Thursday, 8 February 2018

Pre Birthday Celebrations with Oprah and a Little More...My Experience

Celebrating Oprah...

On Jan 10th 2018 the OWNAmbassadors and the OWNers received a private invite to Oprah's pre-birthday celebrations in California. Which was super exciting, but there was one problem, I just mailed out my passport the day before. I was so upset because it's not everyday we get invited to Oprah's birthday. The celebrations were going to be on Friday Jan 26th 2018. I had come to terms I was not going to make it because I had just mailed out my passport by regular mail the day before. But, after talking to a few of my OWN friends, they said you have to keep calling and make it happen.

So I started calling each day to see if my passport arrived at the passport office, and everyday it was no. At this point I started to believe and have faith that I was meant to be at Oprah's birthday. On Friday January 19th my passport finally arrived in Quebec and was put in the system. Now, the problem is, my passport was sent to Quebec to the passport office, and I live in Newfoundland. My perseverance paid off, the lady called me back on Friday Jan 19th and said we can have it ready for you on Tuesday, Jan 23rd to be picked up in St. John's (our local passport office). I was cutting it close, because I had booked a flight to California for early morning Wednesday. When she told me Friday my passport arrived, I went ahead a booked my plane ticket, I booked it strictly on faith. So after a short delay at the passport office I was able to pick up my passport.

Tuesday morning I went into St. Johns on the taxi/shuttle because the flight out Wed morning was at 5:45 am, so I had to get in early to pick up my passport. Thankfully I have a good friend that I was able to hang at for the day while I waited to go to the airport. I had to be at the airport at 3:00 am in the morning. So not much sleep for me, but that was okay I was so excited.

So, my flight arrived in Toronto on time, but then I had a connecting flight to LA so not much time for me to get from my airplane to the other side of the airport to my connecting flight. As I went through customs I was stopped and asked to go in the back. I was pre selected for a custom check. Of all times, I was wishing it wasn't this time. I was already pushing my luck. Once they did what they had to do, they called me aside and had to do some body checks on me, but the customs officer ransacked my suitcase, and my brand new suitcase was busted, and the lock was gone. I was not impressed, but I had no time to get upset, I had to literally run to the gate. During this time I had one of my great friends and travel buddies +Janet Auty-Carlisle  on the same flight. She was concerned because they were just about ready to close the doors and I came running onto the plane. 

Upon arriving at the gate, I realized I was the last one to board the plane, if I missed the flight I would have been devastated, especially because of everything it took me to obtain my passport. But Jan's intuition was correct, she figured that I was pulled into customs. When I seen Jan, we literally said excuse me to the guy sitting beside her and we had the most sweetest and relieved hugs. Thankfully the guy was cool being in the middle of our hug lol. Finally,  I am on the flight to LA and leaving the cold weather...Next stop California

Jan and I arrived, we stepped off the plane, collected our bags, and I had to go report my broken bag to Westjet. Once that was all said and done we headed upstairs to grab our Uber. When we stepped outside the sun hit our face and the warm temperatures reminded me how much I love California. Once we were picked up from our Uber driver we headed to our condo in West Hollywood, we had a bit of a wait and we were finally allowed into the condo. The condo was nice, but the host was a sketchy guy who was illegally renting out his condo. Nonetheless, we dropped our bags settled for a few minutes then decided to head to The Grove, and the Farmers Market. 

What a great time it was, we met up with our friend Taurence, did a bit of shopping at the Farmers Market, then headed to the Cheesecake Factory at The Grove for supper. We had great conversations, and some good laughs. Once dinner was done, we headed to Whole Foods to pick up a few more groceries. Afterwards, we headed back to our condo, we laughed, we cried, and just enjoyed each others company. It is so nice catching up and spending time with some really awesome people. 

Thursday morning, excitement was in the air, we were one day closer to attending Oprah's birthday celebrations and our good friend Amy was arriving and staying at our condo. Once Amy arrived, we sat and laughed and had some great conversations. Once Amy was in and settled, we decided to head to Hermosa beach for the day. It was a cooler day, but we made the best out of it. We played in the sand, we sat on the beach and meditated and did some goofy videos. What a fun day it was! In the evening we had dinner reservations at the Pump Restaurant in West Hollywood with some of the OWN Ambassadors. The ambiance was great, and again the conversation was amazing! At this point most of the OWN Ambassadors, and the OWNers have flown in and doing their respective thing. 

