I Am putting my training hat back on.

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Last week I had to come to the decision that I have been focussing way too much on the past.

I have found for me ,for now, that when old wounds kept being reopened, I was not allowing myself to heal and therefore re creating the patterns of the pain.  This week I am relearning how to carry the past on my shoulders and it came down to one simple solution-Stop!

A wonderful friend got in contact with me and suggested to put my tools down for awhile, as in my writing tools.

“A month even”, she went on to say, “ Let time just be and let the space that is there be calm not stress. Let there be some time to just be”.

So, in this past week I have taken her advice to heart and I have just stopped. Stopped dwelling, regretting, worrying and above all writing.

There is, however, one thing from my past that I can’t seem to give up and that is training. Training, whether it is going for a run, skipping, boxing, swimming you name it, I haven’t been able to give that up. It is the one consistent thing (besides my husband) that keeps me smiling, feeling strong and getting that youthful twinkle back in my eyes. And when I have simple meditative moments like being able to pull off a double under at the age of 47, I am quite proud of that.   For those that don’t know, that’s skipping jargon for doing two rotations in one jump. Yup, I am proud of that!

It’s the simple things in life so it seems.

Here I am, back on the matts officially and it feels good. It feels great actually, to be around people that are inspired by what I have to offer and say. As a trainer it is a self fufilling career as it is always a win win. My role is to educate and motivate you to be the best and get the best from you. What you give me is your trust, your dedication to work and your grit to get in there and be challenged by me…The Silent Assasin!

My husband and I have been welcomed into the family of Gym & Fitness Koh Toa and we feel very honored to be in such a top class establishment. I have been in gyms all around the world from Scotland’s Forgewood Boxing Club to my own studio’s in Australia and of course the mecca for me WildCard in L.A. with Freddie Roach.

Whether I have been a trainer or I am being trained, one thing is for certain, I have never left the matts without smiling, swearing(it’s good for you) and a hell of a lot of chin sweat.

If you are wondering about my writing here, not to worry I have heaps I want to tell you but if you can’t find me here you can find me in Thailand cranking the Foo Fighters and listening to the sweet sound of ropes tapping, gloves being strapped on and boxing bags thumping.

So to hell with the past for now, let’s bring back some positive energy and it’s starting with me.

Lxo aka The Silent Assasin

You can find Lisa and her partner Denny at Gym and Fitness Koh Toa.

Their next event starts: August 11th

Event: Internationally renowned 32B Free Challenges.

Have a look at our 32B Free challenge : Come get some

https://web.facebook.com/32bfree/

 

It’s time to sweat, smile and swear…see you on the matts

Lxo

 

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I am letting go

 

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I am letting go. I am not giving up.

Years ago I was invited to go cliff jumping in Thailand. There are 3 tiered levels on the Island of Koh Tao. A 3 metre, an 8 and the final one the 12. I had just started dating my now husband, for those that don’t know, he is a Royal Marine Commando, had served in Iraq for 5 years and was also head of the security for the Iraqui governement when they were changing their Prime Ministers over a 9 month period.

To say he is fearless is an understatement, in fact he wrote a book about it called Fighting Your Demons. In it he talks a lot about his fears and how he was scared everyday, but had to change his attitude to cope with his surroundings. He had witnessed my struggles and my very real fears and felt it was time to do something compelely out of my comfort zone.

A big part of coming here to this tropical paradise was an opportunity for me to let go of my past and fight thru my fears. He had told me about the jumps as he had done them on his previous trips. To say I was scared shitless is an understament, in fact I have been called shit girl on this Island, but I will leave that for another story.

So in my heart I knew I had to jump off the 12. It was a test of sorts and I was determined to passout. The day arrived and I was so focused on my fear of the 12 metre, that I didn’t take stock of the fact that I had just jumped off a 3 and an 8 metre cliff into the ocean below.

My fear had me so consumed with the 12 metre that I also hadn’t noticed that the party of 8 that I had started out with had barely managed to jump off the 3,metre and only half of the original party managed the 8 metre, it was only when I looked back to my group that I realized it was only me heading for the 12.

To say I jumped off right away would be a bold faced lie. In order to take the jump, you actually have to run at it and let yourself go, trust yourself that your body won’t scrape along the cliff edges to the bottom, trust yourself that you won’t belly flop or hit your back hard.

As I went to take the run I screeched to a full stop right at the cliffs edge. Probably one of the most life threatening things I could have done. And then, then I just stood there and stared, mesmerised by how high up I was, how small I was…how insignificant I was. My Royal saw me freeze and headed up to try to either talk me down or talk me into it. After what seemed like 20 minutes of me just staring down and him going over all the things I had accompolished, and how I had to do it for me. I got angry. I was consumed with fear, of death, of letting go. I

didn’t want him there, telling me all the horrible things I had had to endure to make this jump. Iwas embarassed for so many reasons. His mate, another officer, came up to help. He asked if I was ok, then he to went into all the things that I was to be proud of, and the fact I had jumped all those other ones, but that this was just a little barrier, a barrier that I needed to get thru. My husband, now clearly frustrated, ran and did a double backflip in the air and smiled as he went down. He was met by the remaining jumping crew who were by this time getting water logged to see if I would go. And then, it happened, all there talk, all their positive affirmations came together and I slightly jogged to the edge and leapt!!

Can I tell you I had enough air time to open my eyes and realize I still hadn’t touched the water yet, I also realized when I splashed in that everyone went under the water for what I thought was to make sure I was ok. Apparanteley it was to see if my top had come off!! Yes, it did…

So I am letting go, I am not giving up.

