public speaker

World Suicide Prevention Day

Tomorrow is September 11th. On September 11th 2,996 people lost their lives in an attack the people of the United States vowed to never forget. Nearly 3,000 people woke up one morning to never see their loved ones again. It shook our country. Innocent lives were taken tragically before their time. They were stolen from us and we vowed to never let that happen again. We came together, we stood up, we worked as one to fight for a better future for everyone. 

‪Today is September 10th. Today is World Suicide Prevention Day. 

Globally, about 1 million people per year die by suicide. That’s a death every 40 seconds. 

In 2017, in the United States, almost 3,931 people died every month by suicide. Their loved ones woke up one morning to find out that they, too, were stolen from them. Their lives cut short. Some of these people were fathers, some were friends, some were veterinarians, some children, some police officers, and so many more. Why don’t we speak about this more? Why don’t we vow to act and make a change? Far too many are suffering in silence. There are no flags to honor these loved ones. There are no memorials for those we miss dearly. 

Life is precious. There is no comparing life and loss. Pain is pain. Your pain is not stronger or lesser than another, it simply is pain. 

In suicide, there are far too many misconceptions and simplistic “explanations” painted over complex and truly human issues because too often, we cannot handle not having a reasonable answer. 

The harsh truth is, oftentimes in suicide, there is no answer, only more questions.

Why, is the first question a suicide loss survivor asks. Sadly, why cannot be answered 99% of the time. 

Those who die by suicide are not weak, selfish, or cowardly. They often feel as though they are a burden, as though they are making things better by not being alive. Suicide is not a rational choice when looking at the mental health state of a person struggling with illness. 

Suicide is not a permanent solution to a temporary problem. Some people suffer agonizing pain every day, from the moment they wake up to the moment they wake up because they can’t even sleep long enough for it to count as sleep. How would you help them? How can we say they only have temporary problems when every moment is pain?

Suicidal people are just looking for “attention”. What trauma did they experience when they were younger that we know nothing about? What deep rooted hurts do they need healed but have no idea they are even there to have a chance to heal them? They need attention, they need the skills to help themselves. They need to be seen and validated. 

There are so many more misconceptions and far too simplistic sayings and so little time to question and attempt to explain them all. Learn, seek knowledge, ask. Don’t limit yourself because something sounds catchy or cute. Spark your passion before something sparks it for you. 

Did you wake up knowing today is world suicide prevention day?

If you did, I’m truly sorry for your loss. If you did, I’m sorry for the pain you may be enduring now. If you did, know you are not alone. We are here beside you, pushing forward for a brighter, happier, future.

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public speaker

Success

Success is all about perspective.

It is short-lived and ravenous. Its survival depends on the attention span. And let’s face it, the attention span suffers from Alzheimers. Success demands sacrifices. As the offerings become greater, success demands more and more of us. It is fickle. It is moody. Often it is unnoticed when we want it to be seen most. Success doesn’t allow us to see behind the curtain of late nights, early mornings, heartaches, or pain that we bind together in order to feed its appetite. What you see as success, can sometimes be nothing more than chains.

People aren’t always in our corners, even when they say they are. Anyone who has ever put their soul and hearts out there knows how devastating it is when we realize those we think are on our team, aren’t. And we know, don’t we? We see it, even if we don’t say anything in the moment. We can find ourselves proud of how much we have accomplished and look around to see we are the only ones celebrating. We see, but sometimes we are too set on that goal to stop for things that are only trying to pull us down.

The best mindset to have is to live your life for you. Push forward, no matter what, for you. Not for others to be proud, not for others to cheer, not for others to see you as successful, but for you.

I’m really lucky to have had the chance to get to know so many people in my life. Sometimes the least likely relationships grow to be the ones you can’t imagine not having. I cannot tell you all the moments I often revisit that involve so many of you, because I don’t have enough time in this world to try. But many of you do cross my mind more often than you will ever know. Your stories, hearts, pain, aches, they are parts of me now and forever.

So I wanted to say thank you to everyone who has cheered me on, clapped for me, and supported me in any way. I wanted to tell you, you have not gone unnoticed. I wanted to appreciate you for you, for what you mean to me, and for how you have supported me.

I didn’t set out to find myself where I am today, but when your purpose hits you in the face like a brick wall, you are destined to never be blind to it again. Not everyone understands, not everyone cares, not everyone is truly cheering when they say they are and none of that really matters in the end. Because in the end, I won’t be here to see what I leave behind. All I can hope, is that someone out there will remember me fondly. As I will many of you.

