet.

John’s younger brother was Josh. Cancer took him too. This time Cancer stuck around for more performances, granted a few encores, and when it had the audience on their feet, the curtain came down hard.

When the fog lifted, two brothers were gone. Swallowed by the blackness of the word Cancer.

Then I saw it. Like the ripple left in the water after it has been touched. Like a scent in the air that lingers. Like warmth of a hug long after its embrace. LOVE.

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Love is the greatest of words. Love covers, cleanses, heals, refreshes, inspires, and comforts. When the dark of the world succeeds in defeating the flesh, love comes to light the way out. Love endures beyond the grave, beyond the pain, beyond the loss. Love has this power even when we don’t realize it.thCA9289YC

It may not be possible to remove the fear and suffering from words like Cancer, but we can choose to give more life to words that lift and strengthen us.

Consider the power of your words. How do you speak to the ones you love? What words in your life have you given power to destroy you or others? Could you take back that power and use it to encourage? Could you cover more darkness with the light of love? We shoulder the responsibility of our words. We are individually responsible for our usage of these simple words. Your words will define you and remain long after you are gone. Your words will be your legacy. Be wise in using them.

The good in being unprepared

He counts everything. He listens to conversations he shouldn’t hear. He debates most of what is said to him.

T was noticeably different from my other 2 children from the day he was born. I just didn’t know it then. His need for affection was apparent by day 3 of his life. He needed to feel my touch, constantly. He held my hair when skin was not available to him. I was not prepared for him.

unprepared
Say it with me

 

By age 2, he was a storm. He rattled the windows of my life. Ever craving, he grew to aggressive levels of affection. Little arms tried to strangle with every intense hug. Little mouth pressed powerfully against my cheeks. Little legs ran as soon as they could walk and wrapped themselves around mine, as I tried to walk past him. Little Storm T was a whirlwind. A beautiful, happy, loving wind that whipped around my face and danced at my legs day after day. I was not prepared for him.

I was not prepared for the sleepless nights that came with him. The first 9 months of nursing him meant being up every 2-3 hours, without fail. I was not prepared for the day he chose table food over breast milk. I was not prepared for the health issues he would have when he was 4, and his tonsils began to grow and block his airways. I was not prepared to sleep with my hand on his chest, shaking him when his breathing stopped, 10 or more times a night for 2 months. I was not prepared to kiss him goodbye when the doctors said it was time, and they wheeled him away for surgery.

I was not prepared for the ADHD diagnosis in Kindergarten.

I was not prepared for his level of intelligence.

I was not prepared to change everything for him and then change everything again

This is my life with my son T. I am not prepared, and that’s ok. I have never been prepared for this child, and it has taken me 7 years to realize the benefits of not being prepared.

T brought me back to life the day he was born and has kept me alive every day since. T is incredible. He has been the reason behind my doubts, my fears, my triumphs and my feelings of failure for 7 years, 2 months and 20 days. He is no more or less than any other child is to their parents, he is his own kind of perfect.

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Not being prepared for him protected me from being afraid of him. Not being prepared kept me from over analyzing each step on this journey. Not being prepared for him makes life interesting, fast-paced and exciting.

Were you prepared for your children? Did they seem to fit effortlessly into the space you laid out for them? I had this feeling of fitting with my first 2 children. Round hole-round peg. Square hole-square peg. Then came T.

Round hole- unicorn.

Plan B?
Plan R, S, T, U and V sometimes

 

Being a parent is not a job! Parenting cannot be experienced via books or research. It is an ongoing learning lifestyle that needs room to bend, structure itself and re-structure itself. If you find yourself today a manic mom, a doubting dad, or calling yourself a failure, be glad! Your failures are where the learning begins. You are capable, strong and in control. Accept your children for who God created them to be, love them despite all of their needs and lacking and fight for them as a raging army against the destruction of their precious and enormous little hearts! You are not prepared. That’s something to celebrate!