There is a difference between these two statements. The first would seem at first glance to be defeat. But that isn’t the case as the latter would be that I have finally accepted defeat, and that my friends is called growth.

For now I can move on with that knowledge and let room in for those positive things that sadness has taken up room in for so long.

To let go has got to be one of the hardest things I personally have ever had to do…for one it’s admitting failure. It’s my final acceptance that know matter what I did, it just wasn’t enough.

It is a choice in life that I wish for everyone that none of you have to make, but life’s not all roses and sunshine…or is it? At some point you may have to come to…that moment when you have to look at that steep mountain you have been climbing for years and stop, take stock and firmly plant your feet in the earth and calmly whisper to yourself…I am enough!

….and then jump.

And to be enough for yourself means that those things you were holding onto, those belief systems, family values, relationship dreams…sometimes to get those things you had valued so much…sometimes you have to let go of all of them.

Holding on hard to something that as the days, months and years go with the same repetitive thought,’Is this the day? ‘Is this the day when I am enough for all that I had wished would find it’s way to me?

But on reflection that is insanity and the very definition of insanity is repeating the same thing over and over again in the hope of a different outcome. So I wait no more, instead I let go. But I will never give up.

Am I enough? Is that knock at my door going to happen, will a long, lost, loved one, a little more aged and a little wiser, come knocking.…Will they finally say, ‘You are enough, you always have been’.

So, I had to take a big deep breathe and show myself some tough love and make that hard decision, that one where your eyes sting and your throat clinches tightly at the very thought that I had to get to this point in my life. I have had to make that final call. To let go of all of it, of them, of they, of who, and yes …you, even you.

But I have to be clear, I am not giving up on it, or them, they, or who and especially not you. I am however letting go for me.

My understanding in this journey so far for me has meant that to be strong I have had to accept the most horrible sides of my weaknesses.I have had to face my fears, head on. Yet it is has been my weaknesses and fears that have made me who I am. They have been my teachers, my university, my life doctorate, my MBE in the role of my life. Sometimes I have been at the head of my class and learned quickly, even skipped a grade, other times I have had to repeat that year, as the lesson wasn’t heard and maybe I just needed to be reassured that this was not what I wanted for my life. And here is where I have inevitably had to grow.

By letting go I learned this about myself…

I am enough for me and I am enough for you. I am strong, I am also weak, I carry fears but I conquer them more confidently. I am not giving up on me or you!

And just one more thing, I ran back up those cliffs and jumped, this time for me….I jumped for me xxx

 

I Am Grateful for him-Part 3

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I Am Grateful for him-Part 3

I would like to share with you a message my husband posted on his time line.

He has always been the most generous, giving man I have ever met.  He is world class to say the least, but has inspired me on so many levels to be who I AM today.  No one is built alone, we are built from our experiences with engaging in people.  And as I write you will notice all my experiences good and bad have shaped me into who I am based on those interactions with these individuals.

Yet, there is one person who rises to the occasion time and time again, and to be honest I don’t know why or how he is here.  How did I, a divorced mother of three with a history of hell have heaven enter my door?

I thank you Mr.Denny from every fibre of my being for being you, consistently and persistently.  It’s beautiful to read you feel the same, thank you again My King x

An excerpt from Denny Denholm: a Royal Marine, a War Veteran, a Father, a writer, a boxer, a Coach….My love

We all have pasts and we all have demons…that can never be denied.

Some of us have to fight our way through youth and adult life, and others sort of sail through, unaware of the pain and violence around them. We all suffer. I am witness to that, especially Veterans, like me. 

This is why we are doing 22 Push Ups for 22 days in support of Vets who still live and need to be inspired by community and FB does that well. 

BUT…REMEMBER…OR WAKE UP TO…DOMESTIC VIOLENCE KILLS!!

When I returned from war, it horrified me that I had been genuinely sacrificing my life for my country and the good of mankind. Willingly taking my body and mind into the end of times to become strong enough to withstand war as a Commando. Then living through a career of it, for my country, family and kin.

I was horrified because while I was gone there were rapists and child molesters running a muck in every community. The more I looked the more I was broken in my soul. Any fucker tells me war broke me I will punch them right on the nose. Finding out this shit after my career in war totally broke me. No fucking question.

While i was trying to sort out how the fuck I can change this shit I met my wife Lisa Denholm. We were both going through horrific divorces and child custody nonsense and decided to fight back to back together, preserving love at all costs. We fight on and my wife has the courage to tell these stories so bloody eloquently. Watch this space…this woman has talent.

Listen to Lisa Denholm‘s story in her blogs. She has lived through the most horrific of abuses and still remains strong, faithful and able to teach others how to be strong, confident and loyal. God knows, meeting a loyal person is a challenge in these days. When I met this woman I learned about loyalty, hope and compassion, everything she tries to teach everyone every day. 

A true warrior and a true Love Legend!

Strength to your courage and I pray you that you can touch millions of people’s hearts. Together, we unite to STOP DOMESTIC VIOLENCE!

STOP SUICIDE

Lxo

Who would want you?

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Who would want you?

I had left my husband months before, tried to leave rather. I was back in 4 hours after the pleading and begging over the phone, the endless promises of, “ I will change!’ I knew, deep in my heart that wouldn’t happen, but the reality was I was a 40 something woman, a mother of three and had a responsibility to try for the sake of the family.