Sooooo then Friday happened...

Yay!! It's Friday, its the day the magic happens. the excitement was palpable and the energy was high. Amy, Jan, and myself woke up and chatted, then it was time to get ready. Once we were ready, our super wonderful selfless friend Bionca came to pick us up at our condo to take us to the OWN Network lot. We were so giddy, like 4 school girls. When we arrived we noticed all the beautiful tables, and food stands set out in the garden. A few of Oprah's favourite things/foods were there, Pinkberry, Pink's hotdogs, and really great music. Once we parked and checked in, we were free to head to the garden to enjoy. It was so great to see people that you hadn't seen in a long time, and it was absolutely amazing to see people you have been talking to online for years/months and now you can meet them and put faces and names together. We mingled, danced, talked, ate, laughed, cried, and listened. At one point no one had really saw Oprah yet, and I said to Jan, oh hey there is Oprah right behind you. I didn't approach her, because we will all have our time with her, so I left her be. After we celebrated her birthday celebrations, we sang to her, we had a toast and she spoke to us in the garden. 

Approximately 2 hours later we were escorted into the OWN building where Oprah was going to conduct a Q & A with questions we previously provided. We were told she was going to have 40 mins with us and then she had a meeting. Well, thankfully for us she decided to forgo her meeting and spend the next 2 hours with us. There were so many take aways and I've had so many people ask what she discussed. Oprah did Oprah in her inspirational and teaching ways. At times there was not a dry eye, including Oprah. She was so appreciative for our support since 2011, we've never wavered, we just grew into an incredible, stronger community.  

(Thanks to my OWN friends (Luisa, Electra, Amandeep, Kirsty) for their recollection of the day, somethings I remembered, but I was so overwhelmed with emotions I've had use some of their comments).

Some of her quotes/discussions that really resonated with me were;

"You Are Responsible For Your Own Life"

"You are powerful beings and that the power that is inside of me is also inside of you. Whatever draws you to me, whatever goodness you see in me, whatever you love about me, whatever you are drawn to in me, that is merely a reflection of what is inside of you. You are drawn to which you elevate or hold in esteem in me, because you recognize it as something that is already inside of you. The difference between us is, I have listened to and obeyed the calling for my life. Now it is time for you to get clear, and take action! Discern what is ego and what is Spirit talking and answer the call for your life". 

She said "You are responsible for your life" then elaborated for a while, whatever has beaten you down, whatever has made you feel less than, whatever suffering you have endured...use that as your fuel. Everything happens for us, so use your suffering to elevate you.

Be in a state of prayer with a question “ what is the plan”


She said we all belonged there. We were called to that luncheon. And we need to listen to God's calling on our life. That it doesn't have to be BIG (& won't be a talkshow- but our OWN specific call) and it starts small. With every little decision we make & how we act, ESPECIALLY WHEN NO ONE IS WATCHING. She also said in the vein of starting small, that we can find a place to serve and to LOVE...right at the end of our arms, with the person directly in front of us.

Oprah calls us Light Carriers, she said there is a part in her new movie "A Wrinkle In Time" where she uses Light Carriers in reference to us. 

Oprah continued sharing in the Q & A about starting the OWN Network, this was a difficult time in her life and she got very emotional and broke down as she said “everyone in this room...strangers to me at the time, got me through the hardest time in my life, my darkest hours. You were all there for me, tweeting, sharing, watching” Her vulnerability, sincerity,  and transparency were so touching and moving, not too many dry eyes in the building including hers. 


There was much more, but to be honest it was so overwhelming, I stayed present and just soaked up everything she was saying. I focused on her, the moment, and the energy. 


Once Oprah finished her Q & A with us, she took the time to take pictures with each and everyone of us.

Today by far will go down in history as one of the best days of my life!! I can't thank Oprah and the OWN Network enough for putting together such an amazing event. I am grateful!

Whoa, so after our amazingly, wonderful day, Tierra, Jan, Amy, Bionca and myself made our way to the Beverly Hills Hotel for a smoothie, a croissant and alot of laughs, our server was awesome! Later on in the evening most of us attended WEHO Bistro in West Hollywood for dinner, and to continue on the high we were all experiencing. It was a great night, I was able to chat and meet people that I had not had a chance too yet.  

