The Bjlog (the j is silent)

Hey there...My name is Sandra and you've happened upon my bjlog. 

Why does my bjlog have a "j" in it, you ask? Because this is really more of a journal than a blog. A blog feels like a lot of pressure, especially for an entrepreneur. You've got to post weekly and come up with interesting topics that have something to do with your business. You've got to worry about SEO and distribution and all the things that make it worth spending time on.

But if it's a bjlog, then it just becomes a random collection of my thoughts and there's no pressure. That's what you've stumbled upon today!

Since this is my first bjlog entry, let me introduce myself. 

As I said, my name is Sandra. I'm a 50-something, New Jersey-born, Arizona native who lives in Washington state. (Figure that out, and you win a prize!) My husband and I moved to a tiny town in the middle of the Capital Forest in January 2020--and we love it! After a lifetime of living in the desert, we left everything familiar behind (including our kids) and we've never looked back. Fortunately for us, some of our children (and all of our grandchildren) followed suit, so we're living the dream with our family in this beautiful place. 

I was born and raised in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, more commonly known as the Mormon Church. Soon after moving to Washington, however, we quit going to church and never went back. (I hear that happened to a lot of people during the pandemic!) I didn't leave the church because I didn't believe in the doctrine or because I found out the history was full of lies (although those are the reasons I could never go back!). I left because my son asked me why I kept choosing the church over him. And when I realized that my kids could never feel completely loved by me as long as I was a member, I knew the only thing I could do was walk away. 

The truth is, I was mentally out long before I formally severed ties with the church. I spent nearly a decade untangling God from the church so I could walk away without leaving Him behind. From a very young age, I've felt a connection to a higher power that I can't explain. It's something I've always believed in--independent of religion. Now that I've left the church, I actually feel more spiritually connected than ever before!

So...I'm a survivor of my 50-year stint as a Mormon...and I'm a survivor of a lot of other things, too. 

I'm a survivor of childhood sexual abuse and a witness to extreme domestic violence. I'm a cancer survivor. I survived an accident that severed my right hand--and I survived the 20 surgeries and hundreds of hours of physical therapy that came after it. I survived severe depression and anxiety, a miscarriage, being a stay-at-home mom with 5 kids, bankruptcy, marriage to a porn addict, leaving a fundamentalist religion, and more. I also have multiple LGBTQ children and a gay father...so I get it. Life can be hard. 

Sometimes, I look back over my life and wonder who I would be without all of the trauma I've experienced. And then I realize that's a ridiculous question--because life, at least my life, has been one long trauma fest. I've come to embrace this fact and have put an insane amount of effort into healing my trauma so I can support other women who are struggling in similar ways. And the truth is, all of that effort has made me who I am today--and most days, I like me!

Six years ago, I became a certified life coach. It was one of the best decisions of my life. It was also one of the worst decisions of my life (just keepin' it real!)

I discovered coaching after one of the previously mentioned 20 surgeries. I couldn't sleep and was aimlessly scrolling Facebook at 3 am when an advertisement for the Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching (IPEC) came across my screen. I didn't really know what a life coach was at the time, but I was intrigued by the school, and within 24 hours, I had registered for the training.

It was life-changing...meaning my life completely changed when I became a coach.

But the truth is, I had already discovered and incorporated the coaching concepts on my own. I didn't learn anything new through my coach training, but it gave me a framework for all the positive mindset work I had done on my own after my accident (more about that in a future post...or if you just can't wait to hear all the gory details of that story, you can purchase my book, SEVERED: A MEMOIR OF HOPE AND HEALING on Amazon).

Since then, I've completed two other certification programs--The Life Coach School and Moving the Human Spirit--as well as three specialty coach training programs in trauma recovery, religious trauma studies, and transitions coaching. During the past 6 years, I've helped hundreds of women go through difficult life transitions and come out better on the other side. I currently work with women who have left organized religion, specifically the LDS church, helping them identify and reverse religious programming so they can become who they were always meant to be. It's an extremely rewarding career!

It's also a difficult career (I know...that's just a thought!)

As a coach, I spend about half of my time coaching and the other half running a business. I love every minute I spend in my role as a coach--and I'm working on changing my mindset about running a business.

Listen--I'm an incredible employee. If you hire me to manage your small business, I will thrive (and so will your business)! I love problem-solving and managing people and doing all the nitty-gritty stuff to make the dreams of my employers come true. But in my own business, I despise all of that. My goal is to be able to hire someone like me to take care of all the business stuff so I can spend all of my time as a coach (and a grandma!). 2023 is my year! (That's what I'm telling myself, at least!)

If you made it this far, congratulations! You are either my best friend or my biggest fan! Seriously! (You might be both!) Please send a brief introduction to my email, [email protected] so I can get to know you, too! (Brief because I have a small attention span! :-0) My word for 2023 is COMMUNITY so I really would love to get to know you!

Stay tuned for more adventures on my bjlog. I'll be sharing the lessons I've learned on my healing journey, the struggles I still encounter on the daily, and whatever other random shit pops into my head. I can't guarantee it's going to be worth your time...but I can guarantee it will be real. 

Thanks for being here!

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