But how long is a piece of string? How long do you keep your life on hold in the hopes that one day all those promises will come true? And better yet, How do I set an example to my young daughter that abuse is never ok? or to my sons that treating woman badly is not OK? As they were getting older, they too were questioning my belief systems. For I wasn’t practicing what I preached, not even close.

‘Just get us out of here,’ my daughter pleaded one night. I had just turned 40, my 40th birthday party was in true form to the standards we had all grown accustomed to and let him get away with. He had gone from belittling the guests, to hitting on woman, to abusing his kids and finally to throwing out my presents and smashing the rented glassware.

As my daughter stood behind the door, slightly ajar, I could see her tears and her fear, “Why do you put up with this!”….Why indeed.

I was doing it for them I thought, I was trying to keep it together for the sake of the family, for the fear of being alone, broke, lost, lonely, used up. Then I realized I was already those things when I tried to look at myself in the mirror.

Yet I had tried bloody hard to keep it all together. I tried when the bottles of wine would come clanging up the driveway, I tried when he threatened the kids, I tried when his vicious words would keep pouring out nonstop abuse…I tried when he would pass out every night, I tried when he would spit tones of inadequacy…lord knows I tried. For 19 years I tried.

How long do you stay in an abusive marriage? What is the code of conduct? I tried thru marriage counseling, I tried to keep the kids on their best behavior, I tried to keep my house the cleanest it could be, I tried to be Suzy homemaker (even though my name is clearly Lisa), I tried passiveness, I tried loneliness, I tried giving up friends, and when I realized how hard I had been trying, I changed a few vowels around and came up with TIRED!

I was so tired. Tired of the eggshell floor, tired of the accusations, tired of not being allowed to grow because he couldn’t, tired of my children watching abuse and thinking it was the norm.

That’s the key thing with relationships; each of us will grow at different times. Not always at the same time, but if you are truly meant to be in that friendship/relationship then each one of you has to acknowledge that change is inevitable. Each day I change, a new wrinkle here, a new white hair there, nature tells you, you are changing.

I could have tried to hold back the changes, but Botox and boob jobs were never going to be for me. He insisted if I was to have the above, then he would love me more. Actually he would always love me more if I changed for him the way he wanted that change.

Who is anyone to tell you to change for them? Change is for you; you are not on anyone’s time frame of how you should change.

4 months later I was back in the same position. Sitting all business like with his sister, a 30 something, single woman with only her career and her endless degrees of paperback knowledge to contend with. After I had explained the circumstances, tried to make sense of this existence and how it had to stop. This modern day woman of the world had this pearl for me, ‘But, honestly Lisa, Who would want you? You have 3 kids, your over 40 and face it, you come with a lot of baggage! Not words of, as a woman you shouldn’t stand for this, or I am ashamed that you had to go thru this. No, there was no sisterhood support, actually she just shrugged and kept with her line of thinking…’Who would want you?

I thought about that for about 2 seconds, to be honest the cold had now set in and at the same time a burning rage. My eyes set straight ahead knowing my next steps. In my heart I was looking for me, I had been lost trying so hard to be everything for everyone else that I wasn’t interested in who would want me!!!

I was interested in if I would want me, if I could look at myself in the mirror and be proud of that woman who was changing. Changing from a young girl on her own, changing from a newly married woman to a mother of three. I wanted my changes to be appreciated not held onto like a bonsai tree. I was interested in my children seeing a woman stand up for what was right. If I wanted anyone to, ‘want me’, it would be them.

I left the next day, quietly packing my bags. He and I had spoken the night before in a long stand off. Reasoning was difficult, there were never going to be enough words, once a loyal person is pushed and the indifference sets in, there is no going back.

He had 5 key statements in desperation to make me stay, for this change to not take place.

1.If you leave me I will kill you

2.If you leave me I will kill the children

3.If you leave me I will kill you and the children

4.I will kill myself

5.Let me take you out for dinner and everything will be alright.

To answer her question, ‘Who would want me?

I’ll tell you who would want me… even though my losses have been high, I can finally look at myself in the mirror and know that change is inevitable, that being smothered, abused and disregarded is not what you are here in this life for.

I am here for me! Once that had been established, once I could honestly be me and sit in my skin, the who comes, the wants arrive, the love flows and you realize that piece of string is yours alone to measure.

I have changed again, a little older, a lot more under my belt, and I am with an amazing man who has watched from beside me those changes take place. In fact he encourages them, loves the fact we are changing, sometimes together other times encouraging from the sidelines.

I am this Woman.  Who would want me?  I would x

I AM just like you

 

 

 

 

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I am just like you.

In fact I am you. I am 18 going to college and working two jobs, I am 27 with my second baby on the way, I am 32 with my third baby arriving, I am 42 going thru a divorce and custody battle, I am heading towards 50 and starting to be comfortable in my skin. I am you and you are me. That statement above is my life in decades to this day. I too, like you have had a multiple number of excuses to not be healthy, to not look after myself, to put others first and to not make time for me.

Reading them back, even I can see that they are legitimate reasons to not being able to find the time. I have real life issues, just like you. What I want to do is show you how you can take an excuse and turn it into an opportunity to change your perspective.

Years ago, too many to mention, I became a Personal Trainer. At the time I was in my mid-thirties entering into what would be considered a younger persons environment.

As my client list grew and word of mouth started to increase my business, I found myself opening my first studio in Australia, which I named HOTBOD. This wasn’t a grandiouse place, by no means. The space was no bigger than 100 metres by 50. Just large enough for a skipping rope and a towel.