Saturday, Amy had to leave in the morning, so Jan, myself, Bionca, and Taurence decided to hang out for the day. We hit up Sweet Chick for some lunch. Afterwards, we headed to Rodeo Drive where we did some window shopping, and where Bionca did some shopping. Oh to be young lol. Saturday night, our friend Brittany, Taurence, and Tierra came back to our condo, and we laughed until it hurt and just talked about Friday, looking over our videos and our pictures. Once everyone left, Tierra stayed overnight, so Jan, myself and Tierra stayed up talking a bit, always good conversations when Tierra is there. She's beautiful inside and out. She really kept me in flow with the consistent message we were hearing from Oprah.

Sunday morning, Jane left, that was emotional, I love her and I really miss her. We had an incredible time, I just love sharing these times with her. Once both Tierra, and Jan were gone, Bionca swung by and picked me up. We headed to the Agape Spiritual Centre where we listened to a beautiful service. The pastor also spoke about being true to yourself and being obedient in your calling. The music and band were phenomenal! After Agape, there was a group of us who went out for lunch, I moved my suitcases over to my friend Marie's jeep and then off for lunch we went. It was nice, again, I met and chatted with some more individuals that I hadn't had a chance to yet.  Later on Marie dropped me off at the hotel, I was staying near Santa Monica. Once I got in and got settled I decided to take a walk to the Santa Monica Pier. Well, that didn't really work out, I ended up in some industrial area feeling a little nervous. My phone wasn't working, I couldn't call an uber and I was completely lost. I walked 7.5 kms, and I came upon this old sketchy hotel and asked the person at the desk if they could call me a taxi, and he wouldn't, so I walked some more. As soon as I got closer to the main area, I had service. Pheww that was kind of scary.

Monday morning I woke up, and packed up my stuff and left it at the front desk. I found out how to take the bus to Santa Monica, so off I went. This was my second favourite time while  in California. I had no agenda, I had the full day, and it was all about me. I walked and hung out on the pier, listening to the music, and watching some crazy acts people were doing on the pier. I had built up an appetite so I headed to one of my favourite places for lunch in Santa Monica, Bubba Gumps. I had a seat down stairs in the patio where I could look out and watch all the activities on the beach. I took my time, absorbed the moment, and truly enjoyed this time to myself. After I was done, I headed back to the beach to put my feet in the sand and just listen to the ocean. I could have stayed there all night. But I was meeting my friend Marie back at my hotel, and then we were going to head to dinner. We had some laughs and great conversation and then she dropped me off at the airport. Oh California I'll miss you. One thing I know for sure, California sure is my #HappyPlace.

Monday night my flight went out at 11:00 pm on time, thankfully no issues, HOWEVER, when I got to Toronto I had a 13 hour layover. That part was actually awesome, I decided to take a taxi and head to my friends for the day, there was no way I wanted to hang out at the airport when my friends and family aren't far from the airport. So I took a taxi to Brampton, and my daughter bussed from Mississauga to Brampton to come and see me. I had been missing her and my son like crazy, so what a joy it was so to see her, unfortunately I didn't connect with my son, he is pretty far from the airport and I didn't have a way out there to see him. While I was in Brampton, I was able to see my best friend for a few minutes before she left for work, and another family member. So after I spent the day with my daughter, it was time for us to go our separate ways, it never gets easy! She walked across to the bus stop, and I jumped in my uber. As I was just arriving back at the airport I received and email that my flight to St. John's was cancelled. I didn't care that my flight was cancelled, but I could have spent the entire night and next day with my daughter. So after a bunch of chaos at the airport I taxied back to my friends house to stay the night. Westjet had scheduled me to fly out the next evening at 6:17 pm. So again, the next day I arrived at the airport and our flight time was changed 4 different times. So, my journey home from California started Monday and after many trips back and forth by taxi to the airport in Toronto, 4 time changes with my flight, a cancellation and a 6 hour shuttle/taxi drive home, I arrived home!

I wanted to blog for the past week, but honestly I took the time to process the magnitude of my trip to California. 

I know there is alot more in this blog then Oprah's pre birthday celebrations, but I also did this for me so I can come back and read this entry from time to time. This entire experience is more than I could have ever hoped for. I am so grateful! God is Good!

If your reading this, thank you!

Until next time...Thanks for stopping by.

Much Love,
Shelley xo

Here are some snapshots from my time in California. 