We are here for as long as we are allowed to be here. While I am here, I plan on keeping on. I will continue on my path, I have a feeling many of you may have an inkling what that could be. And while I push forward, I hope to continue to know you, to meet more of you, and to help. In whatever small way I am able.

For me, success is doing something greater than myself so the world can seem less lonely and cold because I was once scared of how small I felt.

To those who have bought a book today, I thank you for supporting my work. To those who bought one yesterday, I thank you for allowing me the chance to live my life and help others. To those who will buy one tomorrow, I will continue to thank you for all the hopes you are telling me I can continue to hold tight.

You are allowing me to share pieces of my soul. You are granting me the ability to take better care of my universe in more ways than I can express on this platform. And you are giving me the strength to continue on an all too often exhausting journey. So, truly, I thank you all from the whole of my heart for supporting this human and the humans who belong to me.

Keep your eyes open for several more books coming soon. If you don’t want to keep your eyes open, I hope your dreams never fail to outshine your reality.

The Art of Safe Storytelling

I developed this training and guidebook to help those who asked me for guidance on how to share their own stories. I wanted to share the hard lessons I learned when I stumbled through the frightening world of standing absolutely vulnerably in front of strangers and hoped I wasn’t damaging any of us. I created this book because I realized how important it was for me to take care of my wellbeing while I was trying to prevent suicides and I wanted to encourage others to do the same. I wrote this book because I never felt like a few minutes after a presentation was enough time to share all the important things I have learned in storytelling through my years. I wanted to help others develop their story, care for themselves, and share experiences that just might bring us all closer together.

This self-paced easy to follow guidebook walks any person hoping to share their lived experience through tips on caring for themselves, developing their story, and keeping their audience at the forefront of their work.

It’s perfect for any speaker, new or seasoned!

#safestorytelling #livedexperience #presenter #speaking #suicideprevention #book #mentalhealth #speaker

Message me today for your copy, or to ask about wholesale opportunities.

Or you can purchase your book online here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1078164215/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_he6jDbBH2KRH3

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Acceptance, Beauty, Blog, Depression, Dreams, Fear, Love, Relationships, Strength, Suicide, suicide prevention, Thoughts, Writing

Why Do We Stop?

For emotion. 

Because of emotion. 

Without emotion.

We stop to feel. Perhaps we find ourselves lost in a moment, like when the butterfly happens magically across our path. Its dance sparking calm within us. It speaks to our soul and we bask in its serenity. Sometimes we listen to understand. We have thrown question after question into the void and now we wait for it to answer. There are times we pause in the hopes of shutting out the world and all its deafening noise. Because we see them, the beautifully broken, surrounding us and it shreds our ever feeling hearts to pulp. We ache to close our eyes and hearts so we can stumble through our world with some semblance of sanity left in tact. 

We stop because our emotions command us. They give us no choice. We are lost to their tumultuous waves and fall timidly into their powerful force. They steal our breath and focus our minds on our absence of control. Capturing us against our will. We fall prey to their hunger to consume our breath. And no matter how we flail against their waves, we find ourselves floating willingly as they drown every ounce of who we are. 

We stop because we have lost ourselves without the ability to feel. Perhaps we ignored what living should be in the hopes of finding what it might be in a future that never came true. We held our breath for so long that we forgot the necessity of air to our lungs. We’ve lost hope to what life would never be. For too long, we’ve overlooked the small glimmers. We forgot to steal back our simple joys. We failed to create gratitude in an all too ungrateful universe. 

Some of us failed to recognize our own worth. We expected too little of ourselves to allow us the chance to grow and flourish. Time slunk up around us and ticked away the life we deserved to savor while we starved ourselves on wishes we failed to reach for. 

We stop because we keep going until we cannot go any longer. We have pushed ourselves beyond our breaking and foolishly felt we were beyond a reasonable point to be fixed. We stop because we do not lean on others for fear. We fear their judgment, we fear their gaze. We fear being vulnerable and broken open to criticism and callousness. Our pain and pride give us this sense of necessary isolation that slowly eats at our will and destroys the image of who we should be. The image of who we think others feel we should be. We stop in spite of life all around us because we no longer see the world in vivid color. Our lack of hope has greyed our ability to dream or even recall the taste of possibility. 

We stop to be built or unbuilt. You see it’s in the lulls, the quiet moments we settle into, when our hearts are broken open to fully feel. That’s when we happen. That is when we are built and strengthened and fortified. That is when we break apart. We find ourselves on pause so when we begin again, hopefully, we are vigorously renewed. 

Life is chaos. It is simple, complicated, dark, and delightful. Each moment around us builds upon the moments we’ve intertwined with before. And that is when we become ourselves. 

We stop to be. 

We stop to become. 

We. 

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