In my years of experience of being a trainer I have found that the hardest part for anyone trying to maintain a balanced existence is being consistent. So many things get in the way, important things. Illness is usually the predominant factor whether self inflicted or the common cold. To be able to rock up for your own life is hard.

It is actually easier to have an excuse than to make a date or a time for you. And these excuses are by no means an accusation that your lazy, what you have to own is that they are a realization that you didn’t think enough of yourself to take time out for you.

I have to say I am renowned for putting myself last and everything else first so I suppose that is my excuse and I work on that daily. I am not alone in that. The majority of my clients have always been majority women and we are a funny bunch to say the least. And not in the haha funny but in the huh funny. We want everyone in our life to be happy and will make those sacrifices accordingly, the first being not present for ourselves.

We have many obligations in our life, family of course is always to be number one. Next is work as that keeps the family going and second, third, fourth hell all the way to twenty and everything else in between we are obligated to.

School drop offs, concerts, after school activities, husbands, friends, house maintenance, cooking, shopping this endless list of life. Sometimes you can feel like a used mop, after being run across the floor and then squeezed out only to be dipped back in the murky waters again yet hoping for a shiny surface. But you won’t get a shiny surface if the water is murky. Murky water just keeps getting murkier, in order for a clean start one must change that water.

There are society standards blazing at us, gossip mongers being haters and everyone keeping up with the Jones’s whoever the hell they are their standards are by far unachievable and they have a lot to answer for. Must be hard to be a Jones, just saying.

Set backs are the norm, consistency is the hard part. Please do not beat yourself up over this, we are all in the same wash.

My husband and I designed a course years ago in Australia called the 32B Free Challenge. The course consisted of 3 weeks, training 4 times a week inclusive of our detox and our metabolic nutritional system. It was a success, not only in the turnout, but most importantly in the results. The theory is it takes 21 days to rid yourself of old habits and instead replace them with positive and motivational ones.

The response was fantastic in that I watched shy women turn into strong inspirations to their friends and families, I watched men throw their first punch and lose 14 kgs. But it went on to do much more as those that were apart of our fitness journey went onto become successful trainers, crossfit owners and body builders. How awe inspiring is that to know that we had touched their lives and motivated them to have fitness and a positive attitude thru our courses.

32B Free had been designed for you, the inconsistant globe trotter, whether your globe is four streets between the school drop off and the grocery store to home to travelling 13 countries in a year. Trying to maintain being in shape,is to be your biggest challenge.

Can’t we have it all, my head screams. Others make it look so easy. I myself have been accused of making it look easy. Please note anything in life that looks easy isn’t. Fact. Follow any sports person, any great chef or for me a trainer who is heading into her 50’s and yet still gets asked why I look only in my early 40’s. All of us will say it was sacrifice, hard work, passion and support, and here’s the big one, being lonely.

I believe why 32B Free worked was because we took that lonliness away, we created achievable goals and others to work towards. And we laughed, cried, smiled, sweat a lot, but we swore alot more.

Fitness, a group of like minded people pushing me on got me thru depression, fear and opened the door to happiness and freedom. Maybe we can sweat, smile and swear together someday, I would really like that.

I am just like you. I am that Trainer. I am Hotbod. I am 32B Free.

I AM Married to a Royal Marine

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I AM married to a Royal Marine

I hadn’t really taken in the whole impact that I was married to a Royal Marine until the shit really hit the fan. A Royal Marine has 3 Rules they live by:

1)Buddy first, self last

2)Laugh in the face of adversity

3) To walk where others fear to tread

September 2012 was an interesting time. Actually that was the year that we married in Chaing Mai in Thailand. We had been on a sabitical in a Bhuddist Monastery for our honeymoon, as you do, and over those days were kept in separate dormitories as well as eating areas. We were not allowed to make eye contact or pass messages to each other.

Every morning at 4am a gong was rung and all those staying in the monastery would make their way, bleary eyed to the community hall and begin the day with a yoga stretch, then a vegetarian breakfast followed by a structure of working meditation.

To not speak for a whole day was difficult, by day two I was completely batty yet by day 3 the monkey chatter in my head had calmed down. I am far from a yogi and getting into sitting meditation I did find quite hard, however I really enjoyed the walking meditation.

It was during the walking meditation that I started to feel that something wasn’t right. The day had been overcast and humid, yet whenever I closed my eyes all I could see was yellow. Bright yellow, as if I had been staring into the sun and there was that burnt impression behind my eyelids, but when I opened my eyes to check again, there was nothing but dark clouds.

That evening we finished up our basic meal, washed and then headed back to the hall. My thoughts were still with that intense color and why it was still physically upsetting me, but I wasn’t able to talk with anyone let alone My Royal. As we took our places within the hall I could sense Denny now staring at me, which is completely against all rules. I broke protocol for a few seconds and looked at him, his eyes were urgent and he put up his hand, 5 minutes he mouthed. I knew what he meant, I had felt it too, and yet we hadn’t spoken…something was not right.

6 months earlier

Our honeymoon had started with the intention that we would go offline for a month. It had been a hard year, leaving the kids, divorce and the horrible daily emails and hate mail that was a constant barrage. 6 months before our wedding I had been in court trying to gain access to my children. The judge that day had said the case was too complicated and that I would not be back on the family courts roster until another 6-8 months. That nearly killed me, full stop.