OWNers & OWN Ambassadors



Myself, Amy, Jan

One of Oprah's wish/prayer for us


Tierra, Bionca, Jan, Myself, Amy at the Beverly Hills Hotel 


Marisa is my soul sista, heart of gold!!

My beautiful friend Marie

My BFF and Kahlua

A few of the OWNAmbassadors


I've been speaking with Ashley for a few years online, so nice to have finally met her!

OWN Network



Loved hanging out with Taurence!

My Daughter Brianna



Oh the fun and the laughs!!

Amy, Jan, Tierra, Myself, Bionca

Me & Bionca ( I just adore her!)

Rodeo Drive

Brittany aka Baller, Jan, Myself, Taurence

Myself, Jan, Tierra

Me and Mr. Sunshine, the room lightens up when Alex enters

My meal at Bubba Gumps






Pink's Hotdogs

Oops my bad, the napkin makes for a great souvenir 





Wednesday, 3 January 2018

My Perspective is My Reality

Since moving here 3 years ago I felt I was adjusting quite well, I was meeting new people, going to church, and getting involved in the community. Things seemed to be going very well. Something I really enjoy is, meeting new people and listening to their stories. God knows I have lived through some pretty crazy and incredible experiences myself. Living in a small town, you'll hear things that you may not normally hear in the city. And, your told early on be careful what you share in a small town.

So with that I have been very quiet about some traumatic events in my family this past year. Without divulging too much information, I can say it has affected me to the core. I am not the person I was a year ago, these events have made me question my entire life. What is important to me, who is important to me, what are my priorities, and who will I hurt in the end? My life is very complex and ONLY I can answer and decide whats best for me. Either way someone is going to be affected by any decision I make.

Living away from family has been an adjustment. I knew it was going to be difficult, but when they gave me their blessings I was content. When my mom died the first year I was gone, it affected me deeply, especially since I couldn't make it back to Ontario before she past. But, when these traumatic events happened this past year, it put everything into perspective. The events were horrible abuse, two different people I love, two different stories, these were not just a one time thing, this was ongoing for long periods. Being a parent is something I wanted to be more then anything in this world, and as a parent it is my job to protect and love my children/family.

When I was a child I was sexually abused on multiple occasions, not one time did my parents protect me. I know the individuals in my family want to move on, and I do as well. BUT, I also know how much writing/journaling is so therapeutic. Sharing your story is extremely important, and building your support system is key. I've been encouraging my family members to share, one has chosen to share, the other is not ready yet. Keeping the abuse silent gives power to the abuser, even if it is one person you confide to, do it!

So where do I go from here? I long to be with my family in Ontario, and I long to be here with my family in Newfoundland. Someone, somewhere is not going to be happy with whatever I decide. This is a daily battle for me, loss of sleep, loss of passion, and loss of motivation. I used to be able to say I love the person I am, it took me years and years to get there. These days, I struggle to see that. I don't like how life has unfolded for me or my family.

People see me, I have the smile, I am kind, but I am also emotionally exhausted. I have a good life here with a husband and daughter who loves me more then anything, but I also have a son, and daughter in Ontario that I love and want to be with. So I will continue to pray, and take one day at a time, I know there is going to be a day where this all makes sense. but for right now, I do not understand.

Depression is real, never underestimate the mind of someone who is down and out. Reach out, even if it is just to listen. You may not know it, but you could be talking them off the "ledge".

I am a Certified Professional Coach (Life Coach) and Mentor but most importantly I am a parent. My feelings are real, and I have taken the advice I would normally give a client by sharing with you all. Being vulnerable and transparent is difficult, but it is also a very cathartic release.

Until then...thanks for stopping by.

Much Love,
Shelley xo

P.S. if you would like to share your story with me in confidence, please feel free to inbox me through Facebook or email, sharris0569@yahoo.ca

Sunday, 13 August 2017

Coping While your Family is Away

My 2 older kids are grown, and I miss them.

My husband and I used to come and visit Newfoundland on summer vacations, but almost 3 years ago we made the decision in 2014 to move here from Ontario. Now that I have been living here for about 3 years, I am one of those parents who's children live away.

My son is 23, and my daughter is 21, and they both live away. My son is in BC, and my daughter is in Oakville. My husband and I live here with our 9 year old. I sat my oldest daughter down almost 3 years ago, and spoke to her about our desires to move to Newfoundland. In my heart I knew it was time, it felt right, and mostly I could feel God directing us here. We had said a couple of prayers, asking for signs, and within days the message was clear, it was time to move. We had talked about moving to Newfoundland for some time, but now it felt right.

