Behind the Mask…

Hiya Everyone,

I have taken a few weeks off from writing and today as I sit in front of my computer, I scan through my recent Facebook  and Instagram posts…

There are a lot of wounded or hurt people who put on a happy face each day, and push through the pain. This post is all about you. Thank you for being so brave. Thank you for not dwelling in the negativity and for shining like a bright star. We need more bright stars.

shine bright

Social media has given us a platform to shout out about our trips, our delicious meals, our adorable grandbabies and to either lift people up or tear them down. There are “trolls” whose job in this life, is to be an idiot and to just post negative stuff. I wonder why someone would want to be so mean and ugly… I am so happy that isn’t my path today.

Over the last 20 years, I have reinvented myself a few times.

I have looked in the mirror and have decided to change my looks with countless hairstyles and hair stylists. I have taken many new jobs, have changed my living situations. I have been a Yoga teacher and a Yoga student. I have been in book clubs and have gone months without reading. I have moved my Massage business several times. I have eaten vegetarian, I have been a fast food queen, and everything in between. I have been a role model and I have also been someone who has put on a mask, just to feel safe. I have been a struggling single mom, a business owner, engaged to be married, broken-hearted, married, divorced, married again, widowed and married again.

I have been happy, clean and sober, a hot mess and grateful, probably all of those last four in the same day! I have been unemployed, self employed and punched a clock at a job that drained me. I have worked with assholes and Saints. I have met some amazing motivating people, and have been the motivator to many.

Behind each and every step… behind each and every “new me”… I was still the same person. I was, and am still, Denise.

I am just doing the best I can and trying not to get stuck. I am doing my best to carry the torch and to blaze a new path. Isn’t it wonderful to be able to decide in a flash, that you want to change? Isn’t freedom marvelous?


We are each given the same 24 hours each day. You get to decide your path. You get to decide your truth.

A few years ago, my friend and I were driving along and she shared a fear. She told me that she heard many years ago, that you end up marrying someone like your mother. (I had always heard it was your father…but you get the idea.) Anyway, she was terrified that she would pick a mate that was like her mom. She had a pretty shaky relationship with her mom and she didn’t want that, kind of partner.

I thought for a few seconds and then shared my thoughts. If you don’t want that to be your truth, can’t you just focus on a new truth? If you don’t want to marry someone like that, then don’t hang on to the belief, that you will.

I am a firm believer that we can change our path. We can change our truth. But… what if you don’t know how?

This is how it’s done… pay attention… this is important. You simply model your behavior after someone else. You look at someone elses choices, someone who you admire that really has their act together… and you follow that path.

If you weren’t taught how to walk away from a dead relationship or a job that is sucking the life out of you? Look at a brave soul that has done just that, then ask how they did it.

If you have been rocking the same hairstyle since highschool, it may be time to look at your options. If you have always polished your toes in a neutral or pale flesh tone… it may be time to hook those pigs up with some blue, or red!

I had a conversation with a mixed group recently… the topic was about how to address a person, who was out of line. The story started in a gym setting. The woman sharing the story said she had a male, cross the line and made an advancement towards her. One of the guys in the group asked if she told him, that he was out of line? You could literally see the woman shrinking and pulling back. No. She did not. Why not? Asked another guy… I stepped in. I asked her if I could answer the question. “Nobody had ever shown her how to stand her ground or gave her permission to tell someone, that his actions were wrong or unwanted.”

How in the hell are we supposed to know this stuff if nobody teaches us?? Nobody had ever taught her how to address someone like this. Nobody modeled that behavior for me either…. Sometimes we learn how to stand up and have a voice, the hard way.

Most of us were taught that this is as good as it gets. We have been taught by our own actions and the situations we have brought upon oursleves, that we just have to suck it up and deal with it.

Some of us have never given ourselves permission to speak up.

role models

Or maybe you were taught that you should run? Running is easier than developing the tools to handle situations. Running is easier than feeling the pain. I thought for years that the “fight or flight” instinct was just a saying, a myth or wives tale. I didn’t know how to fight. I just ran. That was strength, to me. Get the hell out- before someone hurts me.

This is why we need a tribe. We need people like us, who deal with stuff like we do, who have traveled the path… That we can confide in.

We need others to show us the way.


Thank you to all of the strong women who suit up and show up, so that I can learn how to be a better version of me. I get to reinvent me, because I have seen how it’s possible, by watching all of you.

I know change is hard, but it’s not as hard as staying stuck. I know pain is a great motivator… physical pain, emotional pain and even spiritual pain. If you’re at a point in your life that you’re just sick and tired… of whatever it is… look around. Look within. Give yourself permission to stop posting “woe is me… look how sucky my life is…” and start focusing on your choices.

I challenge you to look for your solution. Look hard. Find your tribe, the people who will guide and support you. Be authentic and live, peeps… it’s possible, just take the first step.

Until next time ~ Peace and Love!



4 thoughts on “Behind the Mask…

  1. Hi Denise! Thanks for this post! I love knowing that I’m not alone in my journey. I didn’t have my mother around growing up to teach me these things and my step-mother didn’t want to, so I learned from amazing women around me and I still am. My tribe is what gets me through the things that I can’t work out on my own. They are my people and when they say it takes a village, it’s so true. I think you’re amazing!!!

    Liked by 1 person

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