I laid in my bed for days, I even looked at our 11th floor apartment and thought what the hell just jump!! Denny knew it was bad, but he is also a Royal and that means you do not sit around and wait for shit to keep happening, you make shit happen. By Boxing day of 2011 we were on our way to Dubai, he wasn’t going to have me lying around, depressed and miserable over a situation I now could not even comprehend fixing.

As a trainer I have always been fit, but as the loss of my children and financial dramas unfolded so to did my fitness. I was training, all the time actually, I was breaking and didn’t care. We arrived into Dubai late that evening and Denny was to start work the next morning. There was no time for him to show me around, I was left to my own devices to explore.   We lived in a hotel suite, just a few blocks from his office, on the top floor was a gym. Instead of exploring the city, I went right back into my training head. After a week or so, my injuries were still piling up and yet that was the only thing I wanted to hold onto. As week one turned to week two, Denny took action. ‘I want you to get fat, I want you to heal your body and learn to be who you are in this new skin’.

First of all, who says that? And second of all, how do I let go?

And so it began, dinners out, big Iraqui lunches and a complete ban from the top floor!! He indulged me in any thing foodie, he was on a mission. 8kg later I had a fuller face, my injuries were lessening and I was starting to find my smile.   He took me skiing again, yes Dubai has an indoor ski resort!! If you ever get the chance to visit this place it is a Disneyland for adults, dubachery and anything you can think of you can get. After 6 months we headed to Thailand and with my now fully formed booty, regretfully realizing I am now in the land of smiles and string bikinis, we started our life.

Monastery

After my five minute warning, instead of sitting down I excused myself and headed to my dorm. It took me less than 5 minutes to pack my meager bag and head to the main office, there he was My Royal, already waiting. If you haven’t spoken for a few days let alone a week you will find that you have lost your voice. It actually is a bit of a strain to speak and form words.We walked out of the monastery, silent, both looking into each others eyes, the emotions were raw and not tangible to put words to.

‘Somethings not right’, I finally voiced. ‘I know, I felt something strange when we were walking, and I know we have to get back to our island. We booked into a hotel for the evening and the next morning were on a boat back.

As we made our way to our villa I dropped off our months worth of laundry, picked up some supplies and headed home. As we hadn’t been online, and wanted to share our recent marriage to our family and friends, we picked up our computers with the intention of seeing what had been going on in a month.

The first Fb message was from my sister in Canada, the message was ominous. It read, “Lisa, I don’t know what is going on, and it’s either a sick joke or it’s real, but your daughter has just posted, ‘Dad, rest in peace’. She went on to say that the post was then removed and her page was taken down. That feeling from the monastery came back again. My heart sunk, My Royal took action. He called our good friend in Australia, who immediately said let me go to the family and check things out.

Two hours later a message had come thru, my ex-husband was dead, the family was accusing me of his death and they had taken my children to the police to confess to disavow me as there mother. Like I said, when the shit hits the fan.

We were on the next boat out, actually it’s a boat, a plane and another plane to get off the island. Too be honest I don’t remember much of the journey back, only that the Royal beside me was stoic, strong and calm.

As we arrived into Brisbane we were both very aware that I had been threatened with being arrested by the police. My in-laws had sent a message thru our friend that they were accusing me of being a drug mule and a murderer…..yeah, let that set in, oh and the kids were now to be with my sister in-law, she will be a better mother they had said.

It took me a week to locate my youngest, and when I did, I made a decision that I wasn’t giving him back. They had taken my children, tried to hide their father’s death and now were blaming me of murder. Well to the rap sheet I was going to add kidnapping!!

In the days after it was a flurry of passports, screams from my older children and threats. To this day I can not even imagine what they had to go thru, the loss of their Dad and then the annihilation of there Mother. The older two had chosen but my youngest wasn’t having any of it.

We arrived at the airport late a few days later, enroute back to Thailand. My 11yr old was so desperately just wanting to get on that plane. My Royal, thru the whole thing was still there standing strong, taking in all of our pain and trying to shield us from whatever came at us.

Denny went thru customs first, he was wearing a long sleeve button down white shirt and pair of jeans. My son and I were next in line to go thru, as I approached and the officer looked to our passports, he asked me kindly to stand to the side. My heart sank, Denny and I had had this conversation the night before, if I didn’t make it thru then we weren’t in a financial position for him to fly back in again. I watched him pause outside of passport control and out of the corner of my eye I could see 3 officers heading towards me and my son.

They grabbed me, and I grabbed my son…we were both crying, scared of what was to happen to us next.

But what happened next no one saw coming, for the officers as quickly as they had grabbed me were now running towards the passport control line.

All I could make out was a white long sleeved shirt, with a passport in his hand and the other over his heart.

‘I come in peace ‘,he said, and I am not leaving without my family’.

That my friends, is a Royal Marine.

I AM Married to a Royal Marine

 

 

 

 

I have Faith not Fear-The Gift of Gratitude Part 2

 

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Excerpt from the novel, I AM this Woman

I pray, to myself, everyday actually. This isn’t a new thing, I have being doing this since I was a little girl. Not really knowing who or what I was praying to, but just talking to someone who didn’t judge me or ask anything of me…just putting my thoughts out there into the ether. As I got older and the world around me got a little crazier, to say the least, I started inquiring about faith, beliefs, others religions and what that meant to people. The majority would say it was their place of peace, of comfort and community.