Sometimes I look back and think, why can't they just be babies any longer? I could have packed us all up and moved my entire family. Life would have been so much easier. But that is not the case, I have 2 young adult children with their own plans, and own lives. They certainly weren't  interested in coming with me to a rural town in Newfoundland.

My son was out in BC, so he was happy with whatever we decided. I was concerned how my oldest daughter would feel. But she said, Mom, I know how happy you guys are there, so if that is what you want, then I want that for you too. I asked for her blessing, and she gave it. I was so excited, nervous and scared. I had to keep reminding myself that this was God's plan. I felt a higher purpose orchestrating this move. Once I spoke to all the individuals I needed to, my children, family, and work, it was time to sell the house, well it didn't take long a couple of days, and our house was sold.

It has been almost 3 years since we left Ontario, and I can't say that I don't struggle. For years and years people leave their families here in Newfoundland to go to work. It certainly is a different way of living here. I look back, and think wow having your family together is a blessing, I'd say every other family are separated throughout the year because of work. My heart seriously goes out to them. Each year we hear that the crab plant is not going to do to well this year, my husband works there. So I am always thinking about a plan B, we keep the faith but the reality is, that it just might happen one day where they don't get enough hours.

My husband has said if I don't get my hours, then I will go away for work. I said I didn't move here for us to be separated. We go as a family, so we would head to Ontario for him to find work for the 6 months, or whatever it is he needed. I work remotely, so my job can come wherever I go. I recently returned back from Ontario and as usual I have mixed emotions. Even though this was God's plan, I question if I can do it for the long haul.

In the last year my family has been under alot of stress, I've learned alot about myself in the past year, tolerance and patience definitely come to mind. Having had a very trouble childhood has given me excellent coping skills, but in the last year things that happened within my family has rocked me to the core. I find it extremely difficult knowing I can't fix it. I am physically here in Newfoundland with my husband and younger daughter, but my heart is back on the mainland with my family and friends. My kids still need me, and I still need them.

I continue to pray for peace, and contentment. I knew moving here was going to take some time to adjust, but missing my family and friends is on a whole different level.

Although it was a stressful year, being in Ontario this summer was a god sent. I was able to spend quality time with my older daughter, and my son came to Brampton (where I was staying) to see me, I was so thankful! I also got to see all of my closest friends and family! So despite the stuff that was going on, I felt very happy to see all the people that mean so much to me!

So what's next...I will continue to rely on my friends and faith here. I love my home, my husband and the life we have built together. At this time, I am taking one day at a time...eventually it will work itself out.

What the future holds remains to be seen, but what I am hoping for is to split our time between Newfoundland and Ontario, now just got to convince the hubby ;)

Thanks for listening, and reading....until next time

Much Love,
Shelley xo

My hubby
My BFF's
My son
My daughter
My daughters 

Friday, 15 July 2016

Your Emotional Well Being



Hey All,

I don't know about all of you, but 2016 is shaping up to be a very sad and troubled year. I am not one to watch much T.V. but lately it seems as if there has been one catastrophic event after another. I know there is continued hardships here in Canada and in other countries. With all of the terrorist attacks, hate crimes and coups,  I have to say how thankful I am to live in Canada. Are we a perfect country of course not, but we are a very fortunate country. We are lucky to live in Canada and I know there are people who aren't happy with certain leaders in Canada, whether it be the Prime Minister or the Premiere but one things is for certain, we live in a safe country. Canada's hardships are so different then other countries, but through it all we stand united.

I wanted to write a blog to talk about how I am feeling with regards to what is happening in the world, i.e. Orlando, Dallas, Nice (France), the little 5 year old girl and her mother that were murdered in Calgary, and the coup that is happening in Turkey. Writing all of that made my heart hurt, in a very short time there has been very disturbing things that are happening in our world, and this is just recent stuff.

My husband had the tv on last night, and I poked my head up from my laptop to see the truck barrelling through Nice, France, so may people lost their lives, little babies, kids and parents. So so sad. Then I heard they found the little girls body from Calgary, all within about 10 mins. I said to myself why am I sitting here listening to this, this world is so mad, I couldn't stand to listen for another minute.

