How To Be A Peaceful Warrior…

Hello Beautiful Soul!
I am so grateful that you are here, embracing the POWER OF LOVE with me!  I am honored and humbled to bring you the First Installment of THE RESILIENCY PROJECT!  This is an endeavor created out of love-Love of people and Love for their ability to not only embrace tragedy but to use their experiences to create a life of PURPOSE.  I was born to be a cheerleader; a supporter of causes that are not recognized, glamorized or supported.  I AM A WARRIOR.  So, it is with the utmost admiration and gratitude that I introduce you to Suzanne Cyr, A Peaceful Warrior Goddess who is making the world better one child at a time; one family at a time!   

Suzanne was born and raised North of Boston to a low-income, blended family of six. From a young age, she understood the barriers that she would have to overcome before she would be able to reach her true and highest potential. Childhood challenges inadvertently made her more resilient than she could ever imagine. Yet, her journey was not linear.  Rather, it has been a spiral that circles back to lessons not yet learned and expands outward as the process of empowerment shifts from a standpoint of being labeled as incapable to a place of being unstoppable & no longer requiring permission from others to shine. This journey has led her to a movement that empowers women and children through the creation of BRAVE Protective Mothers.

Suzanne shares her passion and wisdom with us in my very first Resiliency Project Interview We come to you from the seacoast, a place of safety, respite, connection and inspiration for Suzanne.  We invite you to listen, connect and comment!  I am honored to introduce Suzanne and BRAVE Protective Mothers.

In her own words, here is some of what Suzanne has shared with me: 
There were two events that changed the trajectory of my life. The first being the birth of my children (1996 & 1998); and, the second was the 8-year process of post-divorce, coercive control which led to being court ordered out of the lives of my two teen aged children (2014). Emotionally, the first event made me want to be a better person not only for my own family but for the world in general. My mission to better care for and protect children was centered on the caring of my own 2 children as well as the understanding that the lives of other children would greatly influence my two children. I became more empathetic and compassionate toward others. Being court ordered out of the lives of my two children in 2014 nearly cost me my life: it is often referred to as psychic shock. The heartbreak and psychological shock has been known to cause heart failure as well as other serious health aliments.
When my health was in serious jeopardy, I knew I had to shift. Additionally, I saw the result of trauma from my children’s perspective. I had to be strong and resilient for them. I had to model for them how to rise above atrocity and how to grow from it. If you can create a better life despite having lost so much, then in the end, the battle is won by you.
The shift was dependent on giving myself permission to provide myself daily care: Each day, I did at least 3 things for my health and well-being. I found that peace and joy can co-exist with sadness and grief. I had a new-found sense of being calm.  I exercised outdoors more: being in nature—specifically the beach is so healing. I prayed a lot. I became more spiritual and faithful.  I was thoughtful about what I ate. I was thoughtful about not over-extending myself. I did a lot of *checking in with me.* If something or someone did not serve my highest self, I left it alone. I learned to be mindful and in the moment as much as possible. I let go of a lot of preconceive notions of what “is”…

Strength came from faith and daily self-care:
Sleep
Honoring my feelings
Feeling them
Naming them
Sitting with them
Eventually working through them
Gentle exercise
Organic foods

Resilient and powerful women were my role models. Angel Shelton taught me how to speak truth to power. Alice Paul taught me about tenacity. Brene Brown taught me how to be vulnerable. My circle of friends became smaller and were limited to healthy and positive people. I learned the power that comes from being humble and asking for help.  Angela Shelton for example was someone I first heard of from a late night TV news program. Then, lo and behold, I met her in DC during a fundraiser 5k. I could talk about her for 30 minutes but suffice it to say that she taught me how to speak truth to power. I was then able to confront some powerful people who had harmed either myself, others, or both. Additionally, she was so broke at one point in her life that she was working out of a friend’s garage. She may have been living there as well. She inspired me on so many levels.

I have learned to embrace and live by The Four Agreements (by Don Miguel Ruiz). I have learned to judge a lot less. I have learned more healthy boundaries. And that the world owes me nothing. And, in turn, those who have hurt me or my children—I owe them nothing as well. Specifically, I do not owe them silence or protection by keeping my truths buried in a closet somewhere. As a result, I am more patient today. I let a lot of unimportant things go. I take in the big picture. I stay present. I truly try to embrace yesterday is gone and tomorrow is not here yet. Living “one day at a time” is not cliché to me: It is my lifeline.

What would you do differently?
I would hold my cards closer to my chest. I trusted a lot of people who I assumed (it was implied) that they had me and my children’s best interest at heart. They did not. I learned not everyone thinks like me or ascribes to the same value system that I have. I have learned discernment. I would defiantly hold my cards closer to my chest.

What is the greatest gift of moving beyond this challenge?
The greatest gift is that I am less critical. Less critical of me and less critical of others. I came from a family of nay-sayers, Debbie-Downers, enablers, and people who operated out of survival-mode. When you operate out of survival mode you live in fear. You lose your faith. You subconsciously brings others down with you so you feel less lonely. No one in my family ever told me that I could achieve things in life. From these people, my former husband included, my success threatened them. I subconsciously leaned to sabotage almost all of my life goals so that I would be accepted by people I thought loved me. Today, I think the people in my life benefit from my newfound perspective on life. I am easier to get along with. And, I hope they know that if they ever needed support and words of encouragement, I am that friend they can go to.

What would you say to others who may be struggling with the same challenge right now?
I would say, “Never, ever, ever give up hope. Take things one day at a time. In times of difficulty remind yourself that your struggle is just for today. Miracles do happen. A quickly as life can throw you a hard-blow, it can spin a 180 and give you a great gift that you never thought attainable. I was hit hard and in a low place that I never thought would right itself. But it has. I thank the Universe every day for my blessings. I enjoy everything that life has to offer from an ocean breeze, to good food, to an amazing hot cup of coffee, to a child’s smile, and to an authentic *thank you* & *good job!* I no longer own what is not mine to own and I no longer apologize for being who I am. Just like you can experience joy and grief at the same time, you will discover that although you have had a traumatic experience, you can find yourself being the happiest you have ever been. My newest motto is, “go out and heal yourself, and then, support another’s healing.” This frame of mind sets in motion a perpetual karmic energy that has the power to heal the world. *Namaste*

Resources:
Writings In The Sand by Ruth Collins 
BRAVE Protective Mothers 
Life Change Evaluation 

Reach out to Suzanne for more information about BRAVE Protective Mothers.  Reach out to me if you have questions or comments.  And please, please, please share if you feel that someone you know is in a position where we can help!  The more we speak about our challenges, the more the circle of support grows and it starts with YOU!

With so much love & gratitude,
Karen

Ocean Waves, Writings In The Sand & How To Be A Peaceful Warrior
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