When I was finishing my arts degree I met a young lady who was proudly Greek. I was on my own at the time over Easter and she had asked if I would like to partake in their midnight mass. Curious and excited to dress up I walked up the path to her and her communities Greek Orthodox Church. There were hundreds of people, beautifully turned out and tables laden with food. Glowing candles were held in our hands as we walked the streets for the Easter Passover. Children giggling and glowing that they were up way past their bedtime. But there was something else, there was a feeling of oneness that is very hard to find and connect with.

Needless to say I didn’t become Greek Orthodox, but that beauitful spirit of that night never left. The prayers were done, the mutual greeting and shaking of hands and then we were back off into the world of competition, daily grind and lonliness. If there was ever a time to convert I suppose it would have been then.

I have been to many churches since that time, in fact all of my children have been baptised and have received the Holy Sacraments within the Catholic church. They were given a faith, something I wanted very much for myself. A place in the time of a storm that will open it’s doors and not question why you are there.

My strength comes from my core belief in my faith, the one that has always been in my little pocket. I take it out when times are hard and because I have been doing this for so many years it is like breathing, you know your doing it but you don’t question it.

My family never baptised me, it never dawned on me that they hadn’t, it was only when my first sibling arrived and he was baptised that I questioned it.

When I asked about it the response was, ‘We thought we would let you decide when you grew up?’ Being a child of the late 60’s, maybe this was her breaking free from society and along with it, burning bras. Whatever the reason it left me feeling not as grounded or connected as those that had been, those being my siblings. It was like their own private secret society and I hadn’t been a thought into that process.

Years later on I fell in love with a man of great faith, he watched as I attended church with my children, as I happily agreed to go to Easter Mass. He showed me the sacraments and the reconciliation as well as taught me that the church is dark, and clouded within it’s own dramas. This we all know, I for one have questioned many times why those men need to wear fuchsia hats and more diamonds and gold than Elizabeth Taylor, God rest her soul.

As I travelled and lived abroad I watched all different faiths, and their customs. When living in Dubai the Mosque call to prayer would sing out five times a day, it was a slight hum and actually became very comforting that they would take the time to just reflect. In Scotland, Sunday Mass was always a huge turnout and the Priests were knowledgeable, aware of the world’s strife, and openly aware with the dysfunction of it’s institution. It was refreshing to say the least and it made me remember when I was little and it was simpler, to just be at one with your thoughts, worries, concerns and hopes.

Living in Canada there was a strong Indian community, the elders would dance and chant and smudge (burning sage), I loved it, I love all of it. We need grounding, a community and a moment when all is right with the world and our world within. To observe so many faiths from within I have been very blessed. Currently I live in a Buddhist country, and on my wedding we lived in a monastery for a week. That was a week of getting back to my own base, no words were spoken, no eye contact was made, and the eating area was separated into male and female areas. By the 3rd day the monkey chatter in my mind had stopped and I could see.

One day I would like to visit the Vatican. Why not, it’s all of our history. I am married to a man who sees no borders of any religious type. It is refreshing, he is Catholic and loves his faith, but in truth he loves them all. He has studied the Quran, and he once tried to become a priest at the age of 14. He stands for his faith yet sees it’s faults, but they all have them. Like people, faiths can falter.

My own baptism eventually happened for me. I wanted to be apart of my children’s community, of my husbands love, and what had clearly been a search for me for many years. Years before when I was in counseling with my high school, the councilor when hearing of what I had been thru asked, “How do you get up every morning and be able to smile?” I looked at him, straight into his eyes, “Because everyday is a new day, you just have to believe that, you just have to have faith”. I too was 16 when I announced that out loud. At 47, that thought process has not changed.

I have had a great deal of love and support sent to me after writing, ‘I am just waiting on a train’. I thank you. I am grateful for this, and grateful to the people that have been my strength. There is one though that has been here, thru all of this. Thru my nightmares, my losses and when I just couldn’t get out of bed. When all I had was getting lesser by the day, he still stood there, on guard, fighting off the wolves.

After our coffee date that day, he gave me a limited edition of his first book, ‘Fighting Your Demons’. He then told he was going to head out for that day and just left me with that book. His concerns were that I wouldn’t want to see him after reading it, as in there was a whole lot of truth within those pages. And so that is exactly what he did.

I read it, twice. Inside was a life, a big one. I am not sure that any one person I have met before or since has met with one if not all of these experiences. Later that afternoon, there was a knock at my door. He had a fresh haircut, a packed bag and said so, “Your coming with me, because I am on a journey and I am moving this way quick, can you handle it?”

‘Yeah’, I prayed to myself, I got this.

I AM this woman, who are you?

https://www.amazon.com/FIGHTING-YOUR-DEMONS-Mastering-Courage-ebook/dp/B01HLYVF0Q/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1467256246&sr=8-1&keywords=fighting+your+demons#nav-subnav

Have Faith not Fear

LXo

Meeting Denny, The Gift of Gratitude Part One

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In 2008 I was sitting in a classroom on a Friday morning, it was 8:45am and the class was to start for 9am, sharp. By sharp I mean I was sitting in a class of personal trainers who’s job it is to be there before their clients. If anything as a trainer you are always 15 minutes early. As I looked around the large room, I counted the chairs and noticed it was to be a full session albiet two chairs were empty. Must have cancelled I thought. My chair was on the other side of the horsehoe style set up and next to me was a trainer from the Gold coast and beside him an empty chair. Everyone was exchanging pleasantries and names while the instructor was organizing our days agenda, as 9am arrived the door flew open and a man burst thru the doors with the biggest smile on his face.