I turned everything off, sat in silence, and prayed for peace in our world. I had tears streaming down my face, and a very sad heart. I allowed myself to feel the sadness and pain. I felt helpless, hopeless, and angry. I said to myself I cannot go to sleep with these emotions, I really have to shake them off. I talked to my husband and told him how I was feeling, and we discussed it a bit, but then I decided to go on You Tube, and pull up Ellen De Generes "feel good" videos. So glad I did!

Watching her helped flip the switch in my head. The love and her generosity is such a beautiful thing and that is exactly what I needed after being riddled with such negativity. When you are down and out, or your emotions or anxieties are at a high, what do you do for yourself to get you out of that space. Another thing that I do, is go onto one of my Facebook Friends Ashley Benton page and just read the goodness she does for her community. You can't help but feel good after you read her page. She is such a breath of fresh air, and her Green Team ministry is such loving and giving people.

Often times we let our emotions rule us, or limit us, or care what other people think. If you continuously keep living in that bubble that is where you will stay. As long as you know you are a good person, and doing good, then live your life for you and your family. If you like to travel, travel, If you like to laugh, laugh. Don't let what is happening in the world stop you from doing what you love. For a split moment I said, how am I going to travel with all of this craziness going on in the world? Then with my next breath I said....WATCH ME!! I will not let anything or anyone define me or take my joy away from doing what I love to do. I love to make people laugh, so I had my moment of sadness and heartbreak, but then it was like "Okay Shelley, it's time to rock". Let's get back to who you are and what you represent.

I've blogged about it before, but give yourself a time frame to feel what ever it is you have to feel. Once that time has come and gone, release that negative energy with meditation, prayer, funny videos, out with friends, or a great support system.

Thanks for stopping by...Until Next Time

Much Love xo

Shelley






Thursday, 9 June 2016

My Abuse My Story

This past month, I recreated my website and an idea came to me about helping victims of abuse become survivors. I put a request out there for others to share their story, so with that I wanted to share my story as well. Although I've shared my story with a few friends, I have not shared details with the public. I feel anxious and vulnerable, but if I can help one person move from victim to victor then it is all worth it.

My 2 brothers and I were born into poor to low income family, our life consisted of hard times, low rental (Government Housing) and later a house my parents bought that was falling apart. My Dad was a body man, who fixed cars, and my mom did odd jobs here and there. My Dad always worked hard and provided as best he could but was a very distant person. I don't have alot of memories about my parents, sometimes I think I blocked them out. My parents were emotionally and physically unattached from us, and my mom was a drug addict. My brothers and I always had to fend for ourselves. One year I can remember stealing from the "Lost and Found" just to have the "in" things.

The house in London Ontario where I grew up

At 3 years old my life changed. My dad's friend showed up at our house at 1:00 am in the morning, he was drunk and could not make it home. So when he came to our door my Dad let him in and told him to stay on the couch. About an hour later, I woke up screaming with this big 250 lb man on top of me. He made his way to my bedroom and began to sexually abuse me. After what seemed forever my mom came in and pulled him off me, he was half passed out. He removed my clothes, and pulled his pants down and he was seconds from raping me. I was only 3. After that day, I was terrified of men. Shortly after that happened, approximately 2 weeks later the doorbell rings, and my mom opens the door, and I heard "The Voice". I screeched, and cried, I was hysterical. It was "The Bad Man", he came back because my dad told him he would paint his car. Until this day, I cannot understand.

 My second close call was when I was 10 years old. I went by my girl guide leaders house and her brother was there, and he told me she stepped out, but will be right back. He was about 15 or 16 years old. He lured me downstairs to "her bedroom" to wait. But I soon realized it was his bedroom and we were the only ones there. He tried to take my clothes off and I told him if he does I am going to scream. He said who cares no one is going to hear you. So after an hour of him trying to get my clothes off he went upstairs to grab something. I looked at the basement window and I pushed it opened and started to climb up through it, he came down stairs and I was almost out, he yelled at me and said he was going to call the cops, and tell them I broke into the house. I got out and I ran. Later on, I found out he did this to several other girls. But they weren't able to get out, and he did to them what he probably would have done to me.

At 13 years old I started babysitting for people in the neighbourhood, and there was a family I babysat for often. I always loved babysitting for them because they were always so nice and would let me have a friend over. One time I babysat by myself, it was a normal night, kids were great, and the parents came home around midnight. The husband drove me home as he usually did. But that night he crossed the line, he put his hand up my shorts, and tried to touch me. I felt like I was going to scream, but I stayed calm. I started talking about his kids, and then he stopped. Thank God!

