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I Am The Storm

“Strong women aren’t simply born.  We are forged through the challenges of life.  With each challenge we grow mentally and emotionally.  We move forward with our head held high and a strength that can not be denied.  A woman who’s been through the storm and survived.  We are Warriors!” – Unknown

There are moments in everyone’s life where their knees hit the floor.  Moments when you are in the middle of a devastating experience.   When you feel like your sinking beneath the waves for the last time and you aren’t going to be able to reach the surface again.  That moment when you feel that death is a welcome experience, just to get away from the pain.  That is the moment when you discover that place deep inside your soul that is indestructible.

“Within every woman there is a healer, a lioness, a wild warrioress, a priestess, a goddess.  Never for get that.  Give yourself wings” – Unknown

When you are in that place of –

  • disempowerment
  • feeling isolated and alone
  • when all of your plans were destroyed
  • you are uncertain of being able to survive

At those moments it is necessary to reinvent who you are – at the basic core of your soul.  Nietzsche said that when you are in the place where your entire life is lying all around in the wreckage, it is critical that you look at that as a time of opportunity.  It made me think of Steve Austin in the Six Million Dollar Man.  They rebuilt his right arm, both legs and one eye and made him bionic and better than he was before.

“We fall.  We break.  We fail.  But then, We Rise, We Heal, We Overcome” – Unknown

What Nietzsche came to call this was the moment of loving your fate.  Where you would say that whatever is happening here is what I need to happen.  You look at it as an opportunity, a challenge.  A place to find your inner strength or resilience to bounce back not just back to where you were.  But better than before.  The belief here is that nothing can happen to you that is not positive.

I have read several article’s and just bought both the book and the movie for “Just Mercy” by Bryan Stevenson.  In his book he talks about how everyone shares the condition of brokenness.  There are different levels of brokenness, but it is the brokenness that serves as a connection.  It’s part of the human condition.

There is a difference between brokenness and breakable.  Brokenness can be healed.  You gain comfort and meaning from the fact of being healed.  Storm Warriors can be broken but they are not breakable.

Being breakable means that there are too many pieces that are missing and it can’t be fixed.  Take a tea cup for example.  If it is broken, the pieces can be glued back together and it is still a tea cup.  But if the tea cup is shattered into a million pieces, the magic of healing can’t happen.

When my nephew was murdered our family faced a choice of being broken or being breakable.  Being broken meant that we worked through our grief, anger and pain.  Working through those emotions would lead us back to love and forgiveness for the person who took his life.  Being breakable still leads to grief, anger and pain.  But it doesn’t stop there.  It continues down the track of becoming a victim, of being vengeful to point of cheering when the death penalty takes their life.  Of taking that victimization even further down the track into denying any compassion and as a result denying our own humanity.

“I expect to pass through this world but once; if, therefore, there can be any kindness I can show, or any good thing I can do to any fellow human being, let me do it now. Let me not defer or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again” – A Quaker

LemonadeMakers was our choice.  We chose to take resilience to a whole new level.  We chose to heal our brokenness.  We chose to become Storm Warriors.

Until the late 1700’s there were no life boats.  So when sailors had a shipwreck almost all would be lost at sea.  When the life boat was invented, at first they remained on land and would be used to go out to sinking ships to rescue those on board.  Storm Warriors was what they used to call the men that would go out in the storm to rescue those in shipwrecks.  Many of these Storm Warriors lost their lives trying to save others.

When you become a Storm Warrior, there is no possibility of being breakable.  Breakable isn’t a word in your dictionary.  A Storm warrior leaves resilience behind in the basement, as you race up to the penthouse.  It is that place where there is no comfort zone.  There are no boundaries.  No limitations.  It is the place you arrive when you have blown past “the zone”, the runners high, the world records.  You have not only exceeded all expectations, you put yourself in a whole new zip code, a new dictionary definition of what can be accomplished.

  • To become bionic
  • To “bounce back”
  • To rebound without collapsing
  • To withstand shocks
  • To rebuild your life with stronger foundational materials
  • To see life from a whole new level, without limitations
  • To cope and adapt to challenging situations successfully

Resilience is a skillset you use daily in your life.  Being a Storm Warrior is a part of you that emerges when it is needed.  It is sort of like driving a normal car with gas for everyday, and having a dragster with nitro for when you are a Storm Warrior.  Most days when you don’t need a nitro super power to live your life.  But when those really bad days happen and tragedy strikes, you need to be able to pull out all the stops with your dragster and put some power into your life.

“People who have it tend to also have three underlying advantages:  a belief that they can influence life events; a tendency to find meaningful purpose in life’s turmoil; and a conviction that they can learn from both positive and negative experiences” – Amanda Ripley

Resilience is the strength of spirit to recover from everyday adversities. When you experience disappointment, you find the hope and courage to carry on. Humor lightens the load when it seems to heavy. You overcome life’s obstacles by tapping into a deep well of faith and endurance. At times of loss, you seek out others for comfort. You grieve and then move on. You create new memories. You discern the learning that can come from hardship. You don’t cower in the face of challenge. You engage fully in the dance of life.


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Sheryl Silbaugh
Sheryl Silbaughhttp://lemonademakers.org/
SHERYL Silbaugh is a writer, speaker, and transformational coach. She is a Director at Bank of America. She is the founder of LemonadeMakers.org created to inspire people to transform grief into gold. In April 2010, Sheryl suffered the loss of her nephew, who was randomly killed by a gang member. The idea of LemonadeMakers came from her grief. She experienced firsthand the creative power of transformation. She started a small Facebook presence that has grown from 500 followers in July 2015 to over 47,300 in March 2017. She demonstrates how to take life’s lemons and make lemonade. She is a skilled guide for those experiencing transition or loss. When we let go of what no longer serves us, and open ourselves to our soul’s calling, we uncover the treasures of our experience and can let the rest blow away on the winds of healing. She aims to support people to create transformation in every area of their lives. She provides insights on how to collaborate together to manifest their dreams in The LemonadeMakers Club. She teaches how to explore our inner and outer world to see what needs to be transformed. She is gifted in her ability to see patterns in human behavior and asks just the right questions to start unlocking the doors to your life purpose and the unique personal genius that we all have. Her book, “Timeless Treasures” will be published the summer of 2017, a collection of over 90 essays on transformation.

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