Without a breathe he went onto explain why he was late, his mornings adventure with his son, his speeding ticket to prove he was trying his hardest to be on time, all with a scottish brogue to add to the chaos. To be honest, it was quite funny and as the teacher smiled and said not to worry, she asked him to take a seat. There were two seats remaining, one just in front of the door he just burst into and the other all the way on the other side of the room. I noticed he scanned the area quickly and instead of taking the convenient chair, he excused himself vivaciously as he manouvered past 25 chairs and trainers to sit just on the other side of me.

‘Hi, my name is Denny’, and with that same gregacious smile he extended his hand to the trainer beside me and then leaned around. ‘Sorry man, I just arrived back from the war and civvie life has some adjusting.’

As it would be, myself, the Gold Coast trainer and Denny were teamed up for that 2 day course to do all of our skills and training together. They were fun, it was a great course and I met heaps of people that weekend. By the close on Sunday night myself and the 38 trainers were a tight nit group of entreprenurial, healthy, energetic minds. What we all want to be around in our lives. Business cards were exchanged, phone numbers and email addresses and I put them in my Filo-fax as reference for working with this crew somehwere in the future. And my scottish friend Denny, he was heading out on a plane to thailand. He was also in the process of starting to write his first book and he was enjoying his newly found single life. I wished him well in his travels and his leap into the world of writing. ‘All the best’, I said and I never heard or saw him again until two years later.

 

2010

I was unpacking my boxes into a newly leased house. I had been seperated from my husband for sometime and was just starting to get the kids and my business back on track. The internet and phone in this old home were dodgy to say the least, in order to get telephone reception I had to stand in the middle of the street outside to hear slight murmurings and cackles. This day in between packing I was checking on my emails. A message came thru from a Denny Denholm, a book launch called Fighting Your Demons. Somewhere in the back of my head I remembered a man from years before who had said he was going to write a book. But for the life of me I couldn’t remember what he looked like, where he was from was also sketchy, but what the heck I sent him an email back congratulating him and stating that that is a huge effort, one to write it but two to actually put it all together.

An email came back almost instantly, ‘Is this Lisa?, Lisa Hotbod?. At this time I had been in the local newspaper and had been doing a lot around the community. So I didn’t take much notice that maybe that’s how he knew me. But then the email came back, we met years ago on that course, I was the one who was really late!

It jared a memory but not much else, my life had been incredibly busy and meeting people had not been apart of it. It was work, kids, work, kids. We exchanged phone numbers and when he called I was in the middle of the street trying to make out his accent so I could understand that he wanted to meet for coffee when he got back. Or something like that, as the line was crackling he finished off with Saturday, your studio 10am.

But that was also 3 weeks away and Christmas was coming, too much I thought but I agreed and wished him well.

 

Christmas came and went, it was the first one as a single Mom. My friends were amazing, I didn’t have much money but the love shown to me during this difficult time was magic. New Years came and went and my studio started to pick up again. New years resolutions to get fit with me were adding up, by the Saturday morning of what was to be a coffee date I hadn’t had a lot of time to think about this now mystery man. 10:10 arrived, he was late…hmmmm, wait a minute this is starting to seem really familiar. As I looked to my client who was in for a coffee if this ‘guy’ was a no show, the doors burst open. In walked the most beautiful smile, gregacious laugh and for the first time in too many years to count, I was home.

Fighting Your Demons….the Gift of Gratitude, Part Two

https://www.amazon.com/FIGHTING-YOUR-DEMONS-Mastering-Courage-ebook/dp/B01HLYVF0Q/ref=sr_1_1_twi_kin_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1467008872&sr=1-1&keywords=Fighting+your+Demons

 

I AM just waiting on a train

An excerpt from the book I am this woman…..

 

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Just a few weeks ago I discovered a hidden SMS message on FaceBook that had been sent to me over a year ago.

I can tell you now, looking back on the discovery(hindsight is golden) that it was one of those ‘movie moments’. You know, when the train doors slide open, and you have a choice, to get on or not. The choice of getting on from the audiences point of view is obvious, but instead we seem to choose to stay on the cold lonely platform. I am guilty of  choosing the latter too many times, this time I was getting on that train.

I was in the middle of checking emails and not being the most-savviest person on the planet with my iPhone skills, I had overlooked a whole section of SMS’s. There were about 15 in the bank, but only one caught my interest. The message was written with a shy tone, cautious, but yet direct.

It was from my first husbands, first girlfriend and fiancé.

They had been high school sweethearts over 25 years ago. I had never met her before in all of my time in Australia, nor being married for 19 years, and to be honest, never really heard much about her. Like all high school romances, I had thought it was left in the pages of their yearbook.

I don’t know why I didn’t see  her message before, maybe the timing wasn’t meant for me to see it then but a few things were at play that day. Let’s just say the stars were all aligning, but not in a glorious Milky Way moment, more like a catastrophic parade of meteorites heading for Planet Blonde.

I recognized her name from the past, and then realized that maybe she hadn’t known ‘our ex’ was no longer living. I felt obliged to contact her, and of course a little curious as this was literally a blast from his past, and from all accounts, nothing to do with me.

However, the second reason was because her words were chillingly close to the bone, as to how accurate her description of what had happened to me over 19 years of marriage, reflected in what she had claimed to be her experience.

Her name was A, she typed thru messenger. She hoped I was all right, that my daughter was ok, and that she had been concerned all these years for my safety. She had hoped he had turned into a good man; and the last line, ‘she had been plagued all her life worrying for me and what she hoped I had not gone thru’.