At this point in my life I started to think I am a target and felt like I was a marked individual. Meaning people could tell that I was abused and that I was an easy target to do it again.

Later that summer when I was 13 years old I went away to babysit for a family member. These family members were like parents to me, I loved them with all of my heart. The wife of the abuser nurtured me like a mother nurturers their child. To this day I still love and miss her. Sadly it was too good to be true, the abuser started crossing the line by subtle things. Because I was aware, I knew what was coming. I would try to avoid my uncle, but one day my uncle came home early and I was in the pool with the kids. My uncle came into the pool and sexually abused me. After it happened, I ran, and ran, I cut my leg because I was running so hard I fell. It was the country and I had one friend there but she lived quite a ways down the road. When I got there I told her what happened. I was terrified of going back. In the evening I went back, my aunt made one of my favourite meals, and I couldn't touch it, I was sick to my stomach. He told me not to tell or he would lie and make up stories. He said I was old enough to take it, and he wanted to be my first. I later found out my uncle had taken other girls to the corn field and done stuff to them as well. Sadly my family was ripped apart because of him. It disgusts me that people in my family did not support me, but they supported him. When I was 18 years old I thought I was ready to "deal" with it, so I pressed charges. I was bullied so badly from my family that I dropped the charges.

I felt like a loss soul. I felt sad, angry, frustrated, neglected, not protected, not loved, and the list goes on. I put all the abuse in the back of my mind and I blocked it out. Years later I entered into college at 18 years old, I befriended a young lady who had had a similar childhood as I did. But she was being raped on a regular basis. She was brought over from the Philippians to go to school but her family ended up abusing her. When I heard her story I convinced her to go to the school counsellor. As she began to share her story, I started going back to the days of my abuse, and the counsellor noticed something was wrong. Needless to say she convinced me to talk about it, tell my parents, and press charges, and that was the first time I told any adults. I had been carrying the abuse for years and years. Although it felt good to talk about it, nothing changed. My mom addressed it, but that is when the family was split apart.

Through it all,  I remained an active kid who took on the mother roll at a young age, and tried to make the right choices. When all this crazy stuff was happening I said to myself, I have two choices, I can either become real bad, or real good. I chose to throw myself into sports and be a good kid. Although I may not have been able to choose my childhood, I can certainly choose my adulthood. I did not want to continue the cycle so I made the conscious effort to change "My Story". As Oprah has said "we all get to choose what we give our attention to.. pain or the JOY!" It's up to you to choose.

I am a survivor of sexual abuse, neglect, child of divorce, my own divorce, depression, and attempted suicide. I realized all of these things happening in my life were life lessons. Now lets fast forward to 2010, I started to understand my Life Purpose. Once you start to realize why all these things happened to you, you start to understand what your Life Purpose is. Every person is unique in their own way. God doesn't create Lego Land people that all look the same, talk the same, and have the same stories. God has a purpose for all of us. I know what my purpose is, do you? Everything that happens in life is to create the person you are today.

Working towards my Life's Purpose in 2010, I became a Certified Professional Co-Active Coach (Life Coach). In spring 2012,  I went to India on a Yoga retreat where I volunteered in an Orphanage. In fall of 2012, I was invited to a private lunch with Oprah. In 2013,  I began my volunteer role with It Takes 2 Youth Leadership Institute.

In L.A. for a private lunch

As I move along with my Life Purpose, life really changed for me in 2012. Oprah wanted people to help grow the OWN Network, so as an individual who loves Oprah and Social Media, 30 of us came together to help Oprah build OWN. Now the 30 people have grown into thousands because of like minded people who want a place to go to for good soul T.V. and a great supportive community. Since then, I became a founding member of the OWN Ambassadors, had a private lunch with Oprah, attended Lifeclass in Toronto, private get together with Oprah backstage in 2013 in Ontario, regular tweet ups, and shot outs, and friends who call each other Framily. (OWN Ambassadors are Friends like family).

Founding OWN Ambassadors

One of my Life Goals is to write a book. My Life Purpose is to help individuals overcome the adversities in their life and find peace. When we can forgive, and let go, we free ourselves to endless opportunities. I share with you because I want to, I share with you because you are loved, and I share with you because you can do it. Let us help you become the strong individual you know you can be.