The surreal part is I received this in late 2015, yet he had died 3 years previous and secondly a lot of work has gone into my growth and moving on.So why now, why after all these years did it have to come back.  I had managed to put all of the past behind me. But here is the rub, the past can’t be put to rest until you deal with it…all of it.

So, with a heavy heart, I have to bring back the past in order for me to succeed in my present.

Please note, I AM not a victim, I AM a survivor, I AM that daughter, I AM that divorcee, I AM that widower, I AM this strong, I AM a body of those experiences.

If this is not spoken about and I AM not able to share my experiences,as dark as they may be then how can I help someone out there who is going thru the exact circumstances and is overwhelmed in their isolation and can’t see their way out?

Maybe that SMS was a sign to say hey, you have had plenty of time to let others know, to help those when others doubt them.  For I have been doubted, called a liar, blamed and yet still had to grovel for those peoples affections.  Yes, it is hurtful to read but not as painful as receiving it.  And without my truth, that this happened to me, then how are we going to stand up for ourselves and say, enough is enough?

I to have had all this pain and not to be able to show others that pain just equals more pain.  Hurt people hurt people, sad people share sadness all the time.  I am here to share knowledge, personal experience and how to grow from it without the guilt or societies branding.

So please, bare witness, but don’t bare sadness, or despair, read for hope, truth and knowing that we are not alone.

My Living Hell

I was groomed from an early age. Trust has never been my strong suit.

Groomed from an early age by my uncle Herbie, from what I can recall 8yrs old to finally having the strength to stop him at the age of 16.

My mother knew, I told her over many years; her response was to get drunk and chase me with an axe thru my bedroom door, beat me or burn me. I have all scars to prove it, outwardly and inwardly.

Thankfully my stepfather had put locks on my door only a few weeks before the big finale, or it could have gotten really ugly. I left that day and didn’t look back for nearly 25 years!

To say my childhood environment reflected what was going on behind the scenes was the sinister part, for the house was always clean, there was food and I was clothed. My mother’s attention to detail, her fantastic taste in design and her immaculate presentation of her many houses did not reflect the pain.

There was pain, a lot of it. From beatings after school, to burns on my body, my mother’s drunken ranting’s were always followed with beatings, pulling hair, being punched or kicked. Accusing me of sleeping with her second husband, let’s just say the list does get bigger but you get the general idea. And the end result was always the same; she couldn’t remember that she had done it. Here is where the ‘blame game’ starts. I felt responsible for every punch, every bruise and every grooming experience. I blamed myself for the treatment my ‘family’ gave me. After all it was me who made them do what they did, right?

I know, I don’t look like anything could have happened to me. But it did, they did it and then  I blamed myself for it happening…every single day. But I left that behind; I put it in my past and just walked away. Dusted myself off, and made way for my future, a bright one. I wanted my life to be so bright like a glowing ball of sunshine, that anyone who came near me would feel my radiant glow of love and not want to hurt me. I wanted that so much.

The problem was though; that my past was still there and my first hand knowledge of ‘love’ was that it came from either a fist or a fuck.

The lady at the other end of that SMS was not to know that she had opened my Pandora’s box. Please note, it wasn’t her fault, she has had her own battles all her life, and I hope she can be at ease now, and know that I am thankful for her strength in reaching out.

I was 21 when I married. Looking back a child bride. He was from the other side of the world, a world away from rejection, ignorance and plain hate. Or so I thought.

My next 19 years were to be a repeat performance of my childhood. Physical and emotional abuse. The thing is bruises heal but words; words stay forever in your mind. And he was great with his words.

But one day those words didn’t hurt anymore, the sting in them was still there, but the indifference to them had set in. I was realizing my self-worth in the phrases of a childhood nursery rhyme, ‘Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me’.

And so I left, again. I AM that mother who left her children with that hu-MAN, this will always be my guilt and sadness. At the time all I could think about was my survival and once that was established, then I was in a place that I could save us all. Sadly it hasn’t been that way.

Since this woman contacted me, I have had to regroup and look at all of my actions that led me into these situations.

I AM not accountable to those steps that were laid down for me by those who failed me in my past. I take great responsibility in creating new steps, with big giant leaps.

I chased those demons down and fought thru it, but not without help. Help came in strange ways and also in undeniable, downright spiritual ways too. As soon as I had decided that enough was enough, those train doors started to slide open and the boogeyman wasn’t there anymore.

I AM now well informed about what I will stand for in my life. Who I let be near me, and how I want to be treated. Simply. With Love

The night before I left my yet again abusive situation, I sat down outside on the steps and wrote down on a tiny piece of paper what I wanted out of my life. Not what I owe someone, not what I can do for them to make them happy but what I needed for me to fulfil my journey.  I realised that if you are truly loved, then the above doesn’t happen to you, if it is happening then get the hell out.  Find a way.  It’s all scary, but the scariest part is that you could still be there.

Dear Lxo

I AM in LOVE, I AM strong, I AM happy, I AM a rebel, I AM a traveller, I AM empowered, I AM a cougar, I AM raw, I AM an Artist,  I AM that Mother and my door is always open.

I AM this WOMAN, and the past is now just that…

My 11 Affirmations to Warrior Heaven – Forever Strong in Love †

 

**If you are a victim of #childabuse, #sexualassault, #parentalalienation, #domesticviolence #incest #mentalabuse #physicalabuse please reach out, to someone, anyone, me….

The more we  can bring awareness and stop the taboo of talking about these subjects the more the ‘System of Silence Stops.

LXO