I would like to share with you how I coped. I realize the life I had did contribute to some really great things. For example, I love humour, it has been one of my greatest  strengths and coping mechanisms. Also, I am a very compassionate and non-judgemental individual, my family is first, and I've learned to love and forgive. But on the flip side I can separate bullshit from truth, I can separate myself or shut down when I have to. It is how I cope.

If you are ready to move from victim to victor, start here and let's talk. 

If you would like to share your story, and give others a voice, please feel free to contact me at shelley@shelleyharris.ca or through the "Contact" Tab on my website. www.shelleyharris.ca

Until the next time...Thanks for stopping by

Much Love and Peace,
Shelley

Consider it pure joy, whenever u face trials of many kinds, because u know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. -Jame 1:2



Wednesday, 27 April 2016

My Thoughts on Social Media

You either love it or you hate it!?

What is a social networking site?

Based on a Google Search...

Social network sites are web-based services that allow individuals to create a public profile, to create a list of users with whom to share connections, and view and cross the connections within the system. 

In early 2000 I started dabbling in social media, I first started with My Space and then blogging, I never really spent a whole lot of time on My Space, but I did find it interesting connecting with people, Later on several friends and family asked me to join Facebook, but I wasn't overly interested. I was going through a divorce and my time was consumed with making sure my children were okay, and I was okay. I was going to school, and working full time, I did not have time for social media. 

In 2007 I finally registered for Facebook, once I got the hang of it, it was great. What I found amazing is that I could connect with family and friends all over the world. Each day I would log in, I would have one friend add me, then another, and another, then I started to add friends, it was super cool. I had always wondered how my friends and even my ex-boyfriends got on. It was nice to see that they were happy with beautiful families. 

Lets fast forward to 2016...Alot has happened, I am fluent in all social media sites and because of that I have met some of the most amazing people in my life. Over the last several years, I've traveled many places and met people that I would not normally have ever met. It was so wonderful putting the face to the name, because of Social Media, I have an amazing group of Oprah friends (OWN Ambassadors) that are called Framily (Friends like family). Facebook is about connecting, whether it is used for greatness or not, your posts can influence your audience in a good or bad way. I always think it over 2 or 3 times before I post. I am always thinking, how is this going to be perceived? I try to be informative, impactful, influential, inspirational or motivating, it is not very often you will find post from me that are not. I am true to myself, and I try to be transparent so others can see the real me as well. 

In 2009 I created a Twitter account and because I had just finished my Certified Professional Co-Active Coach program with Coaches Training Institute I wanted to start building my Coaching business. Twitter is a wonderful marketing tool, you can literally connect to whatever or whoever interests you. For myself, I gravitate to people or organizations that are influential in society. You have to be really creative to get your message a crossed with only 140 characters. My biggest surprise on Twitter was the day I was down doing laundry, and my phone chimed. When I looked I almost fell off my chair, I was the 92nd person that Oprah followed, considering she has 32 million followers that is a huge deal. 

Social Media does have a down side, it can be addictive, and at times people portray someone there not. In addition, Social Media has affected marriages and/or other relationships in a negative way. There is also a term that people suffer with and it is called "The Fear Of Missing Out" (
FOMO) which is an anxiety that an exciting or interesting event may currently be happening elsewhere (and your not there), often aroused by posts seen on a social media website.

There are so many aspects to social media that are absolutely great, but then there are are others that are not,  such as; posting pics that aren't yours, posting pictures or status'  of people without their permission. Social Media has been taken way to far in some cases. Use your imagination, there are plenty.


I learned a valuable lesson recently, a family member wanted to step back "out of life" so to speak, and made every effort to do so. When I heard this person was coming to visit, I was ecstatic, and I posted so. This person was upset with me, because they purposely made a point not to share on social media and there I was sharing on Facebook. I need to be more aware and respect peoples wishes, this was a valuable lesson. I have other friends who do not like pictures posted on Facebook so I respect their wishes as well. So just because you may want to post, make sure you ask the person their permission, not everyone wants their business on Social Media.

I will leave you with a couple of pic

Thanks for stopping by...

Much love,

Shelley

You can find me on;

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Facebook - Mobile Mentor
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I was the 92nd person that Oprah followed, she has 32 million followers.



  1. Founding OWN Ambassadors (Framily)